Sometimes, high school football coaches really don't have to view film to know an opponent's tendencies and nuances.
That certainly could be the case when Marietta (1-0) hosts Warren (1-0) in a battle of undefeated gridiron squads at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Don Drumm Stadium.
The Tigers and Warriors, Washington County's biggest high schools, probably know each other like the back of their hands.
Even so, MHS head coach Bob Springer and Warren boss Andy Schob (and their respective Tiger and Warrior staffs) will no doubt still be burning the midnight oil - looking for something...anything that might be key to a victory.
And, then there's always those trick plays that coaches like to mix in the offensive package.
Marietta knows of course that Warren likes to throw the football.
MHS vs. Warren
(Series since 1991)
2010: Marietta 33, Warren 28
2009: Warren 35, Marietta 19
2008: Marietta 26, Warren 21
2007: Marietta 40, Warren 7
2006: Marietta 21, Warren 0
2005: Marietta 35, Warren 12
2004: Marietta 35, Warren 14
2003: Marietta 44, Warren 42
2002: Marietta 56, Warren 20
2001: Warren 21, Marietta 13
2000: Warren 34, Marietta 0
1999: Warren 14, Marietta 7
1998: Warren 27, Marietta 10
1997: Warren 16, Marietta 0
1996: Warren 47, Marietta 7
1995: Warren 43, Marietta 19
1994: Warren 29, Marietta 7
1993: Warren 14, Marietta 3
1992: Warren 21, Marietta 20
1991: Marietta 17, Warren 6
"Warren threw the ball exactly twice as many times as they ran the ball - 12 runs and 27 passes," said Springer of Warren's season opening 34-10 triumph over host Philo last Friday night at Sam Hatfield Stadium in Duncan Falls.
Actually, Springer is nearly right about the passing. Warren quarterback Dylan Leffingwell completed 16 of 24 throws for 238 yards and three touchdowns, all to Jeremy Fivecoait of 13, 53 and 15 yards.
Fivecoait finished with a whopping 11 catches for 175 yards.
Leffingwell had no interceptions, and only aired it out twice in the second half.
As far as running the football, though, Warren rushed for a 120 yards on 28 carries against Philo - and lost no fumbles. Leffingwell turned out to be the leading ground gainer with 53 yards on 12 carries. Next was Dustin Harlow who had 38 yards on eight attempts.
"A major reason we played so well (vs. Philo) was due to the intensity and attitude our team showed from pregame to the end of the game," said second-year Warren head football coach Andy Schob. "Our team leaders did a great job demanding that."
Much of Warren's rushing yardage came after the break when the Warriors were attempting to milk the clock and protect the lead.
"Warren has a veteran team and seems to be clicking," Springer said. "Philo had a lot of returning kids off a 6-4 season, so...we will have our hands full."
Overall, Warren had good balance offensively in its opener. But make no mistake about it, the Warriors are still primarily pass-oriented. With players like Leffingwell and Fivecoait, any coach would be.
"Leffingwell is the real deal as is Fivecoait," Springer said.
Needless to say, Marietta has spent a lot of practice time in pass coverage this week. Tiger secondary people like Dedder Baker, Matt Thompson, Mitchel Gearhart and Quinton Coffield will definitely be tested by Leffingwell's strong right arm.
And, the MHS defense of people like Matt Morris, Chance Wright, Jon Hedrick, and Alex Hogan will have to apply pressure and lots of it on the Warren signal caller if the Tigers hope to neutralize the Warrior air attack.
Leffingwell certainly will be looking at other receivers besides Fivecoait, too, like Josh Windland, Jeremy Hastie, and Josh Mays, who combined for eight receptions and 63 yards against Philo.
Mays also rushed for a seven-yard touchdown.
Defensively, Warren is spearheaded by top tackler Austin Henthorn. The Warriors limited the Electrics to 10 total points. 'Nuff said.
Heath Blair and Joey Lane had seven solo tackles apiece and Harlow five assists against Philo.
If passing is Warren's primary strength, then running the football has to be Marietta's. It's also a way, if it's moving the chains, to keep the Warrior offense off the field.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Baker rushed for 138 yards on 20 carries and two touchdown runs of 47 and one yard in the Tigers' season opening 29-14 win against Morgan at Don Drumm Stadium last Friday night.
"Dustin (Dedder) Baker is an excellent high school running back and player," Schob said. "He runs hard, can break tackles, and has the speed to run away from people."
Baker also had a 27-yard TD reception from QB Justin Futrell just before the half, which turned out to be pivotal in the contest. The score put the Tigers in the lead 14-7.
"That was a big play scoring before the half," Springer said. "And Dedder Baker had a wonderful game."
Yes, he did, and so did the 5-5, 155-pound Gearhart, who ran for a big insurance touchdown of 33 yards late in the fourth quarter to seal the win against the Raiders.
"Mitchel Gearhart ran hard and had the bulk of his 65 yards in the final period," Springer said. "Gearhart and Dedder's "spirit" pulled us through to a victory."
Defensively, Warren knows that if Baker and Gearhart aren't contained, it will be a very long night for the Warriors. The royal blue and white also cannot ignore Futrell, who, even though he had two throws intercepted against Morgan, is a good passer.
"Warren's stunting defense is a challenge," Springer said.
Baker and Gearhart did it on the defensive side of the ball as well, combining for 16 tackles and several assists, Springer said. The Marietta coach also singled out for praise the defensive play of Morris, Wright, Hedrick and Logan.
"Morris (6-3, 220) was difficult to handle from his defensive end position in the final quarter," Springer said.
Morris no doubt will be "itching" to introduce himself to Leffingwell.
Marietta was also opportunitistic against Morgan as Austin Gaskins, Spencer Frum and Gearhart each recoved a Raider fumble.
Overall, against Morgan....
"Like all young teams, we had some very good moments and some not so good," Springer said.
"Our work is cut out for us against Warren and we are up to the challenge," the Tigers coach continued. "This should be an exciting game."
Schob agreed and added, "As often reminded, Marietta beat us last year 33-28. Marietta only lost four seniors off that team, compared to us losing 17 seniors. We now have to travel to their home field this year. Obviously, we will be considered the underdog, but we will come ready to play."
If the game comes down to a field goal, both Warren and Marietta have good kickers. Chas Miller of the Warriors booted field goals of 41 and 29 yards in the win against Philo.
Brent Huck of the Tigers did not attempt a FG against Morgan, but has very good range, according to Springer.
NOTES: In the category of for what it's worth, Marietta defeated Warren 33-28 in last year's season finale in Vincent. The Warrior defense was unable to stop the run as Marietta tailback Morgan Wynn rushed for 240 yards on 31 carries and four touchdowns. He also passed for another score.
Overall, the Tigers rushed for 302 yards on 51 carries. The orange and black attempted five passes.
Leffingwell led the Warriors, completing 12 of 34 passes for 261 yards and four TDs, one of 38 yards to Fivecoait.
A very emotional game (as to be expected in a rivalry showdown), Marietta and Warren combined for 278 yards in penalties. There was also a fourth-quarter brawl on the field, which saw two players from each team ejected.
As it turned out, this was Craig Farnworth's last game as the Marietta head football coach as earlier this year the first-year Tiger boss stepped down from the helm.
The game was also Marietta's last as a member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL). The Tigers are now competing in the East Central Ohio League (ECOL).
Warren, which defeated Schob-coached Marietta 35-19 in 2009, is still a member of the SEOAL.
So, Friday night's tilt at Don Drumm Stadium is non-conference.