Marietta High kicked off the prep football season with a win at Morgan, and it has high hopes of closing out the campaign with a victory against Division 2, Region 7 top-ranked Zanesville High in an East Central Ohio League tilt at John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday night.
In between, the Adam Eichhorn-coached Tigers (1-8 overall, 0-4 ECOL) have dropped eight straight, and have been blanked three consecutive contest, including last Friday night's 48-0 setback at Dover.
"This week we say goodbye to six seniors that have poured their hearts into this program," Eichhorn said. "These young men have battled and been on a roller coaster of emotions this season. It would be pretty special for not only our seniors, but the program as a whole to come out with a win over Zanesville."
MHS has not scored since John Henry ran three yards to paydirt in the fourth quarter of a 41-7 defeat to Cambridge at Don Drumm Stadium on Sept. 28.
That's 12 straight quarters without any Tiger points.
Marietta came close to scoring in the 10-0 loss to Bishop Rosecrans on Oct. 12 , but fumbled on the one-foot line and lost the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Later in the contest, the orange and black had makeable field goal blocked.
MHS really didn't come close to seriously getting on the scoreboard against Dover (7-2, 4-0), which is on the verge of being playoff-bound.
As a matter of fact, a total of five Marietta opponents this fall are probably going to be competing in the postseason, including Zanesville (8-1, 3-1).
Zanesville is one of the top programs in the state in Division 2. Against a team like Zanesville, we need to be able to look beyond their record and ranking, and focus on us."
Last Friday night, the Chad Grandstaff-coached Blue Devils clinched a berth in the playoffs with a 47-9 triumph over visiting Cambridge (5-4, 1-3). Leading the way, quarterback Thomas Wibbeler passed for 188 yards and three scores, and RB Jamal Gladden rushed for 80 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Zanesville limited the Bobcats to 175 total offensive yards and one TD.
ZHS needs a win against MHS to secure a postseason opening-round homefield game. So, the Tigers are kind of in the spoiler position.
But Marietta will have a lot of difficulty getting into the win column if all it can generate on offense is 97 total yards of offense, which it had against Dover.
MHS is expected to start Anthony Kimbrough, its leading ground gainer, at QB. Some of the other Tiger weapons are Quinton Coffield, Connor Beavers, and Chance Wright.
Defensively, the Tigers are led by Kyle Bronski.
"It is crucial that we control the things that we can, and play the game with intensity," Eichhorn said.
"When we play as a team and embrace the opportunities that we have, our guys are capable of doing some great things."