By Ken Barhorst
Coaches are crunching the numbers constantly this time of the season, hoping to find good news when it comes to a playoff spots.
Lehman head football coach Dick Roll isn’t one of them… but his assistant coaches are.
“The coaches say we’re in good shape,” Roll said this week.
And there was cause for concern after the Cavaliers were dominated at home by the Fort Loramie Redskins last Friday by a 20-0 final. The loss dropped the Cavs to six in their region of Division 7 this week, and that was a little scary with two overmatched opponents with only three wins between them remaining on the schedule.
But the two wins Lehman will get in those final two meetings, both on the road, should be enough to send them back to postseason play.
The first is the biggest, Friday at Ridgemont. Although Ridgemont is no match for Lehman, the Gophers to have three wins this season, and that means computer points. In week ten, the Cavs will play a Waynesfield team that is winless.
Friday should be a good night for the Cavs to get back on track after a frustrating evening last week against Fort Loramie, when the offense could do nothing, to the point where Lehman finished with only two first downs the entire game.
“On the offensive side, we just took turns shooting ourselves in the foot,” Roll said. “As a coaching staff, we questioned whether we tried to do too much. I’m not taking anything away from Fort Loramie. They put a heck of a game plan together and we just didn’t adjust to it.
“After the game, I questioned our scheme,” he added. “But when we looked at the tape, it came down to just not adjusting to what they were doing. And even though we gave up 20 points, I was really happy with our defense. We forced them into a lot of three-and-outs.
“We have to fix things,” he went on. “You take what you can get from last week and move on. I think the kids lost their composure last week and they have to learn how to play when things get tough. We have to right the ship, and that’s been our goal all week.”
Ridgemont started out the season 2-0 with wins over Ridgedale and Arcadia, both of whom are currently 0-8 on the year. The Gophers’ other win came last week over Waynesfield, which is also 0-8.
Ridgemont’s roster is only 24 player strong, but one of them is having an excellent season. Running back Cameron Smith is looking to hit the 1,000 yard mark in rushing, going into Friday’s game with 960 this season on 150 carries, an average of 6.4 yards per carry.
Lehman, meanwhile, is led in rushing by Owen Smith, who had 516 yards this season. Quarterback Elliot Gilardi has thrown for 968 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Reach Ken Barhorst at 937-538-4818