Tiger football seeks ECOL win vs. Cambridge

JEFF BAUGHAN The Marietta Times Marietta’s Dominic Vanfossen, right, carries the ball against Parkersburg during a high school football game last week at Don Drumm Stadium. Fellow Tiger Tyler Warner (59) looks to block.

It’s easy to see how Marietta High School football has developed under the leadership of Jason Schob.

The Tigers have enjoyed back-to-back victories over Parkersburg and have opened the past two seasons winning four of their first five games. Some might say that just scratches the surface on how much Marietta has improved since Schob took over in 2014.

However, there is one goal Schob and the Tigers have yet to accomplish – win an East Central Ohio League football game in the Scartlet Division.

“We’ve mentioned it many times to the team,” said Schob, who is 12-13 in two-and-a-half seasons. “That is one of the motivating factors for us. Making the playoffs is another one, and a victory against Cambridge would be crucial to that happening.”

The Tigers (4-1) host Cambridge at 7 p.m. Friday at Don Drumm Stadium. Cambridge (4-1) opened the season with four straight victories, but last week endured a dogfight with undefeated Coshocton. The Bobcats fell to the Redskins 34-27 during Coshocton’s homecoming.

“(Coshocton has) an outstanding team and running the Wing T as long as they have, we knew it would be tough to stop them,” said Cambridge coach Kevin Gunn. “They were able to move the ball. We were able to move the ball as well. With a few minutes left in the game it was tied. As a fan, this was a great high school football game.”

The Bobcats lost 15 seniors from last year’s squad and Cambridge quarterback Nathan Snodgrass has been a nice surprise this season. Last week, he threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to running back William Lowe.

“He’s done a fine job and he worked very hard during the summer and he continues to do so during the season,” Gunn said. “We still have some young kids that are playing … When you don’t have the numbers on the roster you are going to have to play the young kids.”

Cambridge has a solid kicker in Alex Leeper, who made a 36-yarder last week. Lowe is known as a tough running back who had a TD last week.

“Cambridge has improved from last year and defensively they caused a lot of problems with stunts, and blitzes and loops,” Schob said. “Cambridge gives you a lot to prepare for.”

The Bobcats have been tested this year, as only one victory was a blow out – 48-14 over Logan. Cambridge has close wins over Indian Creek (26-19), John Glenn (17-13) and Canton South (13-6).

Marietta has also had an interesting first half of the season.

One week after a humbling loss to St. Marys, a Class A West Virginia squad, the Tigers bounced back and dismantled rival Parkersburg, a Class AAA team, 49-13. It was arguably Marietta’s best defensive performance as the Tigers held PHS to 199 total yards.

“Obviously we’re pretty happy to be 4-1 right now,” Schob said. “Beating Parkersburg was absolutely huge. It shows a lot about our team that we were able to bounce back from a loss to St. Marys. It showed we are not going to give up no matter what the situation.”

MHS senior quarterback Trent Dawson had another big game as he completed 24 of 27 passes for 293 yards and five touchdowns – four of them to senior Isaac Danford. Travis Moore remains another top target – 12 receptions for 154 yards and one touchdown last week.

Dawson has completed 83 of 124 passes for 1,307 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has thrown just three interceptions. Danford has 32 receptions for 571 yards and eight touchdowns, while Moore has 33 receptions for 506 yards and five touchdowns.

The Tigers will try to keep things balanced on offense with Dominic Vanfossen getting the majority of the carries. He rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown against Parkersburg. On the season, Vanfossen has 414 yards on 60 rushes this season.

“Coach Schob has done a nice job, and this game is going to be another challenging task,” Gunn said. “Last year they had the success and they are having success right now. They can put some points on the board and that’s a concern for us.”

Gunn also understands the importance of Friday’s game on post-season dreams.

“This time of year you tell them … championships are won in October,” Gunn said. “We’re getting into the league. We know how challenging it is. They understand what we have in front of us.”