Marietta High is hoping the momentum of last Friday night's 14-9 homecoming win over River View at Don Drumm Stadium carries over at Cambridge High at 7:30 p.m this Friday.
The Bob Springer-coached Tigers (2-3 overall, 1-0 East Central Ohio League) will be departing Washington County for Guernsey County brimming with confidence. The orange and black after all had to rally in the third quarter to defeat the Black Bears (1-4) - and that's always a sign of a good football team - battling back.
Sparking the come-from-behind effort was Dedder Baker, who finished with 150 rushing yards and both of Marietta's touchdowns on runs of 22 yards and one yard. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior standout also had a 25-yard pass reception and returned a kickoff 77 yards to set up the winning TD.
Baker appeared to be all over the stadium turf, because he also had three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.
"What a wonderful effort by Dedder Baker tonight," said Springer afterwards. "He did it all."
So far this fall, Baker has rushed for 623 yards on 91 carries, an average of 6.85 yards per touch.
Do you think Cambridge's defense might be keying on Baker?
No doubt about it, but MHS has other offensive weapons in quarterback Justin Futrell, and running backs' Mitchel Gearhart and Quinton Coffield.
Defensively against River View, Gearhart was credited with four solo tackles and 12 assists; Tanner Leach added two solos and eight assists; Matt Morris assisted on nine stops; and Anthony and Eddie Kimbrough were in on a combined total of 11 tackles.
On special teams, Austin Gaskins punted three times for an average of 43.6 yards per kick. On kickoffs, Geno DeMaio had two end zone shots.
And, Brent Huck was two-for-two on points after touchdown.
As for Cambridge....
CHS (4-1) suffered its first setback of the season to host and undefeated Sheridan (5-0) last Friday night, dropping a 34-14 decision. The Bobcats, who trailed 21-0 at halftime, scored both of their touchdowns after the intermission. One was on a 44-yard TD strike from quarterback Trevor Wilson to Reese Laishley in the third quarter. Cody Engstrom kicked the extra point.
Cambridge's last score was a six-yard run by Dashaun Lewis in the final period. The Bobcats' tailback finished with 97 yards on 19 carries.
"Cambridge should be a ranked team," Springer said. "Sheridan by all accounts will have a good run deep into the playoffs.
"I spoke with a Cambridge coach Saturday morning, and he was simply impressed with Sheridan."
Cambridge without question will be smarting a little and anxious to get back on track. Lewis, who has rushed for 841 yards on 119 carries and 14 touchdowns this season, figures to be the workhorse.
"Lewis is simply a wonderful back who has to be hit before he gets up that head of steam," Springer said. "They have more than him, however - and they can throw the ball."
On the season, Wilson has completed 46 of 77 passes for 874 yards and six TDs. He's also had two throws intercepted.
Laishley, Wilson's primary target, has 14 catches for 389 yards and four scores.
"Our defense must balanced," Springer said.
In the category of "for what it's worth," Marietta halted a six-game losing streak in the all-time series by defeating Cambridge 35-21 in a non-conference matchup last season.
This year, of course, it's a league game.
During the 2010 contest at Don Drumm Stadium, the Tigers had a 99-plus yard scoring drive.
Lewis only rushed for 23 yards on 10 carries in that game.
But again, all of this was a year ago.
"This will be an interesting game," said Springer of this Friday night's ECOL tilt.