In past seasons, Marietta High has had its problems against Gallia Academy on the gridiron.
Since 2002, the Tigers have only beaten the Blue Devils once in the last seven meetings, a 14-6 decision in 2008. Last year, the orange and black suffered a 34-21 setback at Don Drumm Stadium.
But this fall, things might be different. At least MHS (1-2) is hoping it will be when it visits GA (2-1) at Memorial Field in Gallipolis for a scheduled 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
This will be a non-conference game as Marietta is now a member of the East Central Ohio League. In past years, it was a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League tilt.
The game will also be Marietta's second straight on the road, after opening the season with a win and loss to Morgan (29-14) and Warren (44-24), respectively, at Don Drumm Stadium. Last Friday night, the Tigers struggled in a 34-7 defeat to the Class AAA undefeated Parkersburg Big Reds (3-0) at Stadium Field. Dedder Baker was a bright spot, though, rushing for 151 yards and the Tigers' lone TD.
"Dedder would've had close to 250 yards rushing, if they (officials) hadn't called a couple of his runs back," said first-year MHS head coach Bob Springer.
Overall, the Big Reds amassed 393 yards of total offense against the MHS defense.
"We just could not stop their offense," Springer said. "Plus, that was a very good Parkersburg team.
"But you know, our offensive line did a very good blocking job, and we ran the football well."
Springer singled out for praise blockers' Eddie Kimbrough, Austin Gaskins, Jon Hedrick and Nick Spurr.
While Marietta was losing to PHS, Gallia was downing the Wellston Golden Rockets 14-12 at C.H. Jones Field. The Blue Devils opened up the season with a 15-10 loss to Athens, but bounced back the following week to defeat Licking Heights, 17-7.
GA is quarterbacked by Wade Jarrell, who is a dual threat to either run or pass the football. His go-to receivers will probably be Justin Bailey and Cody Russell.
Gallia's workhorse, though, could be Brandon Taylor, who is very capable of rushing the football for 100-plus yardage (151 yards vs. Wellston and 102 yards vs. Licking Heights). He also has good hands and will catch the ball coming out of the backfield. The senior Blue Devil, who scored both of his team's touchdowns in the first half against Wellston, no doubt will be keyed on by the Tiger defensive unit.
If Taylor's not running the ball, then look for Nick Clagg to get some touches. Clagg gained 70 yards on 10 carries, while Russell chipped in with 38 on six totes against Wellston.
"Gallia is a good, old fashioned football team that likes to run the football," Springer said. "They have a huge offensive line and they know how to block.
"We know what will be coming. It's power football, and it's like a freight train. Can we stop it? It'll be a challenge."
In last year's game, GA hurt Marietta with its ground attack as Austin Wilson and QB Ethan Moore each rushed for over 100 yards. Fortunately for the Tigers, both Wilson and Moore have graduated.
Oh, yes, Taylor has a good, strong leg and is a very competent field goal kicker - with excellent range. Against Licking Heights, he split the uprights from 42 and 40 yards.
Defensively, Gallia limited LHHS to just 203 yards and Wellston to 246 yards of total offense, so nothing is expected to come easy for the MHS offense. The Tigers will have to earn it.