Sometimes, Canal Winchester football coach Josh Stratton wants to see more emotion from his players, whom he said have been largely business-like during a 7-1 start and their pursuit of a second Division II playoff berth in three years.
On the other hand, Stratton has been pleased with the results, especially how the Indians dominated host Franklin Heights 48-6 on Oct. 18 to bounce back from a 28-0 loss at Groveport seven nights earlier.
"The week after a loss is the worst week there is," Stratton said. "Our guys show up, they do their job and go home. Sometimes I find myself wanting to motivate them to play with some more passion. In November, you need to play with a lot of emotion. But maybe that's who we are. This senior class has won a lot of games going back to middle school -- they were undefeated in seventh, eighth and ninth grade -- and then with us on varsity. They're doing something right."
Canal Winchester will try to strengthen its hold on a playoff spot in Division II, Region 8 and improve to 3-1 in the OCC-Capital Division when it plays host to winless Newark on Friday, Oct. 25.
The Indians were projected to be fourth in the region this week with 19.9 points, .0125 of a point ahead of fifth-place Walnut Ridge. The top four teams earn first-round home games.
Running back Stephan Byrd rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries against Franklin Heights, and the Indians scored 35 points in the first 11 minutes, 11 seconds to invoke a running clock.
On the season, Byrd has rushed for 1,040 yards and 17 touchdowns on 162 carries and has caught six passes for 140 yards and two scores.
Against Franklin Heights, quarterback Jack Beeler completed nine of 13 passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns and the defense limited the Falcons to 97 yards passing.
Newark was shut out for the sixth time this season in a 49-0 home loss to Groveport on Oct. 18. The Wildcats were outgained 450-102 in total yards and gave up 439 yards rushing.
"(Newark) had been running a spread all year and then came out (Oct. 18) in a wing-T, which surprised us a little bit," Stratton said. "Their quarterback (Jaden Woods) is a nice player. They have some length on the perimeter and they can run. We have to keep their athletes in front of us and keep the quarterback corralled. We have our work cut out for us."