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Area grid teams look to hit midseason on a roll

Union County’s Tucker Coffman (27) tries to break free from Cambridge City Lincoln’s Jeremiah Holder in a Tri-Eastern Conference game between the two teams at Ball State University on Saturday, Aug. 25. The Patriots will travel to Winchester, while the Golden Eagles will play host to Hagerstown in a pair of TEC games tonight.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

With temperatures this week starting to feel like fall, and the NFL kicking off its season last weekend, football is in the air nearly everywhere one turns.

While the big boys in the pros and college are trying to get their legs underneath them, the high school ranks are charging into midseason form.

For both Union County and Franklin County, the hope is to create a bit of a run during the midseason push. Cambridge City Lincoln on the other hand, will go in search of earning its first win of the 2018 campaign tonight against Hagerstown.

Winning fixes a lot.

Union County (2-2) at Winchester (0-4)

LIBERTY — When the Union County defense steps onto the field tonight against Tri-Eastern Conference foe Winchester, the Patriots will have to keep an eye on two runners out of the backfield.

The Golden Falcons have carried the ball 140 times through its first four games in 2018. Cole Campbell (55 carries) and Joseph Anderson (54) have combined for 109 of those.

In addition to having one more carry than Anderson, Campbell also leads the yardage and touchdown categories, coming into tonight with 223 yards and three scores, compared to 172 yards for Campbell, who has not scored this season.

Campbell has also taken turns throwing the football, completing four passes on 10 attempts. Freshman Brayden Tippett has completed three on 25 throws.

Only one receiver has caught more than one pass in 2018, Gavin Thompson grabbing two receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Winchester is still without a win this season, but it is worth noting that the Falcons were within a score against both Knightstown (20-14 loss) and Northeastern (24-20).

Three of WHS’ losses have come within the conference, and the Patriots are hoping to make it four.

Game time: 7 p.m. at Falcon Field.

Coaches: Joel Hofmann, 7-7 in 2nd year at Union County. Mike Jones, 42-30 in 7th year at Winchester.

Sagarin ratings: Union County, 46.9, 169th overall, 23rd in 2A. Winchester, 32.01, 234th overall, 37th in 2A.

Last outing: Union County defeated Hagerstown, 14-0. Winchester lost to Centerville, 23-6.

vs. Common foes: Union County 0-2; Winchester 0-2.

Opponents’ records: Union County 10-6. Winchester 13-3.

Series last 30 years: Winchester, 24-7.

Last meeting: Union County, 54-8, Sep. 8, 2017.

Lawrenceburg (1-3) at Franklin County (1-3)

BROOKVILLE — In the past two seasons, the Lawrenceburg Tigers have celebrated sectional championships, and in 2016 the team advanced all the way to the state championship game, before falling to Fort Wayne Concordia.

The 2018 edition isn’t of the same quality as those two teams, but the Tigers can still be dangerous. The team is 1-3 on the season, but was very competitive in two of those losses and could just as easily be 3-1.

Head coach Ryan Knigga has LHS mixing things up very well on offense.

The team has 603 yards on the ground, but behind the throwing arm of Garrett Yoon, has also gained 798 yard through the air.

Yoon is arguably the most potent weapon for the Tigers, the freshman thrower completing 52 passes (in 86 attempts) for 785 of those passing yards. He has thrown four touchdowns, but has been tagged with three interceptions, as well.

Catching a large number of those throws is another Yoon, as Gavin has gained 373 yards on 20 catches. He also has three of Garrett’s touchdown tosses.

Out of the backfield, Garrett leads the team with 56 carries, good for 173 yards and four scores.

Sophomore Adam Burd follows Garrett in carries with 36, but leads the Tigers with 199 yards.

Franklin County can draw some confidence from that fact that it is the only team during the regular season in 2016 to sideline LHS, beating the Tigers convincingly 34-20 on Sept. 16.

The Wildcats are led on offense by quarterback Brady Bogan (27-60-392, 5 TD), and Augustus Runyon (24 carries, 163 yards).

Game time: 7 p.m. at Wildcat Stadium.

Coaches: Ryan Knigga, 62-26 in 8th year at Lawrenceburg. Wes Gillman, 1-3 in 1st year at Franklin County, 15-26 in 5th year overall.

Sagarin ratings: Lawrenceburg, 46.92, 168th overall, 31st in 3A. Franklin County, 40.9, 199th overall, 47th in 4A.

Last outing: Lawrenceburg lost to Greensburg, 34-33. Franklin County lost to East Central, 58-7.

vs. Common foes: Lawrenceburg 0-1; Franklin County 0-1.

Opponents’ records: Lawrenceburg 8-4. Franklin County 8-8.

Series last 30 years: Lawrenceburg, 15-14.

Last meeting: Lawrenceburg, 44-34, Sep. 15, 2017.

Hagerstown (3-1) at Cambridge City Lincoln (0-4)

CAMBRIDGE CITY — Tonight’s game between Hagerstown and Cambridge City Lincoln looks on paper as a contest between two teams headed in different directions in 2018.

The Golden Eagles hope to change all of that, following the kick-off at 7 p.m.

Dropped from the top of the Tri-Eastern Conference, following a shut-out loss to Union County last week, the Tigers might come into tonight’s tilt a bit on the angry side.

Trailing Northeastern by a full game in the TEC standings, the Tigers will have to win its next three conference contests, to set up a shot at knocking off the Knights on the final night of the regular season, should they continue their winning ways (they’re 4-0).

First up on the list for Hagerstown is Lincoln.

Sophomore quarterback Noah Snodgrass will hope to improve on his 5-of-13 effort for 61 yards last week against the Patriots.

Snodgrass led the ground game last week, as well, finishing with 54 yards on 13 carries. That distinction normally falls to Mason Hicks, who is the team leader with 307 rushing yards on 63 carries this season.

Hicks will also look to get back to numbers more reminiscent of his season-opener, in which he ran for 135 yards in a win over Knightstown.

Receiver Cody Swimm entered last week as the leading receiver for the Tigers, having snagged 11 passes through the HHS’ first three contests. Against UC however, the six-foot senior managed only one catch.

On the flip side, Lincoln will have studied game film from last Friday’s game, and coach Phil Renforth will have his charges primed for a repeat performance.

The Cambridge City defense is paced by Nick Anderson and Blaine Cowan, the duo already with 55 tackles between the two of them. Cooper Flockhart and Josh Miles aren’t far behind with 19 tackles each.

In total, the Eagles have 10 players with double figures in the tackles column.

Game time: 7 p.m. at Lincoln

Coaches: Scott Snodgrass, 45-34 in 8th year at Hagerstown, 54-94 in 15th year overall. Phil Renforth, 53-116 in 17th year at Lincoln.

Sagarin ratings: Hagerstown, 43.12, 185th overall, 18th in 1A. Lincoln, 21.42, 275th overall, 43rd in 1A.

Last outing: Hagerstown lost to Union County, 14-0. Lincoln lost to Northeastern, 28-14.

vs. Common foes: Hagerstown 1-1; Lincoln 0-2.

Opponents’ records: Hagerstown 8-8. Lincoln 10-6.

Series last 30 years: Hagerstown, 32-6.

Last meeting: Hagerstown, 39-0, Oct. 13, 2017.