Helmets from the Ohio Helmet ProjectThe path for the Wayne Warriors during the 2003 OHSAA playoffs, looks the same as it did in 2002. With a first round road trip and game against Cincinnati Moeller, the Warriors find a team looking for revenge from an overtime loss in the first round last season.
What will the Warriors see when they lineup against the Crusaders next Saturday night in Lockland? Lets take a look.
Many Warriors fans have been talking about who should be the starting quarterback. Moeller fans are saying the same. Will Chris Reiser or Ben McGrath be the one to lead them during the playoffs? That's been the biggest question. Reisert after nine weeks of the 2003 season is 63 / 118 for 817 yards. He has 4 touchdowns and 7 interceptions on the season. McGrath is 30 / 52 for 458 yards. He has 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on the season. During their final regular season game against Princeton, they combined to go 17-of-27 for 186 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions. McGrath was the leading rusher for the Crusaders with 53 yards on five carries.
When Moeller runs the ball look for many different backs to carry. Dan Barnes, who has rushed for 447 yards on 110 carriers has been slowed by injury. And the emerging Martez Williams who's rushed for 392 yards after nine weeks of the season is showing signs of being a special back. Also look for Grant Widmeyer to get some time with the rock. Moeller uses three different fullbacks during a game. Chris Walsh, Joe Farfsing and Justin Porta combine to give any defense problems in the short running game. Look for Porta if they are on the goal line to carry.
When Reisert and McGrath throw they look for smooth wide receiver Black Carter. Carter is the son of former NBA player Butch Carter and nephew of former OSU and NFL wide receiver Chris Carter. Blake had 30 catches for 399 yards and 2 touchdowns after nine weeks off the season. You must also watch Carter when he returns kickoffs, on Friday night he returned one for 88 yards. Also keep an eye open for Pat Watt who's gained 213 yards receiving after nine weeks, Neil Wunder, Billy Cleary and Tyler Dierkers. Watt and Williams are also big threats in special teams with a combined 554 yards on kickoff returns.
The offensive line is athletic with decent size. Zach Smith (6'4 - 280), Matt Tennant (6'4 - 250), Brad Libis (6'1 - 285), Jim Tull (6'2 - 265) and Mike O'Keefe ( 6'5 - 250). During the season they have became a unit and have helped Moeller return to the playoffs.
On defense Moeller has seen great play from Ryan Lukens ( 83 tackles), Beau Goodhart (82 tackles) and Dannel Shepard (58 tackles) after nine weeks. They have also seen David Starvaggi ( 4 interceptions), Derico Murray (2 interceptions) and Goodhart ( 2 interceptions) help return Moeller to the playoffs. The Crusaders have a nice size D-line but really look for the linebackers to make plays. The Crusaders will show several different defensive packages to keep the Warriors off balance.
Tyler Wehmann is the leading scorer for Moeller with 46 total points. He's scored 28 on extra points and was good on 6 field goals for the season.
Former Moeller great and current Head Coach Bob Crable has seen his team fight from losing its first two games, and end with an 7 - 3 record for 2003. The Crusaders three losses were to Anderson 20 - 6, St. Xavier of Louisville, KY 31 - 17 and defending state champion Cincinnati Elder 21 - 20. The three teams that beat the Crusaders have a record of 25 - 4 in 2003.
This will be a great match up of two teams looking for respect in Southwest Ohio. The GCL and GWOC are proving that great football lives outside of Northeast Ohio.
You can listen to the game live on OhioPrepScene.com, join Dave Thomas, Dave Berk and sideline reporter Scott Halasz for complete coverage from kickoff till the final gun.Stats for Moeller came from the latest GCL website after nine weeks of the 2003 season. You can see more about the GCL by visiting at www.GCLSports.com