The Wayne Warriors will battle Cincinnati Oak Hills this Friday to open the 2003 season. What will the Warriors see in this first test of the year?
Oak Hills: Plays in the GMC (Greater Miami Conference) Last season Oak Hills finished 3-7 overall with a 2-5 conference record. Coached by Steve Sheehan, Oak Hills will light up the sky by throwing the ball. Led by QB Justin Ray who last season threw for 2,034 yards - 9 TD's. In reaching these numbers Ray completed 203 passes at a clip of 61%.
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Oak Hills runs the spread offense. While not a giant line they have some players that run in the 6'1-6'2 range and come in at 235-250 lbs.
On defense the Highlanders run a 6-2 alignment. While not a lot of schools run this defense its made to stack the box and stop teams running games. When its a pass play they hope to get the QB before he can release the ball. Last year the Highlanders gave up 344 yards per game.
The Highlanders are loaded with senior players this season. They will dress a total of 27 seniors with 10 starters on offense and 7 on defense. This senior class went 8-2 as freshmen and have looked for this season as a breakout year and a GMC championship. Will the Warriors be the first step towards a playoff season?
JUSTIN RAY - QB
MARK TEPE - LB-WR
MIKE GALLO - LB
RICKY CORNELIUS - RB-DB
TONY KING - WR
Wayne will have to use its speed and athletic talent to hold off the Highlanders. Wayne has one of its best defenses this year and should be up to the task of shutting down the passing and running games. Look for Marcus Freeman and David Day to lead the charge on D this season along with Mike Mickens and Brandon Waller.
The Warriors will have to make some plays on special teams and use kicker Drew Eby to put up scores when the offense is stooped.
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The offensive line needs to step up and play like Wayne lines of the past. While they don't have the talent of past years, if things come together this unit can do the job. Keep an eye on Tyler Orndorff he must lead the way. The line must allow the QB time to pass and open holes for tailback Thomas Mouser. Mouser who is coming off an injury should be ready to go by Friday night.
QB is the position to watch. Who will be the starter was the question all during camp and summer. This summer has seen junior Matt Whited and sophomore Alex Early fight for the top spot. Both QB's have worked hard and at this time Whited has won the job. Whited has a fast rising star to throw to in Greg Orton, the 6'4 185lb. WR has 4.5 speed and great leaping ability to go with it. This is going to be a player the whole state will be looking at this fall.
Who will win this contest? Wayne should beat Oak Hills and take the first step towards a state playoff berth.
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