VINCENT - Warren is hoping to capitalize on the homefield advantage in its first two football games of the 2012 campaign.
First and foremost on the Warriors' minds is the season-opener against Philo at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Andy Schob-coached royal and blue gridders will worry about visiting and arch-rival Marietta High next week.
"Philo's a good football team," said Schob. "They're big and strong, and their junior class is extremely talented.
"Philo is probably one of the best three teams on our schedule. They are picked by many people to finish second or third in their conference (Muskingum Valley League) behind Tri-Valley and Sheridan."
Philo is expected to be quarterbacked by Zak Sheridan. One of the Electrics' better running backs is Kaleb Wiseman.
"Sheridan is great with the option and can beat you with his arm and legs," Schob said. "Wiseman is big and runs very hard.
"Our players will need to be physical and carry out their assignments for all four quarters to contain these players along with other talented Electrics."
Last year at Sam Hatfield Stadium in Duncan Falls, Warren defeated Dirk Lincicome-coached Philo, 34-10. The Warriors led 17-0 at the end of one quarter and 31-3 at halftime.
"We came out and played one of the best first halves that we could play," Schob recalled, "and they struggled early."
Warren quarterback Dylan Leffingwell finished with three touchdown throws to lead the way for the royal blue and white.
"We beat them on their turf, and they ended up the season 6-4," said Schob, who guided the Warriors to a 5-5 mark in 2011 (and 2010). Philo, no doubt, will have payback on its mind this Friday night.
"Coach Lincicome has done a great job building their program and wants to take the next step of being consistent winners, just as we are working to do the same thing," Schob said.
If Warren plays like it did against Herbert Hoover in a scrimmage last Friday, look out Electrics. The Warriors, sparked by three Leffingwell TD tosses to David Ryan (2) and Chas Miller (1), defeated the Huskies of Kanawha County, 35-7, with a 40-minute running clock.
"We moved the ball really well against Herbert Hoover," Schob said. "Austin Kuhn was actually our leading ground gainer. He ran really well, and our line blocked really well."
Warren running backs Jake Scott and Zach Clegg also rushed the football effectively.
Warren, however, was not as formidable in the nightcap of that scrimmage twinbill against Logan (W.Va.) when it dropped a 13-7 decision, again with a 40-minute running clock. Perhaps the Warriors were feeling the effects of competing twice on the same day?
"That's no excuse," Schob said. "Again, we moved the ball well, but we've got to finish drives better."