The Hartley High School football team's next opponent, Chillicothe, was whistled for nine penalties and gave up nearly 250 total yards to its most recent opponent despite improving to 3-0.

Coach Brad Burchfield wouldn't describe his team as being a finished product, either, even though the Hawks are coming off a second consecutive victory by more than 30 points.

On Friday, Sept. 14, Hartley plays host to the Cavaliers in what will be the second meeting between the programs, with the Hawks winning the first 44-7 last fall.

Hartley beat Ready 49-19 on Sept. 7 to improve to 2-1, while Chillicothe defeated Watkins Memorial 27-6 that same night.

"We're always happy to win against a good football team and are never going to take that for granted," Burchfield said. "We're getting better. ... I thought we played well (against Ready) reflecting on our four quarters, but we had opportunities to put the game away earlier and just didn't. We're a couple aspects away from being a great team and we are going to get there, I'm sure of that, but it's going to take time and work to get there. I'm excited about the direction we're going."

Junior running back Jalan January had his best game as a prep player, finishing with 207 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and has 401 yards and five touchdons on the season.

Senior Philip Cole also has been effective running the ball, as well as catching it from junior quarterback Miles Fleming. Cole had a 70-yard touchdown reception, sophomore Marcellis Parker rushed for two touchdowns and junior Mason Sawyer added one scoring run against Ready.

Chillicothe made the Division II, Region 8 playoffs last season and has given up just 33 points over its three victories. Linebacker Chris Postage had 16 tackles and four tackles for loss against Watkins Memorial.

The Cavaliers have a new quarterback in senior Adrian Beverly, who is 20-for-33 passing for 252 yards and three touchdowns and has 124 yards rushing on the season.

Senior J'Quan Harris rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns and also has three receptions, returns punts and kickoffs and is the punter for the Cavaliers.

Senior Zach Coates has eight catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

The Cavaliers are coached by Ron Hinton, who is in his ninth season heading the program and his 42nd season overall. He guided Amanda-Clearcreek to state championships in 1999 and 2000.

Burchfield was an assistant at Canal Winchester from 1998-2002 when the Indians were in the same MSL-Buckeye Division as Amanda-Clearcreek.

"Chillicothe is playing really well and this has shaped up to be a huge game at this point of the season," Burchfield said. "They're undefeated, have a favorable schedule down the stretch and are a bigger division football school than us. That means this is a crucial game in terms of our postseason aspirations. They're really well-coached, that's for sure, and are playing with a lot of confidence. This is a huge game for us and I'm glad it's at home."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek