Meadville seems to be righting the ship at an opportune time. Now the Grove City Eagles are going to try to capsize the Bulldogs.
Meadville (1-3 overall, 1-1 Region 5) heads for the buses for a 7 p.m. kickoff against defending Region 5 champion Grove City (4-0, 2-0) at Gene Forker Field tonight.
The ’Dogs nabbed a 49-14 homestand against Slippery Rock last Friday to break into the win column. Grove City was a 48-0 winner against non-region Greenville.
“They are the defending Region 5 champions,” Achenbach said. “They’ve been putting it on people pretty good. They have size up front on both the offense and defense.”
The Eagles are a Wing-T team with a mid-line option look, but more importantly they are big and athletic at nearly every position on offense and defense.
GC’s top performer with the ball is fullback Wesley Phipps, who stands 5-foot-9, 180 pounds. He has covered 321 yards on 45 carries for a whopping eight touchdowns.
Following on the ground are Erik Record (307 yards), Harold Price (245) and Foster Reznor (217).
“Their backs are a lot like the Bradford guys,” Achenbach said. “They are compact. The fullback’s a real stout guy that runs real hard and the halfbacks are real athletic. The quarterback’s a real double-threat guy. He runs well with the mid-line option and he can throw. Defensively they give you an eight-man front and dare you to throw the football a little bit.”
Junior quarterback Tyler Dagres is in his third season as a starter and has not needed to do much other than choose a ballcarrier this year. He has completed 13 of 28 pass attempts for 205 yards and one score with no picks.
Meadville — which has everyone healthy and ready to go for tonight — has also had quite a stout offensive season statistically.
The ’Dogs are paced by a trio of backs in Zach Towers, Terence Goodrum and Artrel Foster. The three have a combined for 13 combined touchdowns, 1,017 rush yards on 147 runs, and another 259 yards receiving.
This week the game plan is the same: Keep moving forward.
“We’re making gains and we are just looking to try to eliminate mistakes from last week and get better this week,” Achenbach said. “They’re a Wing-T team. I think they run more misdirection than we’ve seen form other people. They give you more to defend. They are just pretty good. We can’t afford to give them anything. We can’t give up easy scores, because in those situations you fall behind quick.”