The McClain Tigers registered their second win of the season last Friday night as they held on to beat Miami Trace on the road 47-40 as Eric Anderson intercepted a Panthers’ pass in the end zone and ran it out to end the game.
This Friday the Tigers will welcome the Chillicothe Cavaliers to McClain High School for the second Frontier Athletic Conference game of the year.
The Cavaliers roll into town sporting a 5-1 record overall and after knocking off the previously undefeated Hillsboro Indians, 36-30, via a last second stop at the goal line.
Chillicothe holds the advantage in points per game heading into Friday’s matchup and is averaging 21.4 points.
McClain enters the fray with a 2-4 record and is averaging 15.2 points per game while allowing their opponents to average an even 36 points.
The Tigers have relied heavily this season on the production of junior Dalton Mischal, who leads the team in rushing and receiving with 83.4 and 15.2 yards per game, respectively.
Mischal is also tied for the Tigers’ lead in touchdowns this season with a total of three on the year.
Chillicothe is led offensively by J’Quan Harris and Zach Coats, who combined for five touchdowns in last week’s win over Hillsboro.
First year Tigers Head Coach Jake Orr-Zody has his team playing well coming into this week’s game. They have won two of their last three games and sit at 1-0 in the FAC.
The Tigers have struggled at times this season to hang onto the ball and that could come into play against a talented and athletic Cavalier defense.
McClain possess a strong running game and is averaging just over 200 yards per game on the ground.
I expect to see the Tigers continue to have success running the ball after watching the Cavaliers struggle to contain the Indians last week.
This will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, test of the season for the McClain team.
It is not likely that the Tigers will succeed this week against a Cavaliers team that is clearly better at this point in the season.
However, the Tigers have proven so far this year that they will not go down without a fight and I look forward to being there to see it all unfold.
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette.