By Nathan Pilling
CEDARVILLE — After making an impressive run to the playoffs last season, the Cedarville Indians will need to replace the contributions of 10 seniors, nine of which were described by head coach Jason Christian as “very, very good football players.” This year’s team is small in number, too: 21 kids fill out the Indians’ ranks.
But that combination of factors doesn’t have Christian expecting a dismal season. He acknowledges that replacing last year’s senior class will be a challenge, but said he’s still expecting to win.
“I’ve got a tailback and a quarterback that are pretty good,” he said. “That’s a good start.”
The Indians will be run-heavy on offense again this year.
“That was kind of our bread and butter last year, but that was with four senior offensive linemen,” Christian said. “This year we’ll probably keep a lot of that stuff the same. We might mix in some single-back stuff here and there.”
That rushing attack will rely on senior running back Caleb Coe, who rushed for over 1,500 yards last season. Coe was voted to first team honors at both the league and district levels and was a special mention for all-state honors. Christian said he’d like to see Coe at about the same yardage level this year.
The Indians will run a 50 or 5-2 defense this season.
“We play a lot of zone coverage behind it,” Christian said. “We’ll blitz a little bit, not a whole bunch, but we do blitz some. Pretty base. We want teams to have to work to get down the field.”
Aug. 29 at Madison Plains – “I always think the first game’s always a very important game just because you can gain a lot of momentum off that first win,” Christian said.
Sept. 19 at Greeneview – “They’re gonna be good this year,” Christian said. “That’s our rival. That’s the game we want to win every year.”
The Cedarville Indians are a self-acknowledged run-heavy team. If they’re going to repeat the success they had last year, Caleb Coe and that rushing attack will have to be effective. The Indians will be keeping it simple this season.
“We don’t want to make mistakes and turn it over,” Christian said. “We want to have the ball as much as possible. Defensively we don’t take a whole lot of chances. We basically want teams to have to work the ball down the field a little bit on us and hopefully have them make a mistake.”