BEVERLY - When the Fort Frye Cadets travel to Lore City to take on the Buckeye Trail Warriors Friday night, a share of first place in the PVC will be on the line.
Both teams are 4-2 overall on the season, while the Warriors are a perfect 3-0 in the PVC compared to 2-1 for the Cadets.
Buckeye Trail has league wins over Caldwell (29-7), Frontier (21-12) and Shenandoah (48-14) last week. Fort Frye, after dropping its season opener to River (38-13), has won back-to-back league games against Monroe Central (27-0) and Frontier (40-6).
Times file photo
Fort Frye’s Spencer Lang (42) stiff arms a Belpre defender during a non-conference game on Aug. 31.
Both teams head into the game with fairly different styles. While the Warriors are a big, physical team, the Cadets are a smaller but quicker group. Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck knows the Dale Broomhall-coached Warriors present a big challenge.
"They are a big, physical football team," Huck said. "They've got a couple of running backs in (Lane) Starr and (Seth) Doudna that run the ball hard. They play pretty disciplined football."
Along with Starr and Doudna, the Buckeye Trail offense will be led by quarterback Morgan Dougherty and running back Tyler Nealey.
On the other side, the Cadets have been led by the triple threat of quarterback Chandler Lang, running back Spencer Lang and fullback Max Alsbach.
At quarterback, junior Chandler has completed 37-of-68 pass attempts for 650 yards and nine touchdowns to six interceptions. Chandler also has racked up 472 yards on 49 carries, which equates to a team-leading 9.6 yards per carry. He also leads the team with nine rushing touchdowns and 61 tackles on defense.
Alsbach, a senior, leads the team with 603 rushing yards on 74 carries and five scores. He and senior Justin Massey each have an interception to lead the team.
Spencer, also a senior, is the team's leading receiver with 254 yards on 12 catches and four touchdowns. On the ground he has 392 rushing yards on 52 attempts and four more touchdowns. He also done a good job on defense as the team's number one corner, routinely matching up against opponents' number one receivers.
Other top receiving options for the Cadets are senior Tyser Shilling (7 rec, 148 yards, 2td), senior Justin Massey (6 rec, 134 yards, 1td) and junior Colten Shuster (4 rec, 66 yards). The Cadets have also been solid up front on both sides of the ball. Senior Dylan Bowman has provided solid protection from the left tackle spot, as well as been a dominant pass rusher. Also contributing on the lines have been sophomore Tyler Wittekind, junior Garrett Hall, sophomore Branden Close, junior Drew Layton, freshman Derek Layton, sophomore Luke Yates, sophomore Sam Bidwell and junior C.J. Huck.
The Cadets have a very well-balanced group but also, perhaps more importantly, they have good chemistry.
"They're very coachable," Huck said. "They work extremely hard and are excellent leaders. Also, they're a very football savvy group. They understand the game and what it takes to win."
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m., and the winner of the game will move into the driver's seat in the conference.