Mike Carter doesn't think about last year anymore.

For the seventh-year coach of the Johnstown High School football team, last season's 34-14 loss to Ready in a Division V regional semifinal might as well have been 20 years ago. What's past, is past and will have little or no bearing on Saturday's first-round playoff rematch in Johnstown.

"Last year is last year. This year, we have a new team with a new focus and new players," said Carter, whose team enters the game 8-2 overall and finished 7-0 to win its second consecutive outright Mid-Buckeye
Conference title. "It will be a challenge, just like any playoff game.We have to focus on ourselves and take care of our business. We want to be able to control the tempo of the game and work on doing the little things."

Ready coach Larry Wolf remembers the playoff game as being much closer than the score would indicate.

"When we played them last year, I thought they were as good as anyone coming off of the line and they are pretty solid defensively," said Wolf, whose team enters the game 6-2 overall. "In the playoff game last year, we
played close and then things got away from (the Johnnies). We scored 14 points in the last two minutes (of the first half) and there's a big difference between going to the locker room tied at 7 and being up 20-7. That
changed the complexion of the whole game."

The Johnnies run out of an I-formation with several backs giving the offense punch. Junior tailback Brad Couts leads Johnstown with 1,285 yards rushing on 176 carries with 10 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Jay Orders has 709 yards on 111 carries and eight touchdowns. Senior fullback Will Carter, coach Carter's son, has 546 yards on 102 attempts with 14 touchdowns.

"Both of us are pretty physical teams and neither have a speed-back that can burn you, but they have several kids that they give the ball to that you have to control," Wolfe said. "They have no apparent weakness and they
run the ball right at you. They can lull you to sleep with the run and then they can kill you with the pass when they go to it."

Orders is 36-for-80 passing for 533 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

Senior Mitchell Hendren is the Johnnies' leading receiver with 22 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown. Hendren also has rushed 13 times for 137 yards and a touchdown.

The Silver Knights began the season in a wing-T, but have gradually started to run their offense from the I-formation.

They are led by senior tailback Collin Leidinger, who had a career-high 218 yards on 30 carries and four touchdowns last Friday in a 52-6 win over Hartley. Leidinger has totaled 726 yards on 128 carries and 14 touchdowns.

Sophomore running back Demetrius Clark has added 306 yards on 43 carries with six scores.

Junior quarterback Brennan McCarty is 74-for-133 passing for 975 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. His top target has been senior Steve Christman, who has 19 catches for 280 yards and three scores.

"(The Silver Knights) have talented players and a lot of seniors. We have to make sure we snap our chin straps and come out ready to play," coach Carter said. "They have a really good running back (Leidinger) who had a
great game last week against their rival. They also have big linemen who do a good job of opening holes for their backs."

Both teams feature top punters. Senior Mike Morgan has punted 16 times for 598 yards, an average of 37.4 per attempt. Johnstown's Josh McClellan has 24 punts for 963 yards, an average of 40.1 per punt.

Morgan is 9-for-10 on field-goal attempts with his long being 50 yards. He has made 27 of 29 extra-point kicks.

"Neither team is the kind that will throw the ball 40 times, so we have to be careful to keep the game close," Wolf said. "We thought they were one of the best teams we played all of last year. We know that as a staff and our
kids know that, so we have to be ready to play."