The FOX19 Friday Prep Rally makes its way to the East side of town Friday night as the Glen Este Trojans hit the road to take on the Anderson Redskins in not only a key FAVC battle, but a contest that could have major playoff implications.
Anderson has owned the series of late and come in the contest as winners of three straight. They've outscored their opponents 127-39 in that stretch.
Glen Este has struggled from consistency this season, but have shown flashes of brilliance on both sides of the ball.
Let's take a closer look at this week's featured game:
GLEN ESTE (4-3) AT ANDERSON (6-1)
7:30 p.m. kickoff
TV: LIVE Pregame Show FOX19 (6:30 – 7:00)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior quarterback Nick Mason has shined in his first year under center for Anderson. He enters the week as the FAVC's third-leading passer with 1,210 yards. His favorite target, senior Jordan Shelton, is one of the conference's top receivers. Glen Este senior defensive back Corey Goedde has been a turnover machine as he has intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles through seven games.
TEAM TRENDS: Anderson has won four straight games in the series by a combined score of 171-64. The Redskins are 16-1 in FAVC Buckeye games under head coach Jeff Giesting. Glen Este is 8-9 inside the conference during that span. The Spartans average 286 yards per game on the ground, which accounts for 83 percent of their total yards. The Redskins are much more balanced on offense, tallying 188.7 passing yards per game compared to 164.1 yards per contest on the ground. The Spartans have not made the playoffs since 2006, but they enter this week ranked tenth in the latest Harbin projections, one spot ahead of Anderson. The top eight teams make up the Region 4 playoff field.
ANDERSON'S KEYS TO VICTORY: Dominating the game up front is Anderson's bread and butter. If the offensive line does their job it could be a big night for running back Jake Nelson, who leads the FAVC with 15 rushing touchdowns. Chris Shingleton and Thomas Krutka have combined for 11 interceptions since the start of 2009. The duo should help keep Glen Este's offense one-dimensional. The defensive line, led by senior Jesse Correll, must contain the run and not allow the Spartans' quick running backs to get into the open field. Forcing the Spartans into turnovers and three-and-outs will put the Redskins in position to win. If the game is close kicker Tommy Chapman gives Anderson a distinct advantage.
GLEN ESTE'S KEYS TO VICTORY: The defense has been the x-factor all season for the Spartans. In the team's four wins the unit has allowed just 7.5 points per game. In contrast, Glen Este has yielded 32.3 points per contest in their three defeats. Justin Mulloney will need to plug holes up front and allow linebackers Colin Pittman, Travis Jones and Victor Cave to make plays. Moving the chains on offense is also going to be a critical factor in the Spartans' game plan. Running backs Alec Scardina and Austin Duncanson will need to be productive and quarterback Shane Seckman will have to limit his mistakes while keeping the Redskins off balance.
FINAL TAKE: Both teams have players more than capable of making plays, but there are few players on either team that have played a game of this magnitude. Anderson's home-field advantage gives them a leg up in this tight contest. Expect the game to stay close, but look for the Redskins to show more balance and pull away in the end…ANDERSON 28, GLEN ESTE 20.