Pickerington High School Central football coach Jay Sharrett said his team won't be able to match Cincinnati Colerain's size or strength at the line of scrimmage when the teams open Saturday, Aug. 25.
Pickerington High School Central football coach Jay Sharrett said his team won't be able to match Cincinnati Colerain's size or strength at the line of scrimmage when the teams open Saturday, Aug. 25, in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium.
With that in mind, the Tigers have been working on schemes to outnumber the Cardinals at the point of attack.
Central started 0-2 last season, including a 14-0 loss to Cincinnati Moeller in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown, but bounced back to earn an 11-3 record and reach the Division I state final before losing to Cleveland St. Ignatius 34-13.
Colerain went 10-2 last season.
"Colerain is very large up front, especially on their offensive line, and we're going to need to do some good game-planning to find a way to stop their thundering herd," Sharrett said. "We're a strong team across the board, but we've got to get our guys in a position where we can gang tackle because we're not going to match Colerain pound for pound."
Senior quarterback Alfred Ramsby has returned to guide Colerain's triple-option offense, along with senior halfback Chris Davis, senior fullback Jackson Sorn and senior tailback Detuan Smith.
Colerain's top offensive lineman is senior Dylan Wiesman, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound Cincinnati recruit.
Central's defense features just two returning starters in senior inside linebacker Greg Basalyga and senior outside linebacker Taco Charlton, who has verbally committed to Michigan.
"They have some big offensive linemen, but we're not afraid of that at all," Charlton said. "We need to follow our responsibilities, be physical and hit them every play."
Sharrett said it will be important for his offense to keep Colerain's 3-4 defense off balance by changing formations and schemes. He also said the Tigers, who return only three offensive starters in junior wide receiver Andrew Meyer, senior left guard Zach Gorman and senior center Nick Walter, must run the ball effectively.
Colerain's defense is led by senior lineman Dae'Shaun Durham (6-2, 285), senior back DeJan Lang and junior linebacker Tegray Scales.
"Colerain's a bigger school and they're able to rotate in guys at all 11 positions on both sides of the ball, while we have guys starting and playing both ways," Sharrett said. "Controlling the clock is going to be important because we need to find ways to keep our guys' legs fresh."