Week 4 Preview

Ready at Whitehall

Silver Knights (3-0) <> Rams (2-1)

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

If the Ready High School football team's offense ends up being as good as coach Joel Cutler believes it can be, then it didn't come close to its potential during the season's first two weeks.

Considering the Silver Knights opened Aug. 30 with a 26-14 win over 2012 Division VI state runner-up Newark Catholic and followed by dominating Columbus Academy 35-7 on Sept. 6, it would mean trouble for opponents if at some point Ready reaches optimum efficiency.

Ready, which was 3-0 after beating Briggs 63-20 on Sept. 13, has been controlling opponents with its running game and making big plays through the air.

On Thursday, Sept. 19, the Silver Knights travel to Whitehall looking to continue taking steps forward on offense.

"We threw for three touchdowns (against Academy) and the first week we only threw for one," Cutler said. "We're still not at 100 percent on not committing turnovers and penalties and executing in the red zone. (Against Academy) we still had a fumble and a couple yellow handkerchiefs, and those will kill you in big games."

Behind an offensive line that features senior Brady Taylor, senior running back Akili Taylor and senior quarterback Matt Yoho have been leading the ground game.

Akili Taylor ran for 269 yards against Newark Catholic and 129 yards and two touchdowns against Academy.

Yoho was 11-for-20 passing for 153 yards with four touchdowns through two games, including three scoring passes against Academy. He also added 121 yards and two touchdowns rushing against Newark Catholic.

The 5-foot-8, 190-pound Akili Taylor, who has added about 15 pounds since last season when he rushed for 1,125 yards and 10 touchdowns, has a scholarship offer from Kent State. He also is considering Notre Dame College, a Division II school in South Euclid.

"I'm not a big guy, but if they can just give me a crease," he said. "We just have to get better every day. When we execute at a high level, we get better every game. Our whole line is full of good guys."

Whitehall was 2-1 after beating Whetstone 32-18 on Sept. 13. The Rams lost to Bloom-Carroll 52-51 in three overtimes Sept. 6 as Cody Koons passed for 164 yards and two touchdowns and Shaquille Alexander had 146 yards rushing with two scores.

B.J. Upchurch (RB/LB) returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown against Bloom-Carroll and had six catches for 69 yards in a 29-25 win over Central Crossing on Aug. 30.

Other early standouts for Ready, according to Cutler, have been Alvin Knox (LB), Bran-den Bailey (RB/LB), Kelly Culbertson (WR/DB) and Connor Lancia (WR/DB/P).

"There's always things to fix and improve on, but you can't be better than (starting 3-0)," Cutler said. "Our offensive line is executing at a high level. Akili is everything you'd want in a captain."

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