Playing in the comfort of their own home has been something the 5-2 (2-2) Copley Indians have gotten used too. This week, however, they will have to hit the road for only their second away game of the year when they travel to play the 4-3 (2-2) Wadsworth Grizzlies. The other away game was against the Highland Hornets in which they snuck out a victory; can they do the same this week on the legs of their running back Aregeros Turner? He will need help from his quarterback John Kromalic if they are going to move closer to the playoffs.
Wadsworth has had an up and down year. They started off their season on the road for two games. The first was against the Ashland Arrows. In this game the Grizzlies allowed the Arrows’ quarterback to throw for a lot of yards, but only gave up a touchdown and picked him off twice. They held on for the 35-28 victory.
Their second game was against the Wooster Generals who defeated Wadsworth 20-14.
The Grizzlies then came home for two. In the first game of the home stand, they blanked the Medina Battling Bees 26-0. The second saw them begin conference play against Highland, who defeated Wadsworth 31-12.
Wadsworth then went back on the road for two more games which saw them go to Lodi and then Richfield. Lodi is home to the Cloverleaf Colts, who the Grizzlies dominated 34-0. In Richfield they played the Revere Minutemen. They didn’t stand a chance either as the Grizzlies won 42-7.
Last week Wadsworth hosted the Green Bulldogs. The Grizzlies scored a field goal first, but Green answered with a touchdown. They continued to exchange field goals for touchdowns as the Bulldogs took the victory 21-9.
What I have gathered about Wadsworth’s offense is that while they aren’t overly impressive, but they are pretty solid. They are averaging 25 points per game, which is good, but they have been held below this total 3 times, all for losses. In all three of those losses, they have been held to 14 points or less. That is what Copley’s defense is going to need to do if they want to win this game. Oddly enough, the Indians’ defense is allowing 25.6 points per game. They have been on the wrong end of some blowouts where their offense hasn’t helped them, so this is a contributing factor, but they have given up 20 points or more in every game. They are going to need to slow the Grizzlies down or cause turnovers, or they will lose this game.
I think that this is where the Indians are going to win this game. They always need Turner to get going if they want to win, but since their defense has struggled to keep the opposing teams from scoring; they are going to need Kromalic to help out Turner. As I have said in previous weeks, they need to throw the ball around to help alleviate the other team keying on Turner and that will in turn give him some space to do damage. Of course, if Turner can do it without his help, it will be impressive and has happened before this year. The passing game has given the Grizzlies some trouble this year.
Last year when these two teams played, Wadsworth traveled to Copley and dominated with a 35-3 victory. They limited Turner to 12 carries for only 19 yards. They will be looking to do this once again this year.
I believe that Wadsworth will win this game. I think their rush defense is good enough to keep Turner from finding space. The only way I believe that Copley wins is if Kromalic has a big game and loosens up that rush defense. He has struggled this season at times and if he struggles again, they will lose. I don’t think the Grizzlies are as good as they were last year, but I don’t trust the Indians defense enough to stop them. My prediction is a close one though, 31-28 Grizzlies.
This game will be played in Wadsworth, Ohio on Friday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Wadsworth High School.