OLIVESBURG — There’s no place like home for Steve Haverdill and his Crestview Cougars.
The undefeated Cougars will christen newly-renovated Scott Bailey Memorial Field on Friday when Plymouth visits for a Firelands Conference showdown.
Crestview had played its previous home games this season at Ashland’s Community Stadium while work on the artificial surface was completed. The official word came Tuesday.
“It’s a beautiful field,” Haverdill said earlier this season. “It will be nice to play there instead of traveling for home games.”
The project was born last fall and began to gain traction over the winter. Construction began the third week of July and the finishing touches were put on Wednesday.
“The district and the community as well as all of our athletic programs are real excited to finally get on this new field,” Crestview athletic director Tim Kuhn said. “It’s been a dream coming for a lot of people at Crestview.”
Plymouth (4-3, 1-3) at Crestview (7-0, 3-0): The Big Red will help break in Crestview’s new artificial surface after last week’s 60-38 win over Mapleton. Plymouth overcame deficits of 22-12 and 30-20 to break a three-game losing streak. Shae Sparks rushed for 134 yards on 14 carries and returned an interception 43 yards for a score. Quarterback Clayton Miller completed 8 of 9 passes for 151 yards and rushed for 93 yards on 13 carries. Trace McVey added 90 rushing yards on eight attempts.
The Cougars remained undefeated with a 56-13 win at South Central. Running back Connor Morse topped the 1,000-yard plateau, rushing for 174 yards and four touchdowns on 15 carries. The senior now has 1,099 yards and 21 scores on 142 attempts. Quarterback Hayden Kuhn has completed 43 of 65 passes for 911 yards and 11 touchdowns. Gabe Smedley has 17 catches for 273 yards and four touchdowns. Morse has a teamp-high 69 tackles while Owen Barker ranks among area leaders with 10 sacks. The Cougars are allowing just 168.9 yards and 12.7 points a game.
Ashland (2-5, 2-1) at Lexington (2-5, 1-3): The Arrows will try to regroup after last week’s heart-breaking 28-24 loss at Mansfield Senior. Ashland led for most of the game before the Tygers scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:09 remaining. Quarterback Landon McFrederick triggers an offense that averages 188 passing yards a game. The junior has completed 109 of 184 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns. Jonathan Metzger is McFrederick’s favorite target. The junior has 40 catches for 539 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore running back Cayden Spotts has rumbled for 458 yards and four TDs on 89 carries. Kadin Schmitz leads the defense with 85 tackles while Metzger has three interceptions.
The Minutemen are coming off a 27-10 loss to West Holmes that was closer than the final score indicated. Lex led 10-7 after A.J. Young’s 25 yard field goal midway through the second quarter and trailed 17-10 at the half. Running back Karson Berry ran for a 3 yard touchdown late in the first quarter. Berry and Corbin Green are both dangerous in the run game, while quarterback Cole Pauley can make plays with his arm and his legs. Defensively, Lex has slowed down two of the Ohio Cardinal Conference’s more productive offenses during the past two weeks, limiting Mansfield Senior and West Holmes to a combined 50 points.
Smithville (1-6, 0-4) at Hillsdale (3-4, 2-2): The Smithies are coming off a 48-8 loss to Waynedale. Quarterback Gavin Copenhaver threw for 78 yards while Jacob Hatfield scored the Smithies’ lone touchdown on a 1 yard run.
The Falcons are still in playoff contention despite last week’s 41-20 loss to Dalton. Hillsdale is 14th in Division VI, Region 21 (the top 16 teams in each region make the playoffs). Quarterback Jake Hoverstock has completed 35 of 60 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 390 yards and four TDs on 63 carries. Presley Lewis has carried the ball a team-high 71 yards for 316 yards and three scores. Justin Zeigler is Hillsdale’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 171 yards. Carter Brightbill has 10 receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns while Cole Sinnett has six catches for 58 yards and three scores. Defensively, Max Vesper leads the way with 55 tackles and four interceptions. Linebacker Ethan Goodwin has 48 stops and a team-high nine tackles for loss.