Defensive coordinator Curtis Crager said the Dublin Coffman football team must be prepared for anything when it plays host to Perrysburg on Friday, Nov. 8, in the first round of the Division I, Region 2 playoffs.
The sixth-seeded Yellow Jackets are adept in both running and passing, leaving the defenders for the third-seeded Shamrocks with a lot to worry about in the battle of 8-2 teams.
"They're very balanced," Crager said. "I know a lot of coaches say that they have a balanced team, but they really are about 50-50 pass-to-run. They are scary to defend because they can pass and run, and they use their tight ends well in both the pass and run games. As a defensive coach, you have your hands full."
Senior Drew Sims is a third-year starter at quarterback in Perrysburg's spread attack and had completed 134 of 232 passes for 2,276 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions through nine games. Caleb Gerken, a senior running back, had rushed for 1,093 yards and 15 touchdowns on 194 carries.
Sims' top target is senior wide receiver Nic Kilbride, who had 36 receptions for 748 yards and seven touchdowns entering Week 10. Junior Aidan Pratt had 29 catches for 413 yards and three scores, and senior Kameron Vidales had 22 catches for 414 yards and two touchdowns.
Kilbride has received scholarship offers from several Mid-American Conference schools, senior offensive lineman Austin Collins (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) is a Louisville recruit and junior two-way lineman Cade Zimmerly (6-1, 240) had more than 100 pancakes on offense last season and has offers from several MAC schools.
"I have seen a lot of film on them, and they are pretty efficient on offense," coach Mark Crabtree said of the Yellow Jackets. "Their quarterback is a three-year starter who isn't real big, but he's accurate, he moves well and has command of the offense.
"They have a big offensive line and their running back (Gerken) is really good. They have a plan and know what they are doing."
Coffman is coming off a 28-14 win over Upper Arlington on Nov. 1. With the victory, the Shamrocks earned a share of the OCC-Central Division championship with UA and Hilliard Davidson. All three teams went 4-1 in league play.
Junior quarterback Connor Mathews has completed 86 of 136 passes for 1,066 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions and has rushed for 422 yards and two scores on 96 carries. He has thrown only one interception in the last five games.
Junior running back Bryon Threats leads the Shamrocks' ground game with 737 yards and 13 touchdowns on 77 carries. He also has one kickoff return for a touchdown and one punt return for a score.
Senior Moussa Diallo has rushed for 621 yards and six scores on 100 carries, and senior wide receiver Jameel Williamson has 32 receptions for 484 yards and six touchdowns.
"(The Shamrocks) are very athletic," Perrysburg coach Matt Kregel said. "They have several backs and receivers who can really play.
"Their quarterback can run, and defensively, they are really athletic at linebacker and defensive back. They don't give up a lot of big plays, and they are sharp at what they do."
Coffman beat Perrysburg 45-0 to open the 2017 season and 42-21 in last year's season opener.
The winner plays second-seeded Toledo Whitmer or seventh-seeded Clayton Northmont in a regional semifinal Nov. 15 at a neutral site.