MARIETTA-Marietta College passed for over 400 yards and rushed for only 67 in its 37-35 loss to visiting John Carroll University last Saturday night.
In football coach-speak, that's an imbalance on offense that Pioneer boss Jeff Filkovski hopes the Pioneers (1-2 overall, 0-2 OAC) can even out when they host Baldwin-Wallace College (2-1, 1-1) in an Ohio Athletic Conference game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Don Drumm Stadium.
"We've got to be able to run the football, just as John Carroll did," said the fourth-year Pioneer head football coach after the MC/Blue Streaks game.
"It's frustrating when you're on the other side of the field and you know they're running the football - and they keep on pounding it down your throat," Filkovski continued. "I'd like to do a little bit more of that and take the pressure off the quarterback and the wideouts."
Marietta's aerial attack was in top form against JCU as quarterback Andrew Keller completed 24 of 40 passes for a career-high 401 yards and three touchdowns. Perhaps even more impressive, the senior standout had no throws intercepted.
"We've got a good core of receivers," said Keller, modestly, after the contest. "Our line play was excellent this week."
In other words, Keller got good pass blocking protection from linemen like Tarek Nusseibeh, Jonathan Keener, Ryan Brown, Brian Sefcik, Tito Jeffries, and Jake Kobilarcsik to name but a few. And, capitalizing on it, the MC signal caller was able to find targets like Chad Walker, Kirby Harris and Tannon Roberts, who each had a 100-plus-yard receiving game.
"We've got a good group," said Roberts, who also caught two touchdown passes of 44 and 14 yards. "We're going to show the rest of the OAC what we're doing out here."
Now, if Marietta can mix in an effective running game and spring someone like 5-foot-9, 177-pound junior Tevin Dones loose, look out. Dones gained just 27 yards in the JCU game.
Defensively, Robert Brown, Jake Green, Dan Starr and Gaston Hayes were the leading Pioneer hitmen against John Carroll.
While Marietta was falling to JCU, previously undefeated Baldwin-Wallace was being upset by Capital University 14-11 in the 34th Annual Lee Tressel Shrine Classic in Berea.
The Yellow Jackets actually had the lead, 11-6, until Capital QB Chase Carris hit Matt White with a 17-yard scoring strike with 15 seconds remaining in the contest.