For the Daily Times
The match up of the Minford Falcons (2-1) and the Northwest Mohawks (2-1) deserves a double take when discussing their seasons so far. They have played the game in a very similar way with very similar outcomes.
The Falcons share a two-and-one record with the Mohawks. The Falcons and Mohawks both average about 30 points a game and both teams have limited their opponents to three scores or less.
These two teams are going to play hard against each other and the first team to slip in their game of matching movements could lose their footing and possibly the game. A record of three-and-one versus two-and-two means a lot going forward.
This match-up could play out in numerous ways but the one that seems most likely is that of a slow rolling chess match where both teams play three steps ahead of each other, more focused on not making mistakes than on big plays. Both coaches, when asked about their three keys to success for tonight’s match-up, listed controlling the line of scrimmage as absolutely necessary to a victory.
The early standout for the Minford Falcons, senior lineman Cain Madden, could be the key element in the battle over the line of scrimmage. If Madden and his fellow senior lineman Eli Daniels are able to break up the Northwest offensive line this game could be over very quickly.
The Mohawks have to present a strong front line against the Falcons defense to give their sophomore quarterback Garrett Rowe time to make good decisions.
“We have a solid offensive line that works well together,” Mohawks head coach Brooks Fry said.
The Mohawks will likely utilize their athletic senior tail backs, Donnie Borens and Andrew Howard to whittle away field position, while allowing Rowe to put some passes down the field.
A key defensive player for the Mohawks has been sophomore cornerback Cainen Spencer. Though Northwest has many weapons on the field, Fry didn’t remark often about his team individually. He exemplified the team as an effective unit that has a job to do tonight and if they do it right, they could go home with a win.
Falcons head coach Brent Daniels has the same mentality for his team. He knows his squad is athletic and competitive. In his time as head coach, he has only had one losing season. He is most focused on getting the offense on par with his defense.
“We’ve got to try out different combinations and see what sticks but I am proud of them. Overall the team is a good group of kids and I’m proud of them for playing hard,” Daniels said.
These are two teams who play very solid, defense heavy football and they will be attempting to cleverly outmaneuver each other all night long.
Northwest will travel to Minford, kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Cody Leightenheimer is a stringer for the Portsmouth Daily Times. Reach him on Twitter at @leightenheimer.