Even with a 1-5 overall record, Marietta High is expected to be the favorite when it plays host Rosecrans in an East Central Ohio League football game at John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium Friday at 7 p.m.
You see, the Bishops are winless at 0-6.
In a sense, it's a battle of the cellar dwellers in the ECOL.
Each school needs a win to boost its confidence.
Thing is, Marietta probably shouldn't even be playing Rosecrans in football. The Tigers are an Ohio Division 3, Region 9 school, while the Bishops are a Division 7, Region 25 team.
Division 3 vs. Division 7?
But don't blame Marietta for a slate that was made up in advance by the schedule-makers.
Plus, it's not neccesarily an automatic win for the Tigers. Last year, the Goliath orange and black gridders were "slewn" by the David Bishops, 10-0, at Don Drumm Stadium.
An embarrassing setback?
Needless to say, Marietta has an extra incentive and opportunity to avenge that 2012 defeat to Rosecrans.
Now, it's just a matter of doing it.
If you're worried that the Tigers won't, you should be.
Already this season, Marietta has stumbled against a smaller school, bowing 20-0 to Williamstown at Don Drumm Stadium on Sept. 13. The Yellowjackets compete on the Class A level in W.Va.
Rosecrans appears to be even smaller than Williamstown, at least roster-wise.
All told, about 17 Bishops are expected to be suited up for the Marietta game. That's not even enough for a practice scrimmage.
MHS needs to take advantage of that, and if it does, it'll prevail.
On the other hand, Rosecrans no doubt feels it has the homefield advantage against Marietta and a golden opportunity to get in the "W" column for the first time this fall.
With a victory, the Tigers can even their ECOL mark at 1-1, and with three games remaining on their grid schedule, there's still the mathematical possibility of a break-even year.
There's probably many people out there who can't see that happening.
Here's hoping, though, that the orange and black can prove the so-called prep football "experts" wrong.
And, it all starts with a win over Rosecrans.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org