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Redskins look to ground Jets, much like Bellaire

September 27, 2012
By FRED YOUNCE - Sports writer (fyounce@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

WINTERSVILLE - Coming off its first loss in Week 4, the Indian Creek Redskins bounced back in Week 5 to shut out previously unbeaten Bellaire 28-0. The way in which they won showed a lot about the type of team the Redskins have this season.

"It means a lot to get that win," said Indian Creek head coach Andrew Connor. "First of all we thought there was a lot of mistakes made the week before against St. Clairsville.

"Our team felt like they had a lot to prove not only to other people, but to themselves. They came out and played with a chip on their shoulder, and that attitude carried them to a big win."

This week the Redskins mission is to continue to improve as a team as they face 1-4 Union Local Friday at 7 p.m. at Kettlewell Memorial Stadium.

"We stressed today and yesterday we have a lot of things to get better," said Connor. "Things that we've stressed need fixed are we had 10 penalties, we turned the ball over, and we missed assignments.

"We need to work on these things and get better this week. This game is not so much about what Union Local does but about us getting better this week."

The Redskins running game has been their bread and butter this season, accounting for 1,426 yards through five games. Their leading rusher, Logan Woods, has accumulated 427 stripes and five scores. Depth at running back has seen Tran Huynh to add 382 yards and three scores and Blake Roar 169 and four touchdowns.

"It says a lot about the fact we are playing well as a team right now," said Connor. "When you can give a lot of people the chance to run the ball it creates competition which makes all your running backs better.

"Hats off to our offensive line as well. We kept powering the ball inside against Bellaire last week and I think it wore them down and protected our lead."

Quarterback Alex Young has contributed six total offensive touchdowns this year while piloting the offense. His big play threat has been a huge part of what makes the Redskins roll this season.

When Young has been dinged up at times the Redskins have the added bonus of freshman quarterback Mandella Lawrence backing him up. The young signal caller has come in and led key scoring drives against East Liverpool and Bellaire.

"When you think about it the one place there's a need for some stability is quarterback," said Connor. "When Mandella comes in he can run our whole offense. He can carry out our game plan.

"Many times teams see the back up go in and they think the starter is better and relax. We're blessed because we can run our whole offensive package with him."

As is typical of Jets teams of the past, this year's squad likes to air the ball out. Connor points out though that in the past couple weeks Union Local has shown a ground game as well.

"They do a good job of throwing the football," he said. "The quarterback mixes up who he throws to.

"What we thought we saw in the Edison game and against Martins Ferry last week was that they are running the ball more. It's something we think shows they are beginning to improve and mature some as a team."

The piece of the Redskins' defensive unit the Jets will have to be most wary of is a loaded defensive line. The Indian Creek front four has given Connor and company the benefit to make defensive adjustments out of desire, not necessity.

"I think the biggest thing for the defensive line is quickness and athleticism," said Connor. "They allow us to do things defensively we don't want to do. We're not forced into blitzing. We pick when we want to because the front four plays physical and plays hard.

"That's a big plus about this team. They play hard and play together, and we've done that over the course of the first half of the season."