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Football Lookahead: Steubenville Eyes Potential Playoff Opener at Harding Stadium

October 24, 2012
By TRACY WATSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Who is in, who is out, and who is still on the bubble?

It is what Week 10 of the high school football season brings in the state of Ohio.

A pair of teams with a lot of history, both with still at least a little bit of playoff hope, locks horns Friday night at 7 p.m. at Harding Stadium as 4-5 Akron Buchtel rolls into town to take on 7-2 Steubenville.

While Big Red controls its own destiny, and could even host a first-round playoff game with a victory against the dangerous Griffins, Buchtel finds itself in 19th in Division III, Region 9 needing a victory against Steubenville and plenty of outside help to continue its season.

Steubenville had a "just what the doctor ordered" type of game last week, rolling past Canadian opponent Sir Wilfrid Laurier by a 68-13 margin. It was a game in which Big Red scored early, got their starters out of the game quickly, and continued scoring with the reserve in the contest.

"Last week was a good thing for us all the way around," Saccoccia said. "It was great for morale and every kid on the team from freshman to seniors got to play. It was just a great night and both teams had a lot of fun, but now it is back to work and our focus has to be on Buchtel."

All told, Steubenville racked up 555 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, with three little-used running backs all going over the 100-yard mark. Leading rusher Dashon Redman carried three times for 58 yards and a score and has nearly 600 for the season with seven trips to the end zone.

Senior quarterback Corey Stinson has thrown for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions, but was not needed a week ago, hitting 2 of 6 tries for 22 yards. Matt Petrella is the main receiving threat with 400 yards and five scores.

For the most part it has been a season in which Steubenville's offense has been a little up-and-down, but one in that Big Red's stop troops have been very good and held down the fort.

The defense will have to be good again this week against a Buchtel team that has lost five games, but all to Division I and II schools, and three of its setbacks have come to team's with a combined record of 23-4. Last week was a 27-7 setback to Akron city rival Kenmore.

Offensively the Griffins can come at you on the ground or through the air with junior quarterback Chris Davis paving the way on both ends.

Junior Trevion Wilkes is dangerous on the ground while receivers Marnayre Drummond and Elijah Bell are two players that Davis normally looks to target.

"They are a good football team with a deceiving record, but right now we can only be worried about ourselves and doing our jobs," Saccoccia added. "I am happy with how things are coming along and we are just hoping for a real good week of practice and a great Friday night."

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