open WBL slate
By RYAN HINES
With the lone nonleague game of the season over, it’s
time for the Celina football team to turn its focus to the
Western Buckeye League slate.
On tap for the Bulldogs will be Van Wert on Friday night at
7:30 p.m. at Eggeress Stadium.
“It’s always important to start off the league
season well because the WBL is so good that it’s tough
to recover from early losses,” said Celina head coach
“The WBL is tough week in and week out and the first
league game is just as important as the last league game of
the season,” said Van Wert head coach Jeff Hood. “It’s
always nice to be able to build momentum early in the season
because sometimes that can vault you through the season.”
Both teams enter the contest with 1-0 marks as Celina cruised
past Greenville 47-8 while Van Wert beat Bryan 26-14 in the
first week of action.
“The first win for us was big because it gave the kids
positive reinforcement of the new things that we are doing
this year,” said Hood.
Last year, offense was at a premium as these two teams met
on the final regular season evening of the year with Celina
slipping past Van Wert 10-7 on a 37-yard field goal from Josh
Green with 2:15 to go in the game.
This year, Celina’s offense appears to be explosive
after a 411-yard effort against Greenville while the offense
could still be a concern for Van Wert as the Cougars managed
just 231 total yards (116 passing, 115 rushing) of offense
against a mediocre Bryan team.
“We’re very young and inexperienced at the varsity
level. There are some mistakes that we made against Bryan
that are fixable,” said Hood who had a losing record
last season (4-6) for the first time since 1996.
One bright spot for Van Wert’s offense against Bryan
was the play of quarterback John Moonshower, who started his
first game for the Cougars. Moonshower (6-3, 170, junior)
completed 8-of-16 passes for 116 yards and two scores in his
Split end Craig Syphrit (6-2, 165, senior) and tight end B.J.
Knapke (6-4, 195, senior) caught the two scoring passes from
Dan Goodlan (6-0, 195, junior) was the top rusher for Van
Wert last week with 72 yards and a touchdown on just eight
“We grew a lot in our first game as a team and came
away with no injuries and John Moonshower did a very nice
job in his first start at quarterback for us,” stated
Hood. “What we need to do is run the ball better to
take some pressure off of our young quarterback. If we can
run the ball better, that should help our whole offense.”
Offense doesn’t appear to be a big worry for Fell and
the Bulldogs after last weeks performance.
Kyle Schott (148 yards rushing) and Brady Bonifas (67 yards
rushing) controlled things on the ground while Joe Kanney
(95 yards passing) kept the defense honest with precision
passing to his talented group of wideouts. Expect a similar
gameplan Friday with a little more passing against the Cougars
as the Green and White look to keep its high-powered offense
“Van Wert runs a 4-3 defense which will put seven people
in the box so we figure that we will have to throw the ball
more this week to move the ball on offense,” said Fell.
“The key for us will be how our offensive line plays
because Van Wert always blitzes linebackers and we must be
able to protect our quarterback if we are going to throw the
ball more. We have to win the battle up front.”
“With an offense like Celina has, our key will be to
try and contain them, because I’m not sure that we can
stop them completely,” explained Hood. “We’re
going to try to stop their run first and we need to make them
earn their scores and not get anything too easy.”
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