Bath run defense to challenge WHS

Wapakoneta’s Jace Mullen carries the bll against Elida during a Western Buckeye League game Friday at Harmon Stadium.

LIMA — The strengths of Wapakoneta and Bath will be on display during a Western Buckeye League game at 7 p.m. Friday in Lima.

The Redskins, with the second-best rushing attack in the conference, average 236.7 yards on the ground. WHS will be running against a Bath defense that is ranked second in the league at 79.5 yards.

Overall, the Redskins are third in the WBL in total offense (318.9 yards) and fourth in scoring (24.9 points). The Wildcats are third in total defense (220.9 yards) and second in scoring defense (13.6 points).

Bath is fifth in the conference in total offense (237.3 yards) and fifth in scoring (20.4 points). The Redskins are fifth in total defense (250.1 yards) and sixth in scoring defense (18.0 points).

“I think this is a similar challenge as we had against Elida last Friday,” Wapakoneta coach Travis Moyer said. “Statistically, Elida came into our game with the No. 1 (overall) defense and we are expecting the same thing from Bath this week. The similarities are that both teams have very good players up front with good speed. It will be a big challenge for us and the winning the line of scrimmage will be critical.”

This Season

Bath: The Wildcats are 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the WBL. Bath has wins over Bowling Green (14-0), Kenton (43-13), Elida (27-7), Celina (35-13) and Defiance (17-13). The Wildcats have lost to Shawnee (14-7) and Ottawa-Glandorf (35-0).

Wapakoneta: The Redskins are 5-2 overall and 5-1 in the WBL. Wapakoneta has wins over Ottawa-Glandorf (28-13), St. Marys Memorial (10-7), Shawnee (21-7), Kenton (34-0) and Elida (30-13). The Redskins have lost to Marion Local (31-6) and Van Wert (55-45).

Computer Rankings

Bath: The Wildcats are the No. 9-ranked team in Division V Region 18 with 7.0971 points. They have 27.0 first level points and 45.0 second level points.

Wapakoneta: The Redskins are the No. 7-ranked team in Division III Region 12 with 12.3143 points. They have 26.0 first level points and 86.0 second level points.

The top 16 teams in each region qualify for the OHSAA state playoffs.

Last Season

Bath and Wapakoneta did not play during the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Redskins defeated the Wildcats 27-3 at Bath in their last meeting in 2019.

Meet the Wildcats

Quarterback Ian Armentrout is the rushing and passing leader for Bath. His 61.6 rushing yards per game rank fifth in the WBL, while his 719 passing yards are also fifth.

Armentrout has gained 431 yards and scored five touchdowns on 122 carries. He has completed 56 of 105 passes (55.2%) with eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

Armentrout ranks fifth in the conference in total offense (164.3 yards).

“Bath’s offense has the ability to spread us out with a physical run game, as well,” Moyer said. “They can do a good job of putting our defense in space and open-field tackling is going to be very important. The hidden yardage in this game — yards after contact — is going to be very important because they have some physical runners. (Armentrout) is a big, strong player. We’re going to have go for that tackle that doesn’t allow him to fall forward for two or three yards.”

Running back Carter Parlapiano has run for seven touchdowns this season. No other Wildcats are among the top ten in rushing or receiving.

Two Bath defenders are listed in top ten in tackles — Zeke Burkholder (69 tackles, two tackles for loss) and Ty Sibert (60 tackles, one tackle for loss). Neither Burkholder or Sibert has recorded a sack.

Burkholder and Joel Rasor are tied among the league leaders with two fumble recoveries apiece.

“Some of the Bath’s big, physical defensive linemen also play of the offensive side of the ball,” Moyer said. “This is going to be one of the biggest lines we have faced this season.”

Bath is second-least penalized team in the WBL (36 penalties, 275 yards). The Wildcats (ten takeaways, nine giveaways) are fourth in the conference at plus-one in turnover ratio.

Meet the Redskins

Quarterback Braeden Goulet and running back Jace Mullen remain as the top two rushers in the WBL. Goulet (91 carries, 751 yards, nine touchdowns) is the only ballcarrier in the conference who averages more than 100 yards per game (107.3). Mullen (103 carries, 684 yards, nine touchdowns) is close to the 100-yard per game mark (97.7).

With 10 touchdowns overall, Mullen is tied for third in the WBL in individual scoring (60 points). Goulet has 54 points and ranks fifth.

Goulet has completed 47 of 85 passes (55.3%) with four touchdowns and one interception. His 575 passing yards rank seventh in the conference. Goulet is third in the league in total offense (189.4 yards).

Kaden Siefring, Zach Rogers, Kaleb Walter and Mullen are among Goulet’s primary receivers.

Mullen (684 rushing yards, 226 kickoff return yards, 87 receiving yards) is the WBL leader in all-purpose yards (142.4 yards).

No Redskins rank among the top ten tacklers in the conference.

Defensive back Austin Stauffer is tied for second in the league with two interceptions.

Nikane Ambos (21 of 21 PATs) ranks third in the league in kick scoring (21 points). Kyle Beach (6 of 7 FGs) is fifth in kick scoring (18 points).

Wapakoneta is third-most penalized team in the WBL (44 penalties, 352 yards). The Redskins (seven takeaways, two giveaways) are tied for first with Ottawa-Glandorf in the leaague at plus-five in turnover ratio.

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