Not since its season and home opener against the Morgan Raiders on Aug. 30 has Marietta High celebrated a football victory.
Since then, the Tigers (1-5 overall, 0-1 East Central Ohio League) have suffered five consecutive setbacks, including last Friday's 52-8 drubbing at Cambridge.
That losing streak could end when MHS plays Rosecrans High in an ECOL contest at John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium in Zanesville Friday at 7 p.m.
JEFF?BAUGHAN Special to The Times
Marietta quarterback John Henry rolls left in a game at PHS on Sept. 27. The Tigers play at Rosecrans Friday night.
"This week is a critical week for us to come away with a win," said second-year Marietta head coach Adam Eichhorn. "Every week, it has been our goal and mindset that we will win, but unfortunately, that hasn't happened after Week 1."
While the Tigers, an Ohio Division 3, Region 9 school, have struggled for the most part this campaign, they can at least boast one win. And, that's one more than the Jay Campbell-coached Bishops.
Winless Rosecrans (0-6, 0-2), an Ohio Division 7, Region 25 school, has not been very competitive on the grid. So far, the Bishops have allowed 327 points, or an average of 54.5 points per game, and been shut out in four contests.
Offensively, RHS has scored 16 total points, or on average less than three points a game.
"Rosecrans is having a tough year to this point," Eichhorn said. "Their roster is limited in terms of numbers and experience."
In Rosecrans' 41-0 loss to previously winless River (1-5) last Friday night, it reportedly had 17 players suited up for action. "Given how Rosecrans' season has gone, it would be easy for us to look at this game as a 'gimme,'" Eichhorn said. "But as everyone knows, anything can happen on any Friday night."
Never was that more evident than last year at Don Drumm Stadium when Marietta was stunned by-then playoff-bound Rosecrans, 10-0.
"Taking any game for granted will come back to haunt you," Eichhorn continued. "We still have to have a good week of preparation and mentally be ready to go to battle Friday night."
Rosecrans' primary offensive weapon is expected to be 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore Parker Moore, who rushed for 167 yards on 33 carries in the team's 49-10 loss to Claymont in Week 5. Michael Fisher, a 5-11, 160-pound freshman, had the Bishops' lone touchdown on a seven-yard run.
Marietta sophomore John Henry is expected to start at quarterback, but freshman Trent Dawson could see action as a signal caller as well.
Against Cambridge, the Tigers averted a blanking when Connor Beavers raced 30 yards to paydirt in the fourth quarter. Overall, Garrett Davis led the orange and black with 72 yards rushing yards on six attempts.
"A win this week will go a long ways in terms of building confidence and setting us up to face a tough three-game stretch," Eichhorn said.
Marietta is slated close out its season at Don Drumm Stadium against New Philadelphia (Oct. 18), Dover (Oct. 25), and Zanesville (Nov. 1).