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The Daily



09-25-03: Bulldogs face off with Bath’s ’Cats


It appears the option is THE option for the Celina Bulldogs.
With the style of play changed due to injuries, the Bulldogs went to option with success in last week’s win over Elida.
Now a challenge against a formidable foe is in the offering on Friday as the Bulldogs head to Lima to face a strong Bath squad in Western Buckeye League action.
For the new-look Bulldogs, the 38-10 win over Elida was something of a boost given the losses of the leading running back Kyle Schott and starting quarterback Joe Kanney to season-ending injuries. The injury to Kanney prompted a change from the typical veer-offense to more of an option-based attack.
Brian Gagle, the utility man of the Celina lineup the past two seasons, moved into the quarterback role and handled the triple-threat option with success, especially in the second half. Gagle ran for 85 yards and passed for 74 more (on 6-of-15 passing) and got strong support from Brady Bonifas (129 yards rushing, three scores) and Tim Homan (50 yards receiving, one score).
“Brian did a nice job out there,” said Celina coach Mike Fell. “The offensive line did a great job giving Brian enough time to throw and to open some holes for the runners.”
Veteran Bath coach Jim Ehresman doesn’t think the change in backs or offense will affect his team’s planning for the game.
“We know Gagle is an athlete, and athletes can throw the ball,” said Ehresman. “We know Celina is a good team. We saw them run the option with Kanney in the films we have seen. We expect them to dive, to run and to pass.”
The Wildcats, 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the WBL, boast a strong balanced rushing and passing game that has Jim Ehresman’s team among the leaders in the WBL.
“We knew that coming into the early part of the season, Shawnee and Kenton were going to be tough games,” said Ehresman. “We felt good coming out of those two games 1-1 (Shawnee beat Bath 21-6, before getting a last second touchdown to beat Kenton 27-26). It proved that we could be a good team.”
Fell is very complimentary of the effort the Wildcats have put out this season.
Quarterback Kyle Mason has guided the Wildcats to big wins, most notably the last-second 27-26 win over Kenton in week three of the season. Mason is completing 51 percent of his passes (62-for-120) for 625 yards.
When passing, the target of choice is Ryan Reindel as the 5-11 senior has six touchdown catches this season to go with 294 yards receiving. When Reindel is covered, Paul Butterfield (223 yards, one score) and Brent Martin (118 yards on nine catches) provided some key yards. On the ground, Nick Sanchez has rushed for 224 yards.
On defense, the Wildcats allow just 10.6 points per game after shutting out the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans last week. Bath is third in pass defense, allowing just 76.8 yards a game and fourth in rush defense in allowing just 97.2 yards a game.
“We feel both teams, offense and defense, have playing well as a group,” said Ehresman. “The defensive coaches have done a great good preparing the team this season and getting them motivated. Our goal is to keep them off the field as much as possible to have them at their best.”
The rush defense numbers might be the key concern for Fell. Celina racked up 269 yards on the ground against an Elida team that was last in the WBL in defense.
“We’re going to have to attack them with the rush because that’s what is working for us right now,” said Fell. “That is a concern since the rush is something Bath attacks very well.”


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P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822