The Watterson High School football team is still looking for answers, offensively.

The Watterson High School football team is still looking for answers, offensively.

Through four games, the Eagles' most consistent area on offense has been a passing game that has shown efficiency and depth.

However, a 19-13 overtime loss last Friday to Cincinnati Winton Woods exposed problems in the running game. Watterson was held to 86 yards and averaged just 2.7 per carry.

The Eagles hope to do better against one of the more physical teams on their schedule Saturday at Bedford Stadium against Cleveland Benedictine.

The Bengals lost to Watterson each of the last four seasons and are off to a 1-3 start this year. Their only win was Sept. 11 over Chardon, 28-0.

Benedictine led 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter last Friday of a 28-21 overtime loss to Fremont Ross. The Little Giants passed for more than 150 yards and rushed for more than 100 while holding the Bengals to (minus)-2 yards of offense in the fourth quarter.

Watterson quarterback Greg Hock was 11-for-22 passing for 124 yards and two touchdowns last Friday. He completed passes to eight receivers. Mark Theado rushed for a team-high 55 yards on 17 carries and Matt Redfield had three carries for 27 yards.

Led by senior linebacker Adam Patterson (6-foot, 255 pounds), the defensive front is one of the Bengals' strengths.

"Even though their record doesn't show it, we know that (the Bengals have) a good team," Hock said. "They're definitely near the top of the list of teams we don't want to lose to. I went into the game late in the game last year, and I could tell that they're a tough, physical football team."

The Bengals have added more shotgun spread plays to their offense after finishing just 3-7 a year ago. It was their fourth consecutive losing season after winning the 2004 Division III state title.

Junior quarterback Tyler Wilcosky (5-10, 177) was 8-for-18 passing for 96 yards with two touchdowns and one interception last Friday. However, only 22 of those yards came in the second half.

Senior Demetric Banks (5-9, 215) and sophomore Bryan Lacey have been the top running backs and sophomore Xavier Cloud (6-3, 260) leads the receivers.

No player on Benedictine's offensive line weighs less than 240 pounds.

Defensively for Watterson, linebackers Matt Redfield (three solo, 17 assisted tackles last Friday) and Matt Schweitzer (one solo, 12 assisted tackles) and backs Justin McCarthy, Marc Elberson and Dominic Clegg have been among the standouts.

Winton Woods completed just one pass last Friday, but rushed for 322 yards.

"Defensively, we haven't given up big plays although we've given up some yards here and there," Watterson coach Dan Bjelac said. "We've been forcing some turnovers and have been doing fairly decently on tackling."

Next game


•When: 2 p.m. Saturday

•Where: Bedford Stadium in Cleveland

•Last meeting: 2008, Watterson 28-7

•Watterson (3-1) to date: Defeated Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 21-7; def. Westerville South 16-10; def. Reynoldsburg 16-14; lost to Cincinnati Winton Woods 19-13 (OT)

•Benedictine (1-3) to date: Lost to Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin 27-16; lost to Mentor Lake Catholic 35-0; def. Chardon 28-0; lost to Fremont Ross 28-21 (OT)

•Top Eagles: Dominic Clegg (DB), Craig Freeman (OL/DL), Greg Hock (QB), Nick Liimatta (WR/DB), Kurt May (OL/DL), Matt Redfield (LB), Matt Schweitzer (OL/LB) and Mark Theado (RB)

•Top Bengals: Demetric Banks (RB), Xavier Cloud (WR), Simon Cvijanovic (OL), Tim Kendig (WR/DB), Bryan Lacey (RB), Adam Patterson (LB/OL), Matt Wenzel (WR/LB) and Tyler Wilcosky (QB)