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GTRA and North Union Football Preview for Oct. 2

By David Swartz - Managing Editor | Sep 30, 2020

RUTHVEN — After amassing just 84 total yards of offense in last week’s 45-0 loss to second ranked Remsen-St. Mary’s, the road doesn’t get any easier for the Titans this week.

GT/RA (1-3) goes on the road once again, this time to play Kingsley-Pierson (2-3).

Both the Titans and Panthers defeated River Valley this season, but Kingsley-Pierson shut out West Bend-Mallard 34-0 in Week 2 while the Titans lost 38-8 to the Wolverines in Week 1.

Kingsley-Pierson did a good job challenging seventh-ranked Newell-Fonda last week, losing by just 10, 32-22.

The Panthers’ offense is impressive with 1,001 yards on the ground and 560 through the air.

GTRA will be tasked with stopping lead rusher Josh Harvey, who has 602 yards on 107 carries. Also Damon Schmidt has 224 yards on 447 carries.

GT/RA is still looking for more help for quarterback Max hough. He leads the Titans in rushing with 274 yards on 53 carries while going 22-of-47 passing for 193 yards. Cormick Currans has 63 carries for 177 yards and also has caught 11 passes for 96 yards. However no other Titan has more than 15 rushing yards. In the receiving corps, Drew Schnell has four catches for 50 yards and Nolan Darr has seven catches for 40 yards.

The Titans’ defense does have 10 takeaways with seven interceptions and three fumble recoveries. Brock Grim leads in tackles with 32.5 while Schnell has 27.5 and Currans has 25.5. Lucas Rouse had 3.5 sacks.

Kole Reis leads the Panther defense with 37.5 tackles including eight sacks.

ARMSTRONG — North Union will try to bounce back after letting last week’s tough overtime loss to Bishop Garrigan.

The Warriors (1-4) will have an even tougher week, taking on seventh-ranked West Hancock (4-1).

The Eagles lost 14-6 to Class 2A Garner-Hayfield-Ventura in Week 1 then edged Class 1A Forest City 13-7 in Week 2. West Hancock hasn’t been challenged as much in its last three games against Bishop Garrigan (35-0), St. Edmond (55-14) and Alta-Aurelia (54-26).

Both West Hancock and North Union will look to establish the ground game.. The Eagles have 1,485 rushing yards compared to 1,235 for the Warriors.

West Hancock does not look to pass much as quarterback Cayson Barnes is just 7-of-20 for 82 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Cole Kelly, a 5-10, 210-pound senior, leads the Eagles with 124 carries for 983 yards and 19 touchdowns. Two other players have more than 100 rushing yards with ZaKane Zuel carrying the ball 28 times for 190 yards while Matthew Francis has 37 carries for 175 yards.

North Union relies mostly on senior running back Ryan Lang for its ground attack. Lang has 118 carries for 957 yards and 13 touchdowns. Quarterback Carter Morphew has 203 yards and one touchdown on 43 carries.

Morphew has had more success in the air, going 38-of-73 passing for 544 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Bryer Prochniak is the top receiver with 13 catches for 204 yards while Aidan Fries also has 13 carries for 168 yards. Four other players have at least one catch.

North Union’s defense has a slight edge in takeaways with eight compared to West Hanocck.

Christian Bierstedt leads the Warrior defense with 39.5 tackles followed closely by Prochniak with 37 while Izaak Martens has 31.5.

Matthew Fransics leads the Eagle defense with 24.5 tackles while Ben Martinez has 24.