Marietta High has been in a rut, and so has Cambridge High.
The Adam Eichhorn-coached Tigers (1-4 overall, 0-0 East Central Ohio League) have lost four in a row since beating the winless Morgan Raiders (0-5) 41-28 in their football season opener at Don Drumm Stadium.
The Kevin Gunn-led Bobcats (2-3, 0-1) have struggled as well, dropping three of their last four contests.
JEFF BAUGHAN Special to The Times
Marietta High quarterback John Henry (2) drops back in the pocket to pass against Parkersburg at Stadium Field last Friday night.
Both schools, which are slated to play each other in an ECOL game at 7 p.m. Friday, are coming off a shellacking in its last game.
Marietta suffered a 35-10 setback to the Parkersburg Big Reds (2-2) at Stadium Field, while CHS was drilled 70-17 by the visiting and undefeated Zanesville Blue Devils (5-0, 1-0).
So, something definitely has to give at McFarland Stadium in Cambridge Friday evening.
Last year, Marietta fell 41-7 to Cambridge at DDS.
"Cambridge is a good football team," Eichhorn said. "They have played a very tough schedule to this point and their record doesn't reflect how good they are."
MHS is hoping for a fresh start as the Cambridge game will be its 2013 league opener. The Tigers played the Big Reds relatively tough in the first half, trailing 21-10.
But after the break, the orange and black were unable to put any points on the scoreboard, while PHS added two more touchdowns to win going away.
John Henry started at quarterback against red and white, and is expected to do so again versus Cambridge. The Tiger sophomore passed for 77 yards and ran for 26 more in Parkersburg.
Marietta's main offensive weapon was senior Quinton Coffield who gained 34 yards on the ground and had 62 more in four pass receptions.
Garrett Davis scored the Tigers' lone touchdown on a one-yard run, while Brent Huck kicked a 32-yard field goal.
"Defensively, they (Cambridge) are going to bring a lot of pressure," Eichhorn said. "That will be a big challenge for us this week. Our last two games, we have struggled with picking up blitzes. We need to slow down their pressure and be able to make some pre-snap adjustments."
Over at McFarland Stadium on that same evening, Cambridge was taking it on the chin against ZHS, which is ranked No. 4 in Ohio Division II, Region 5.
The Bobcats were down 28-0 before Eric Fox got them on the scoreboard with a 35-yard field about midway through the second quarter.
Cambridge's other points came on Caleb Tingle's 13-yard touchdown run just before the half and on Josh Lewis' 61-yard burst to paydirt in the fourth quarter.
Tingle is expected to take center snaps for the Bobcats, whose wins this fall have come against Coshocton (1-4) and East Liverpool (1-4).
"They have the best RB/QB combination that we have seen so far, and maybe will see all year," Eichhorn said. "Offensively, they run a little bit of everything. They will spread us out and they will line up and play power football. They don't rely on misdirection or a lot of motion. They line up and play ball."