The 3-1 (0-1) Copley Indians are looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season and they will have to do it on their first away game of the year. They will travel to play the 3-1 (1-0) Highland Hornets. Aregeros Turner was kept in check last week and I’m sure he is itching to break out in this game. Can Copley and Turner get back on track against this tough opponent?
The Hornets have won all three of their games big. In week 1, they defeated the Holy Name Green Wave on the road 69-14. Their running game couldn’t be stopped as they rushed for nine touchdowns from five different running backs.
In week 2, Highland traveled to face the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs and handled them 28-7.
Their third game was at home against the North Royalton Bears. This was a shoot out that ended up with the Bears winning 56-51 as their offense was too much to overcome for the Hornets. Fifteen total touchdowns were scored in that game.
Highland bounced back in their last game as they opened up conference play on the road against the Wadsworth Grizzlies. The Hornets took that game 31-12.
Highland is going to be a tough test for the Copley defense. They have scored 30+ in all but one of their games and in that one, they scored 28. They feature a strong running attack. This could prove to be a problem for the Indians. In their last game against the Tallmadge Blue Devils, they were pounded with a power running game, which had quite a bit of success. Copley needs to find a way to slow it down or create some turnovers.
The Hornets don’t seem to air it out unless they find themselves down, which is what happened to them against North Royalton. From what I have seen, the Bears don’t play good defense, but the passing game worked well for the Hornets in that game. If Copley can force Highland to pass, I think it will give them an advantage in the game and a better chance at turnovers.
Highland is also featuring a pretty decent defense. The numbers are staggered by that game against North Royalton. With that game included, the Hornets’ defense is allowing 22.3 points per game. Not including it, the number is 11 points per game. It should be pointed out though that the combined record of Highland’s opponents is 6-10, with four of those wins going to North Royalton.
Much like the Hornets, the Indians are going to be looking to get the running game going. We saw what happens last week when Turner is kept in check. Defenses are trying to prevent him from getting going and forcing Copley’s quarterback John Kromalic to beat them with his arm. He was unable to against Tallmadge and they forced him to throw interceptions. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Highland do something similar this week.
Copley’s key to success is to get Turner going. If the running game struggles early on, they are going to need Kromalic to hit receivers to help relieve some of the pressure. The Hornets play similar to the Indians on defense and will be looking to force turnovers. If he can stay within himself and make plays, I think that will open up some holes for Turner.
Last year when these two teams faced one another, the game was played in Copley and they scored a 33-7 victory over the Hornets. Turner went off in that game rushing the ball for 234 yards on 25 carries and 3 touchdowns. He also added 4 catches for 63 yards. He will look to continue that success this year.
I think this year the game will be closer. If Turner has another game like he did last year, then I think the Indians will run away with this one. Copley’s defense has been good this year, but has given up a lot of points late. Turner is the key to victory, but so is Kromalic. If Turner struggles early and he can move the ball through the air, I think we could see a similar game to last year, if not I think it will be close. My prediction is that the Indians will win 35-28.
This game will be played Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Highland High School in Medina, Ohio.