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Football Lookahead: Satisfied With Last Week’s Outcome, Linsly Takes on Kiski Prep

October 17, 2013
By DAVE MORRISON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Linsly's 48-10 victory against Western Reserve last week was just what the doctor ordered.

"Our team needed that," Linsly coach B.J. Depew said. "Our team needed a decisive win. We played a good game against Allderdice, but we made a lot of mental mistakes that kept them in the game. And our game against the Columbus Crusaders, we got up but the Crusaders battled back and we were hanging on at the end.

"We couldn't beat a team, and put them away. So to go to Cleveland and a put a team away, that was something we had not experienced. I think that is good for the confidence and momentum as we go forward."

Forward this week will take the Cadets to long-time rival Kiski.

Kiski enters the game with a 3-3 record after a 47-14 victory against St. Michaels (Canada) last week.

Two weeks ago, Kiski was in Wheeling and fell to Wheeling Central 20-18 when the Maroon Knights stopped a 2-point conversion attempt late.

Wheeling Central also beat Linsly 26-20 earlier this season.

The return of James Burke to the Cougars lineup has boosted Kiski, Depew said.

"He's a tough runner, I think they have found something with him," Depew said. "We know we have to be able to stand up to them; they are a big team with strong running backs. Their quarterback (Michael Gillespie) likes to scramble around and he can throw the football. We know we are going to have our hands full.

"We know what a tough team Wheeling Central had. I think they had better speed with their weapons, but I thought Kiski won the physical battle in that game."

Linsly is coming off one of its most balanced efforts this season.

Chimechi Oparanozie was his reliable self with 125 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

Veteran quarterback Jameson Murray completed 8 of 13 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns with his favorite target being Zak Kriechbaum, who had 103 yards on three receptions, including a touchdown.

Oparanozie is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing, with 852 on 135 carries and 12 touchdowns for the season.

Murray has completed 52 of 102 passes for 852 yards and eight touchdowns.

Depew calls the game a rivalry, and the two schools do compete in most sports.

"It's a rivalry in the fact that we are private schools who have competed against one another for years," Depew said. "It's not like a city rivalry. The kids don't know each other. But we have a great relationship between the schools and it's a good rivalry in that regard It's always a great contest; they are always a tough team. The rivalry does go back a long way."

Rivalry aside, it is still a big game with regard to the Cadets season-long goal.

"This is our last road game and this is worth some points in our quest to win the OVAC race," Depew said. "Getting to the top is our goal. With the teams at the top, we know we are going to need some help. The one thing we know we can control is the three games we have left and that starts with a trip to Saltsburg (Pa.) Saturday."

The game kicks off at 2 p.m.

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