Rayen vs. Alliance
When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: Stambaugh Stadium.
Rayen (0-1) scouting report: Although Rayen is coming off a 31-14 loss to Canfield, coach Pete Lymber, in his ninth season at the Tigers' helm, saw some bright spots in the setback. He said quarterback Ty Page ran the ball well after getting flushed out of the pocket, and compiled 145 yards of total offense. And that wide receiver Gerald Perkins caught six passes, running back Phil Morgan ran well, and that wide receiver Eric Brown caught TD and conversion passes for eight points. Lymber also pointed out that Rayen's entire offensive line, which he called a young unit, won the Helmet Award. The award winners were tackles Charlie Owens, Robert Hughes, Keith Brown and Nouri Noble, guard Tyree McQueen and center Aaron Thomas. On defense, Lymber said Hughes spearheaded the charge from his end post, and was so effective in turning back Canfield's offense that the Cards eventually tried to avoid heading in his direction.
The coach says: "[Several] mistakes and turnovers" spelled the losing the difference against Canfield, and the score "was not indicative" of the game -- Lymber, who cited three key errors that contributed to the Tigers' demise. He said Rayen fumbled two kickoff returns after good runs to spoil good field positions, and also had a bad pass from center that set up a Canfield score. "So it is just of matter of holding on to the football," said Lymber, noting that the two teams were close in total yardage. "We moved the ball. We had about 10 yards [less] than Canfield. But the turnovers were the difference."
Alliance scouting report: The Aviators were stopped at Minerva's 4-yard line and absorbed a 22-20 setback in their season opener last week. The game was switched from Friday to Saturday because of inclement weather. Coach Chris Zurbrugg, in his third year at the helm, said his team didn't attempt a field goal at the 4 because junior placekicker Tyler Newman was not with the team. Newman, who was recruited from the Alliance soccer team, had a soccer match that day. But Newman will be with the Aviators against Rayen Saturday. Zurbrugg was pleased with Alliance's defense. Sophomore end Josh Baker was named defensive player of the game. Baker had five total tackles. Linebackers Josh Grimes, Dustin McCrea and Marcell Carter each contributed seven tackles. Baker also is a linebacker and will be at that spot this week. Offensive player of the game was sophomore tailback Kendell Davis, who scored two touchdowns, passed for one TD and rushed for 127 yards in 20 carries. Davis' TDs came on a 78-yard kickoff return and a 64-yard run, and he passed about 20 yards to Nick Santis for a TD. Santis also plays quarterback as does John Lee, and both are expected to see duty against Rayen.
The coach says: "Offensively [we had] too many missed assignments. We just weren't as sharp as we could have been up front. That hurt us at times. We needed to keep drives going, [but] when you are three-and-out you can't do that" -- Chris Zurbrugg. Plus, "[We had] too many turnovers. We turned the ball over at the wrong time and they capitalized." Zurbrugg also placed some of the blame on inexperience. "We are playing a lot of young kids this year, and watching the game it kind of looked like a first game. There were a lot of mistakes." But, "I thought our defense really played really well."