Mike LoParo is looking for answers to get his Hilliard Bradley football team out of a slump.
The Jaguars are 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division after coming up short against Dublin Scioto, 38-36 on Oct. 4. The Irish kicked a 39-yard field goal with three seconds remaining.
Bradley visits Olentangy Berlin on Friday, Oct. 11, for an OCC-Cardinal contest. The Bears are 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the league after holding off Darby 16-12 on Oct. 4. They finished 1-9 a year ago in their inaugural season.
“It’s been tough, but the kids are staying positive and they want to get better,” LoParo said. “They know they are young and inexperienced, but they are getting better. We just have to navigate the waters as best we can.”
Berlin quarterback Jacob Moeller was 19-for-26 passing for 237 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions and rushed for a 5-yard score against Darby. Jack Nebraska had eight catches for 110 yards, Corey Hill had four receptions for 58 yards and a score and Jalen Weitzel caught four passes for 55 yards.
Running back Johnny Spinner led the Bears’ ground game, rushing for 58 yards on 17 carries.
“Their quarterback (Moeller) threw the timing routes really well, and he puts the ball where it needs to be,” LoParo said. “Spinner is a physical runner who runs behind his pads.”
Berlin defensive back Justin Rader has five interceptions, two of which came against Darby. Linebacker Jake Hill led the Bears with eight tackles against the Panthers.
“Defensively, they run a 33 stack, come right at you and they don’t give up,” LoParo said. “Their linebacker (Hill) is 6-(foot-)4, 220 (pounds) and is a lot to handle.”
The Jaguars produced 407 total yards against Scioto, but surrendered 453 to the Irish.
Quarterback A.J. Mirgon was 12-for-20 passing for 203 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 65 yards and one score on 14 carries. Evan Yee led the Jaguars in rushing with 93 yards on 23 carries and caught a 20-yard touchdown.
Also against Scioto, Tayshaun Mayfield caught five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown, Kenyon Richardson had two catches for 49 yards and one score and Jack Pugh caught a 33-yard touchdown.
“We either struggle on offense and play great defensively or vice versa,” LoParo said. “We need to play well on both sides of the ball.”