Marietta High has one more non-conference game before getting into East Central Ohio League play for the remainder of the season.
At 7:30 p.m. Friday at Don Drumm Stadium, the Tigers are slated to take on the Gallia Academy Blue Devils, an "old" foe from their Southeastern Ohio Athletic League days.
Both MHS and Gallia own a 1-2 record on the season.
JEFF BAUGHAN Special to The Times
Marietta High defenders gang tackle a Parkersburg ballcarrier during prep football action at Don Drumm Stadium last Friday night. This Friday evening, the Tigers are scheduled to host Gallia Academy in another non-conference tilt.
"Our guys need to continue to demand more from themselves and each other," said first-year Marietta head football coach Adam Eichhorn. "We have taken big steps from Week 1 to Week 3, and if that trend continues, good things will happen for our players."
Marietta is coming off a tough 26-21 loss to the Parkersburg Big Reds at Don Drumm last Friday night. This season, the Tigers have had to play catchup in the second half in all three of their games.
Against Morgan in the season opener, Marietta rallied from a two touchdown halftime deficit to defeat the Raiders, 41-35.
In Week 2, Marietta actually led Warren at the break, 7-6, but then couldn't overcome a 29-0 Warrior run in the second half and fell 35-7.
MHS trailed the Big Reds 13-7 at the intermission and 26-7 late in the fourth quarter before rallying for two touchdowns and reducing the deficit to five.
Recovering two onside kicks in the fourth quarter, Marietta put itself in a position to possibly win, but ultimately came up short.
MHS quarterback Anthony Kimbrough led the Tigers, completing 16 of 39 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns to Quinton Coffield (66 yards), Jaron Binegar (18 yards), and John Henry (15 yards), respectively.
Kimbrough also was his team's leading ground gainer with 82 yards on 20 carries.
Since the series with Parkersburg was resumed in 2009, Marietta has dropped four straight. The Tigers have not defeated the Big Reds on the gridiron since 1990.
Meanwhile, the Mike Eddy-coached Blue Devils kicked off their season with a 52-34 triumph over Athens (2-1), but have dropped their last two decisions to undefeated Licking Heights (3-0) and Ironton (3-0), respectively.
"Gallia has had three very tough opening games this season," Eichhorn said. "Their record doesn't indicate how good of a team they are. On film they are a very disciplined, intense football team.
"They are coming off a playoff appearance last year and obviously are looking to get back on path to get there again this year."
Last Friday night, Gallia fell 14-13 to the Ironton Fighting Tigers at Tanks Memorial Stadium in Lawrence County. Before that contest, the Blue Devils hadn't lost consecutive football games since the 2009 season.
GAHS outgained IHS in total yards offensively, 300-151 (196-91 rushing), had a 19-7 advantage in first downs, and led at the half 7-0. But while winning the stats battle, it lost the war in the final score - by one measly point.
The Blue Devils have now lost six straight to Ironton in the series.
Near the end of the contest, Gallia, after recovering a fumble and then scoring a TD, had a chance to take the lead but a two-point pass attempt fell incomplete.
GAHS is expected to be quarterbacked by 6-foot, 160-pound junior Wade Jarrell (11-of-23 passing for 104 yards vs. IHS), and one of his primary receivers is Nick Clagg (5-9, 165), who had a TD reception with 30 seconds left in the Ironton game.
The Blue Devil running game will probably feature Ty Warnimont 5-9, 170), Luke Pullins (5-9, 190), Cody Russell (5-10, 160), and Logan Allison (5-9, 185).
While Gallia can throw the football, it has a history of liking the smashmouth style of play and controlling the line of scrimmage. Brian Williams, at 6-3, 255 pounds, is one of the Blue Devils better pass rushers.
"They are aggressive on defense and they play through the whistle on offense," Eichhorn said.
Marietta's defense limited Parkersburg to 102 yards rushing, and allowed its principal ballcarrier Adam Lindamood only 25 yards on the ground. So, there's reason to believe that the orange and black is very capable of containing the Gallia run.
The Tiger defensive secondary, however, was vulnerable to the PHS passing game as the Big Reds threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns.
A couple of other factors that could come into play Friday night is special teams and kicking.
Gallia gave up a 60-yard punt return for a score against Ironton - and it proved to be costly for the Blue Devils.
Marietta, it appears, has a knack for recovering onside kicks.
Of course, the Tigers are hoping they will have the lead in the fourth quarter and won't have to resort to this tactic against Gallia.
Gallia's field goal kicking also may be suspect as its sophomore booter Dylan Saunders missed on attempts of 33 and 40 yards in the first half against Ironton.