Philo and John Glenn preparing for crucial MVL bout


By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

John Glenn and Philo have gone through two very different starts this football season. That does not mean their Week 4 meeting will have any less intrigue.

The Electrics travel to New Concord to meet the Muskies in what promises to be one of the Muskingum Valley League’s top games Friday night.

While Philo has strung together a pair of victories following a 21-16 loss to open the 2018 season against West Jefferson, their recent success has come against two teams struggling to find footing this year. Combined, Dirk Lincicome’s squad put up 106 points against both Crooksville and West Muskingum without surrendering a point.

John Glenn is a much different team, however.

Even following a 1-2 record to open up the season, the Little Muskies have one of the more dynamic offenses in the MVL and a defense that limited Cambridge to 150 yards of offense. Last week was a much different story for the team following solid performances in the first two games, with Matt Edwards’ team falling to Sheridan 37-7.

Taking nothing away from his team, Edwards was straightforward with what he felt last Friday’s loss came down to.

“The biggest thing with (Sheridan) is, they’re good. They’re a quality football team, both sides of the football. They’re experienced, they’re big, they’re fast, they’re physical,” he said. “They’re battle tested, and they’re well-coached, so we knew it was going to be to be tough sledding. We just have to continue to focus on ourselves. And with each week, our O-line is going to continue to get better.”

The youthful offensive line for the Muskies has shown glimpses of what it can do with a strong push up front, but occasional inconsistencies have hurt John Glenn to open the season. Against Philo, the battle in the trenches will be one of the biggest deciding factors.

The Electrics have played lights out against the run in their last two victories after forfeiting 292 yards on the ground to West Jefferson in Week 1. Combined over the last two games, Philo has allowed just 62 yards on 28 carries.

Left tackle and down tackle Brady Vaughn is part of the defensive front that will be tasked with stopping plenty of runs up the middle on Friday. Vaughn is holding himself accountable for stopping the Muskie offense, but is also well aware of how much the defensive line will have to work together in order to have a positive outcome.

“Everybody has to do their job in order to (stop the run,)” he said. “It’s all of us. One dude messes up, and you don’t have that anymore.”

Lincicome has not let up his team in the least following two straight wins, as reflected by a thorough practice on Wednesday. His defense has been stellar at creating takeaways over the last two weeks against opponents who were overmatched, but he said he still expects that same kind of intensity on Friday night as in previous games.

“I like the way our defense is playing right now,” he said. “We’re hustling, getting to the football and creating some turnovers. I think playing against John Glenn this week, that’s going to be key to try to get some takeaways. Try to force them into some 3rd and longs so we can get after them a little bit.”

Philo creates mismatches for opposing defenses with agile running back Casey Munyan and boasts an extremely capable quarterback in Hunter Adolph. Last week, the junior quarterback went 7-for-8 passing for 166 yards and a pair of scores, while Munyan grabbed 138 total yards.

John Glenn’s Parker Zachrich, as well as the rest of the defense, could have their hands full defending the duo. But one thing he is far from worried about is any residual effect from last week’s tough loss.

“That’s a wake-up call,” he said. “The focus was there the moment we got back. That’s not something we ever want to let happen twice. It’s definitely a motivator. As a team, we’re a lot more motivated this week. More focused.”

With Tri-Valley sitting in sole possession of the top spot in the MVL, Philo needs to keep its winning streak alive to nip at the heels of the Scotties, while John Glenn is hunting for a win after a conference loss. Given recent history and results this season, it’s hard to easily pick which way Friday night’s game could go.

So, instead, sit back and enjoy the show.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from McConagha Stadium on the Muskingum University campus.