High school football has had its share of difficulties the past couple of seasons with COVID-19.
Another school took a hit this week as Grand Valley has had to cancel Friday’s game at Rootstown. It’s the second cancellation for the Mustangs this season.
But schools are also running into issues with the opposition not having enough players to field a team.
It started in Week 2 when Collinwood, which was supposed to play at Geneva, canceled.
That left the Eagles to search for another opponent, eventually picking up Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Valley Chagrin foe West Geauga for a non-conference game.
In the end, WG posted a 28-0 win to start a four-game Geneva losing streak.
On Friday, the Eagles will host the Wolverines (5-2) and this one will count as a conference game.
“They are a really good football team,” Eagles coach Chip Sorber said of WG. “Two very fast hard to tackle running backs. Fast and physical on defense.”
WG QB Danny Stewart has rushed for 293 yards and passed for another 956 with 11 TDs. Kicker Joey DiLalla has recorded 27 extra points.
But the Eagles (3-4) are now in a better situation after two straight wins and outscoring Orange and Edgewood 82-14. Geneva has utilized its strong running game in both victories.
Quarterback Wyatt Fuduric and running back Brady Peet have gained 653 and 546 yards, respectively, on the ground for Geneva.
“We are relying on the idea that we were young and inexperienced up front on both sides Week 2, and are better now,” Sorber said.
Geneva is also looking to make up ground in the Division III, Region 9 computer ratings. The Eagles are ranked 18th with three games left. The top 16 from each region advance to the playoffs after the regular season ends on Oct. 23.
St. John and Pymatuning Valley are two other schools feeling the brunt of having to reschedule games.
In August, Southington Chalker cancelled its non-league games and begin with Northeastern Athletic Conference contests in Week 6. But in mid-September, Southington decided to cancel the season.
An emergency NAC meeting was held to refigure out the schedule. That ended up with the Heralds playing Faiport and Mathews twice.
St. John picked up Beachwood last weekend.
PV was originally scheduled to play Chalker this weekend, but added a road game at Union City (Pa.). That game, however, won’t take place as Union City canceled due to a limited roster.
The Lakers will now head to Mercyhurst Prep for a Friday game.
These are the matchups entering Week 8 of the regular season.
AT KIRTLAND (6-0)
The Dragons posted a nice 31-29 win over Chagrin Falls last weekend. J’Shon Sanders rushed for 191 yards, but a key fourth-quarter interception preserved the win. The Hornets, who won the Division V state championship last season, continue to play at a high level. They’ve outscored six opponents 230-32, including posting a decisive 30-6 win over Perry last Friday. Three runners have more than 233 yards on the ground, led by Mason Rus with 875 and nine scores.
EDGEWOOD (2-5) AT CHAGRIN FALLS (3-4)
Not much has gone right for the Warriors in the past three games. They’ve been shut out the last two. Edgewood heads to Chagrin Falls to take on a Tigers team looking to break a two-game losing streak. Donny Hardy ran for 176 yards against Lakeside last Friday.
GRAND VALLEY (0-6)
AT ROOTSTOWN (4-3)
The Mustangs will have to wait at least another week for a game as COVID-related issues forced a cancellation. The Rovers have lost two of their last three contests.
CONNEAUT (3-4) AT SHARON, PA. (4-2)
A bad second quarter did the Spartans in during a 49-14 loss to Slippery Rock last weekend. Conneaut’s Zack Rice continues to lead the county in rushing with 727 yards. The Tigers had their two-game winning streak stopped last Friday with a 32-13 loss to Grove City.
AT ST. JOHN (0-7)
The Mustangs rolled past the Heralds 38-0 two weeks ago, and defeated Fairport 36-0 last weekend. St. John fell to Beachwood 26-12 last Friday. Quarterback Jeff Watson has thrown for more than 800 yards for the Heralds. Andrew Williams and Tyler Cathcart both have more than 230 yards receiving. Devyn Mercilliott leads the county with 75 tackles.
PV (5-1) at
MERCYHURST PREP (2-2)
PV notched a thrilling 36-28 win over Windham last Friday. On the season, Robert Verba has rushed for 539 yards and Devin Ray has chipped in with 355. He also tallied the winning touchdown vs. Windham in the closing seconds. Mercyhurst has dealt with cancellations as well. They notched a 21-14 win over North East last Friday.
AT CHARDON (7-0)
The Blue Streaks face a tall order in going to the defending Division III state champs stadium on Friday. The Hilltoppers continue to roll. They’ve outscored the last four opponents 139-14.