Week 2 Preview
Bloom-Carroll at Whitehall-Yearling
The road warriors are returning home.
After playing its games on the road or at neutral sites last season because of a school renovation project, the Whitehall-Yearling High School football team will play its first home game since 2011 when Bloom-Carroll visits on Friday, Sept. 6.
"It will be great because it stinks traveling all the time, you just want to play in front of your family, teachers (and) community," senior lineman/tight end Nick Wright said. "It's just a different atmosphere and everybody is behind you 100 percent instead of like when you're always on the road there's not everybody always there. It's just a much better feeling when you're at home."
The Rams, who opened the season against Central Crossing on Aug. 30, lost to Bloom-Carroll 21-3 in week two last season.
Whitehall had only 57 total yards, 35 rushing.
"Last year we were a running team and we tried to run the ball and they just shut it down," senior running back Shaquille Alexander said. "We couldn't move the ball on offense. Defensively, we were hanging in there until about the third quarter and we just fell apart. We didn't know what to do. This year will be a lot different."
That loss came after a 40-7 win in the opener against Central Crossing at Bexley.
Whitehall went on to lose six of its final eight games to finish 3-7 overall.
Meanwhile, Bloom-Carroll lost four consecutive games after defeating Whitehall and McArthur Vinton County 33-0 in week three to drop to 2-5.
The Bulldogs rebounded to win their next three games under veteran coach Phil Mauro and earn the seventh seed in the Division IV, Region 15 playoffs. The Bulldogs lost to Ironton 41-16 in the first round to finish 5-6.
Bloom-Carroll played Heath in its opener Aug. 30.
Senior Kelly Milliser was the leading candidate to play quarterback for the Bulldogs entering the season, while senior Jarrett Peters and junior Alex Peirano are key running backs.
Senior wide receiver Tyler Sorg had 11 touchdown receptions last season and was first-team all-MSL-Buckeye Division and all-district.
Before last season, Bloom-Carroll's previous best finish came in 2005 when it went 4-6. The Bulldogs were 14-46 over the next six seasons before last year's postseason run.
With a seven playoff division added this season, Whitehall is in Division III, Region 9 and Bloom-Carroll is in Division IV, Region 13.
"We're looking a lot better," Alexander said.
"We have a lot more depth at many positions, so our team is looking a lot better as a whole team."