One of the DeSales High School football team's biggest areas of concern heading into the season regarded how little experience it returned on defense.

One of the DeSales High School football team's biggest areas of concern heading into the season regarded how little experience it returned on defense.

The Stallions' 28-0 victory last Friday over visiting Lima Shawnee alleviated some of that fear, but a group with just two key returning players will have a different test Friday at Toledo St. John's than it faced in the Indians' run-oriented approach.

Although the Titans likely will run a majority of the time against DeSales in the final game of the current series between the programs, they should present different looks passing the ball as well in their spread offensive set.

In a 47-34 victory last Friday over Findlay, St. John's piled up 495 yards.

"Every week it's important for us to get experience," coach Ryan Wiggins said. "Win, lose or draw, we have to fix our mistakes.

"This week we're going to be facing a completely different animal, a high-powered spread offense. The last few years we've played them and they do a great job running the spread."

The Titans found plenty of holes against Findlay behind an offensive line that features senior Jack Mewhort, a 6-foot-5, 294-pound offensive guard on his way to Ohio State.

Senior quarterback Walt Anderson was 8-for-17 passing for 109 yards, with senior Mike White serving as the top receiving threat with five catches for 83 yards. Ryan Wolfe had touchdown receptions of 19 and 19 yards and Mandela Schaefer added a 23-yard scoring reception.

St. John's had 386 yards rushing, led by senior Ian Gaston, who had 191 yards and four touchdowns on 15 attempts. He also scored on a 21-yard reception.

Cornerbacks Dion Keaton and Adam Griffin, strong safety Chi Chi Ariguzo and free safety Sean Gill should be busier than they were last Friday when Shawnee quarterback Josh Miller was just 2-for-8 passing for 17 yards. Junior Mitch Yinger was expected to start the season at free safety but has had a back problem and is out indefinitely.

DeSales allowed just four first downs and 46 yards rushing to the Indians, and Ariguzo picked up a fumble and ran in for a 30-yard touchdown for one of the scores.

Last season, the Stallions held St. John's to 132 yards in a 31-0 victory.

"They came out with a good passing game last year but we shut them down," Keaton said. "I'm very excited for this Friday. We didn't get a lot of passes thrown at us (by Shawnee) but we'll get a lot more this week. We're going to have go through our checks and probably rotate a lot more people in in practice."

DeSales had 365 total yards last Friday as quarterback Thomas Gentile passed for 50 and rushed for 36. Eleven Stallions had at least one carry, led by Josh Kusan who had94 yards and one touchdown on 14 attempts.

While Gentile threw one interception and also lost one fumble, the Titans' defense produced five interceptions against Findlay.

Mewhort and senior Tim Kynard (6-3, 238) lead St. John's defense at ends. Kynard is back for his third year as a key player on defense.

Like DeSales, the Titans have a few areas of inexperience -- particularly at linebacker -- on their defense, but of their 81 players, 30 are seniors.

"We're happy with the shutout last week, and it was a good triple-option night for us," Wiggins said. "We had some penalties we need to cut down on. We're new in a lot of places and our secondary was a little raw. Last week we weren't really tested much, so our defense as a whole is a little under the gun. The defensive backs are going to have to zero in on their passing game."

Last Week

For coverage of all area games last weekend, please visit:

Friday Night Live at

Next game


When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last meeting: 2007, DeSales 31-0

St. John's to date: Defeated Findlay 47-34

Top Titans: Walt Anderson, Ben Fudge, Ian Gaston, Tim Kynard, Hunter Lent, Jack Mewhort and Mike White

Of note: This will be the sixth consecutive season the teams will meet and the Stallions have won four of the last five. The teams aren't on a contract to play next year, as St. John's will be replaced on DeSales' schedule by Youngstown Mooney, which was the Division IV state runner-up last year and 2005 and won state titles in 2004 and '06.