MORRAL — Waynesfield-Goshen is staring at a two-game road trip to end the regular season with an OHSAA Division VII playoff spot on the line.
The Tigers, rated No. 14 in this week’s OHSAA Region 26 computer rankings, travel to play 3-4 Ridgedale in a Northwest Central Conference game at 7 p.m. Friday in Morral.
“We will just have to take it one week at a time,” W-G coach Shane Wireman said. “Last year, Ridgedale has us down 16-0 at the half before we managed to rally for a 20-16 win. So we know they will come out with some confidence. We know both of these games are important to us being able to be in the mix for Week 11.”
Waynesfield-Goshen, which plays at 5-3 Hardin Northern in its regular season finale Oct. 22, sits 14th in Region 26 with 5.9258 points. Tigers have been plagued by a lack of second-level points from wins against Ada (1-7), Lehman Catholic (1-7), Ridgemont (1-6) and Crestline (0-7). Second-level points measure the total number of wins by an opponent on a weighted scale.
The top 16 teams in each region qualify for the OHSAA state playoffs.
A 32-6 NWCC loss to defending league champion Lima Perry last Friday dropped the Tigers in region rankings, but a pair of victories during the final two weeks could secure a playoff spot.
“We are looking to see how our guys respond to a tough loss,” Wireman said. “We are focused on getting back on track, offensively, as well as being more efficient on defense. We didn’t tackle well against Lima Perry and didn’t get off the field on fourth down.”
The Rockets have thrown for more yards than they have gained on the ground.
Quarterback Kaden Lester has completed 53 of 99 passes for 991 with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. Three Ridgedale receivers have hauled in 11 or more passes, including Collin Stephens (15 receptions, 232 yards, three TDs), Nathan Thiel (12 receptions, 250 yards, one TD) and Xander Ruth (11 receptions, 248 yards, two TDs).
Lester is also Ridgedale’s leading rusher with 325 yards and four touchdowns on 49 carries. Ridge Barkey adds 215 yards and three touchdowns on 49 carries.