By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE – Another week, another showdown.
This week the Whiteford Bobcats host the Sand Creek Aggies in a battle between two teams that are in the top 10 in Division 8 in all of the rankings, polls and ratings.
“Whiteford is Whiteford,” Sand Creek head coach Marc Spicer said about the battle of 3-1 teams. “Two years ago, I remember going to their place and thinking we were looking good, and they beat us (28-6). We know they have an offense that is tough to stop, and we will have to play better defense than we did Friday to beat them.”
Sand Creek is 3-0 on the field this year, but 3-1 due to forfeiting week 2 to Blissfield.
John Alexander has rushed for 717 yards in three games for the Aggies and has been a workhorse with 64 attempts in those games. He’s averaging 11.2 yards a carry and has 13 touchdowns already.
One big surprise for Sand Creek has been quarterback George Hillard.
The Aggies didn’t have a traditional quarterback the last couple of years under the single wing offense. When Spicer became head coach, he and offensive coordinator Sid Disbrow made some modifications to the offense. One reason it’s been so successful is the play of Hillard. He has 71 yards on 18 rushes while completing 12-of-17 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s picked up the position very well,” Spicer said. “I liked some of the aspects of the single wing, but I also liked having a quarterback under center. So, when we looked at it, we wanted to try and do both. It’s worked out pretty well and George has done a great job. He’s been a great leader for us.”
The two teams are familiar with each other in multiple ways.
Whiteford head coach Jason Mensing was Spicer’s high school coach when Spicer was a senior captain of the Addison Panthers and Mensing was the head coach. The two also coached together one year at Tecumseh.
Whiteford quarterback Shea Ruddy recently went over the 2,000-yard mark for his career, becoming just the third passer in Bobcat history to reach that level of yards.
Cole Giesige leads the Bobcats with 13 touchdowns in four games, including kickoff returns of 95 and 85 yards. A three-year starter, Giesige ranks sixth all-time in touchdowns and points scored in Whiteford history.
The Bobcats lost for the first time of the season last week, falling to the fantastic aerial display put on by the Edon Northwest (Ohio) Bombers. This week the Bobcats will look to stop the run.
“They are very talented, and we have our work cut out for us,” Mensing said.
Sand Creek holds a 34-27-2 lead in the all-time series. Whiteford has played Sand Creek more than any other team with the exception of Summerfield.