OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf loves to run the ball.
Elida’s strength is plugging the run.
The two will bang helmets at the line of scrimmage at 7:30 p.m. Friday when Elida (5-1, 4-1 Western Buckeye League) travels to Ottawa-Glandorf (6-0, 5-0 WBL).
O-G stands atop the WBL football standings, one game in front of Elida, Celina and Kenton, all at 4-1.
Ottawa-Glandorf is scoring 45.5 points-per-game and is giving up 15. Elida is scoring 26.3 points and giving up 15.6.
The Titans want to get behind their veteran offensive line and pound away at a veteran Elida defense that features middle linebacker Quentin Poling.
“We know they’re a good defense against the run with Poling,” O-G coach Ken Schriner said. “That’s the challenge that they (the offensive) face.”
The key for the Titans is the running game churns behind the power and experience of left tackle Wyatt Karhoff (6-5, 250), left guard Matt Samuelson (6-3, 225), center Derek Rieman (6-5, 290), right guard Jacob Wells (5-11, 185) and right tackle Tanner Hohenbrink (6-2, 285).
The top beneficiary of the line is 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior running back Tristan Parker.
“There are some Division II schools looking at him right now,” Schriner said.
The Titans are coming off a 27-7 victory over Wapakoneta. Parker ran for 166 yards on 18 carries with one TD.
The week before Parker steamrolled his way for 210 yards on 28 carries in a 52-16 pounding of Kenton. Parker left the game with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. But he returned last week.
Schriner said Parker isn’t 100 percent, but will be set to go this weekend.
On the year, Parker has rushed for 1,069 yards and 15 TDs. O-G quarterback Caleb Siefker has thrown for 472 yards and nine TDs. Siefker has run for close to 600.
Elida’s defense has been stellar against the run all year. It held Wapakoneta to 83 yards rushing and Shawnee to 45.
But last week, in Kenton’s 50-21 victory over the Bulldogs, Kenton quarterback Grant Sherman lit up Elida for 542 yards and seven TDs.
Poling, Dominic Painter, Trent Long, K.J. Russell, Chance Weitz and company won’t have to worry about O-G throwing for anything close to 500 yards this week.
Poling leads the team with 80 tackles. Painter has 46.
Offensively, Elida continues to use the four wide receivers look, but can run the ball with Desmend White (193 yards, four TDs).
Elida quarterback Clark Etzler has thrown for 873 yards and eight TDs. He was replaced last week after he struggled to complete 2 of 13 for 44 yards.
Freshman quarterback Logan Alexander completed 8 of 11 for 133 yards and a TD. For the year, Alexander has thrown for 214 yards and three TDs.
The Bulldogs’ top receiver is Brandon Stinson (37 receptions, 483 yards, five TDs). Nick Pauff has 27 catches for 402 yards and five TDs.
“He’s (Stinson) very athletic and they’ve done a good job with the controlled passing game. And they can run the ball,” Schriner said.