John Glenn vs. West Muskingum set for Friday


Evan Williams is poised for a big game both in the air and on the ground for the Muskies.

By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

Nothing is ever for certain.

West Muskingum has yet to find the win column this season, and all the way back to the 2015 season. But that last win came against a rather intriguing opponent.

Back in 2015, the Tornadoes picked up a 13-7 win against a visiting John Glenn football team. And now, fast forward to 2018, the two meet again.

Things have been very different for the Little Muskies over the last few years, while West Muskingum has floundered. Since 2015, Matt Edwards’ team has topped their conference foe by a combined score of 110-18, and that mark comes in just two seasons.

But Edwards and his team want the same approach as always — play hard, play fast and play to win.

“We told the kids on Monday, these games are actually really tough,” he said. “Because you don’t know what you’re going to get. We can watch film and see how they lined up in certain times against certain things, (but) they may come out and do something completely different. Because they have nothing to lose.”

Nothing to lose might sound like a doomed season. A dead end. A sentence to play the rest of the season for no point.

But there is a point for West Muskingum and coach Josh Whetstone. It’s all about continued effort, and buying into the team mentality even with a dearth of results.

“I think we’ve put a nice positive spin on things,” he said. “I think they’ve come out with a good attitude this week, which is going to help the cause a lot. They’re still working hard. We haven’t given up on the season by any means, and they’re still pushing forward and plugging away. We’ve got a lot of young guys. We started five freshman on both sides of the ball. We’re gonna take some lumps. That’s the way it goes.”

Defensively, the Tornadoes will need a new level of intensity to match the quickness of Muskie wide receivers Ben Larson, Reece Perkins, Gavin Thompson and Joseph Clifford. Pairing that with the speed of quarterback Evan Williams and running back Brady Emerson is a dangerous combination.

What might be more concerning for Whetstone, however, is the fact is the best output by his offense this year was 13 points, which came thanks to a rushing score from Mitchell Griffin and a pass touchdown from Harley Hopkins to Landon Murrey. Establishing the ground game will be key against a tough Muskie defense.

“We’re gonna have to run the ball against these guys. There’s no doubt about that,” Whetstone said. “If we want to be successful on offense, we gotta set the tone up front and we gotta run the ball, because they run that 3-4 defense. Our best shot is up on the inside.”

Unsurprisingly, Edwards and his staff have been planning for that. The mark of a good defense is a solid presence in the box, while also having sure-tackling safeties to come up and finish plays before they get going, and Ben Larson and Parker Zachrich are up to task.

“We expect our safeties to be heavily involved in the run game, and Ben and Parker both, who are three-year starters back there, they actually are probably better at that then they are their pass defense. If they’re going to run the ball at us, that might play into hand.”

By land or by air, Williams is poised to put up some big numbers for the Muskies. Last week against Maysville, his 174 total yards and three scores set the pace, so keep an eye on his numbers following this week.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. from McConagha Stadium.