Football, like life, can bring enormous highs followed by humbling lows.
And that’s been the case for the Logan Elm Braves over the first two weeks of the season.
The Braves dominated their season-opener, outgaining Zane Trace 492-106 on their way to a 45-14 win. Eight days later, the Braves turned the football over four times and were held to 10 yards rushing in a 38-20 setback to Pickaway County rival Westfall.
“That’s the challenge for us this week, because we’ve experience a range of emotions,” Logan Elm coach Terry Holbert said. “How you deal with highs or lows should really be the same. In either case, you have to refocus on the next opponent, continue to be disciplined and continue improving in areas you see you can improve on.
“We’re going to work on correcting our mistakes this week and becoming a better football team. I’m fully confident our kids are going to respond in the right way with a renewed focus and discipline.”
The Braves (1-1) continue a three-game road swing on Friday with a trip to Miami Trace (1-1).
Like the Braves, the Panthers have also be on an emotional roller-coaster, rolling past Circleville 42-20 in Week 1 and then were routed by former South Central Ohio League rival Wilmington 56-24 last week.
The Panthers generated 304 yards of offense against the Hurricane, rushing for 185 and passing for another 119.
Holbert identified 5-foot-10 junior quarterback Josh Gilmore as a key to the game.
“The offense goes through (Gilmore), who is an excellent athlete and runs the ball very well,” he said. “Miami Trace is going to give us some different looks, such as the RPO pass or running the dive option with a pitch man. They will also take some vertical shots down the field.
“We have to tackle well, be disciplined and defend all aspects of the field, both vertically and horizontally.”
Wilmington exploded for 569 yards of total offense and were amazingly balanced with 285 yards rushing and another 284 passing.
“Miami Trace plays a base 3-4 defense, but it can play like a 5-2. With a three-man front, they can offer different looks with their outside linebackers to keep you on your toes,” Holbert said. “Miami Trace is going to run man coverage to challenge us and they love bringing a ton of pressure until you can answer it.
“Again, being disciplined and controlling the line of scrimmage are going to be important.”
The two teams have split the last pair of meetings, with the Panthers prevailing 22-9 last season and the Braves claiming a 17-12 decision in 2017.