In less than 24 hours, the Zanesville Blue Devils will play one of the biggest games of their season. ZHS (5-1) will take on Dover (5-1) in a clash of titans at Sulsberger Stadium Friday night. Here's a look at the matchup (to hear more from the players click the video link on the left):
Region 7 Rank: 6th
Division II Rank: 7th
The Blue Devils have looked impressive all season. The defense has allowed only 46 points through six games, while holding opponents under 60 yards passing a game and 100 yards rushing per contest.
Offensively, Zanesville has been explosive. Behind senior quarterback Wes Hudson, the Red, White, and Blue have rolled two back-to-back victories, with the signal-caller scoring both on the ground and through the air.
Injuries at a few key areas could slow the Blue Devils, who with a victory, could effectively clinch an OHSAA playoff spot.
Wes Hudson - 52/80, 1049 yards, 13 TDs, 1 INT; 49 carries, 185 yards, 6 TDs
Devonte Murphy - 57 carries, 310 yards, 8 TDs
Ian McFarland - 14 catches, 280 yards, 3 TDs
Region 11 Rank: 4th
Dover has been the most consistent of any area team. The Tornadoes have won four straight ECOL titles, 29 consecutive conference games, spent three years in a row as the Region 11 Runner Up, on top of never having a record below 6-4 under head coach Dan Ifft (146-41 in 17 years with the program).
The Tornadoes will bring a spread to Sulsberger, led by senior QB Derik Swinderman. A 1st-team All-Ohioan a year ago, Swinderman has been fighting through some injuries this season. Coach Ifft says he will start Friday.
Offensively, Dover will rely on Mason Mamarella as well as Logan Maholm, Trey Wallick and Josh Bennett as targets in the spread. On defense, the Tornadoes will look to DE Demetrius Farmer and LB Hunter Schneeberger to help lead the charge against the Blue Devils' potent attack.
Derik Swinderman - 63/117, 1075 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs
Nick Nowak - 20 carries, 196 yards
Logan Maholm - 36 catches, 652 yards, 7 TDs.
Kickoff For Zanesville and Dover is scheduled for 7:30 on Friday. You can catch live action on AM1240 and on WHIZNews.com starting at 6:45.
The Game will also be broadcast as part of the Century National Bank / Subway TV Game of the Week, which airs Saturday at noon, with J.T. Raymond and Doug Clifford.