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Cadets to face ‘dangerous’ ’Rocks

BEVERLY — Undefeated Fort Frye High is all alone at the top.

The Cadets (6-0) recently learned that they are currently top-ranked in OHSAA Division VI, Region 21. They are also No. 6 in the Ohio High School Football AP State poll.

“We just want to be a playoff host, and focus on what we can do,” said Fort Frye head coach Eric Huck. “We have no control over the polls.”

Host Barnesville High (3-3) is next on the FFHS hit list at 7 p.m. this Friday. The Blake Allen-coached Shamrocks, after opening the season with three wins, have dropped three in a row, including a 34-13 setback to Warren High of Washington County last Friday night.

“Barnesville’s a good football team and a dangerous one, too,” Huck said. “They’re athletic with some good skill players. They also have some big people on the line.”

On that same Friday evening last week in Beverly, Fort routed Mike Young-coached Wheeling Central, 42-0.

The West Virginia Class A two-time defending state champion Maroon Knights, currently No. 8 in single-A with a 4-2 record, had not been blanked on the gridiron in seven previous seasons.

The Cadets are expected to feature running backs Tyler Fisher and Zane Wallace against Barnesville. Both rushed for 100-plus yards and combined to score five of the six FFHS touchdowns against Wheeling Central.

Doing much of the blocking for this dynamic duo were left tackle Casey Brooker, left guard Isiah Jones, center Dylan Hart, right guard Braden Medley, right tackle Kadin Six and tight end Eric Isner.

These guys love to play smash-mouth football and control the line of scrimmage.

“They’ve been very good all season in moving defenders and making big holes for the running backs,” Huck said.

Oh, yeah, Fisher and Wallace also combined to catch all five of sophomore quarterback Ian Ellis’ completions.

That the Shamrock defense might have its work cut out for itself would be an understatement.

Defensively, the Fort, sparked by the hard hitting of Hart and the ball hawking of Brady Schilling, isn’t too shabby, either. Last week, the Cadets limited the Maroon Knight to eight first downs and 42 total yards.

Fort Frye has shut out three of its last four opponents on the gridiron, and not allowed any points since week 4 at Meadowbrook.

Barnesville junior Ayden Hannahs is expected to take center snaps, and his primary receivers will be Gage Hannahs and Uryan Meade.

The Shamrocks have a couple of big ones in the backfield in 5-foot-10, 237-pound Caden Lake and 6-3, 180-pound Alex Meade.

Last year in Beverly, Barnesville jumped out to an early 14-0 lead against Fort before ultimately falling, 42-20, to the Cadets.

“They’re capable of being very good,” Huck said. “We’re going to have to be ready to go.”

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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