Philo vs. Maysville: A tale of two very different (yet similar) styles


Who will run a more successful offense — Maysville or Philo?

By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

Philo and Maysville both love their power run games, but they go about them in very different styles.

On one side, the Electrics have the kind of open-field speed that can burn defenses down the sideline. On the other, the Panthers use big bodies like Caden Mercer, Jonathan Brennan and Easton Smith to slowly eat away yards and wear down opposing defenses.

It’s not uncommon for short-yardage backs to be used in certain situations, but it’s the frequency in which Maysville uses their goal-line specialists that really catches the eye.

While quarterback Cole Tompkins and running back Hayden McGee have accounted for plenty of yards on the ground themselves, the trio of terror for the Panthers has ground out 927 yards combined this season. With big Caden Mercer being the bellcow at 6-foot tall and roughly 225 pounds according to Maysville’s prep baseball report, Philo coach Dirk Lincicome knows just how hard tackling a player his size is.

“Their fullback is a big kid. You tackle him up high and you’re going to go for a ride,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “We’ve seen in some of the games they’ve played this year where teams have really had a hard time shutting him down. It’s going to be a challenge for anyone Maysville plays against.”

On defense, it will be Lincicome’s team who gets the daunting task of stopping Mercer, but he will not be the only fullback barreling toward them. Both Brennan and Smith get ample playing time, accounting for 525 yards and a trio of scores on the ground this season between the two.

Combine that with Tompkins ability to find a crease or accelerate down the sideline, and the fact McGee is averaging over 8.5 yards per carry this season, and the Electrics look to be in for a long, physical night.

But Maysville has their own set of problems.

Quarterback Hunter Adolph likes to sling the ball when he can, but possesses plenty of open-field speed. The Electrics rushing offense is powered by plenty of read-option plays, where Adolph of backup Aaron Philip will tuck it or handoff to the speedy Casey Munyan.

After two straight weeks of little progress in his statline, Munyan burst out for 98 yards on 10 carries and a score against Coshocton last Friday. Munyan is the classic example of a shifty runner, who takes his time and picks his spots carefully.

His running ability, paired with the change of pace of Philip and the surprisingly accurate passing of Adolph, are a testament to the dynamic offense Maysville will be tasked with. Looking like he regained some of the quick acceleration he had been missing in the previous two weeks, Munyan credited running back coach Zach Durfee.

“Our running backs coach, coach Durfee, every time in (position drills), we’re always doing jumpcuts and all that stuff just to get faster,” he said.

Both sides have a daunting run game, and lean heavily on their running back and quarterback. So that much gives some common ground to the offensive attack of the Electrics and Panthers, but from there, little looks the same.

Maysville and Philo always bring a memorable rivalry game when the two meet, but this kind of contrasting offense will easily be the most interesting part of their matchup. Prepare for an air attack, read-option ground game, speedy running backs and linemen pushing a massive pile of humanity to try and squeak out an extra yard or two.

This one should have it all.