Washington County foes Fort Frye, Warren to face off

JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times Warren’s Ronnie Hill carries the ball during a high school football game against Marietta earlier this season.

BEVERLY — It may look like a mismatch, but Fort Frye coach Eric Huck isn’t convinced.

“I know (Warren has) struggled a little so far this season,” Huck said. “But they are a D3 school and they’ll be playing a D6 school and that’s something we have to be aware of. They have athletes and we have to be ready to play.”

Warren, who is still looking for its first win of the season, travels to Fort Frye for another non-conference game Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Fort Frye (2-1) is coming off of an emotional 23-19 victory over the Cadets’ biggest rival Waterford, and they could be primed to go on a long winning streak.

“I felt we were ready to play and they had that look,” Huck said. “But we started out the game about as bad as anyone could.”

However, Fort Frye got back to running the ball with its three talented backs – Tyler Bradford, Tyler Fisher and Evan Schob – and controlled the pace of the game in the second half.

Bradford led the Fort Frye ground game with 85 yards on 13 carries last week. But any of Huck’s running backs could have a big night against Warren. In the season opener, Fisher rushed for 173 yards. That’s not a good mix for the Warriors, who gave up 249 yards on the ground, including five runs of 20 yards or more in last week’s loss.

“It’s one of the good things about the Wing-T offense, we have a lot of options,” Huck said. “We take advantage of what the defense gives us. Tyler Bradford is a heck of a runner and he’s powerful. He’s tough to bring down.”

Warren has struggled through the first three games against bigger and faster teams. The Warriors (0-3) have been outscored 151-30, including a 54-7 loss to Point Pleasant last week.

Early in the game against the Big Black, Warren coach Tim Carver’s offense carved out an 18-play, 68-yard scoring drive that was capped off by quarterback Ronnie Hill rushing around the right end for a 7-yard TD.

“(Hill) can run the ball very well, and we’ll have to protect against that,” Huck said. “(Running back) Tyler Schafer can run the ball really well too.”

Hill also showed off his arm during the touchdown series by completing four passes for 45 yards.

“Our first three games have been against teams who are more experienced and are tough for us to match up with all game,” Carver said. “It’s going to be the same (this) week. It’s been hard for us to find our footing early in the season.”

If Warren wants to pull off an upset, the Warriors will need to stop the run and force Fort Frye quarterback Tate Engle to beat them through the air. Of course, the junior is in his third year as a starter and is up to the challenge.

Last week, Engle completed five passes for 117 yards, including a 55-yard scoring strike to Braden Henniger.

“Tate can throw the ball well if we need him too,” Huck said.