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Seneca East Tigers High School Athletics



Seneca East Looking in the Mirror

Seneca East and Hillsdale meet Friday night in the first round of the division six playoffs outside of Attica.

The Tigers (8-1) are making their third straight playoff appearance after a runner up finish in the tough and balanced Northern 10 Athletic Conference. Their only loss of the season coming to conference champion Wynford (31-13) on week eight of the season.

They beat Carey (42-13) last week to end the season on an up note. Coach Ed Phillips says they did it in what amounted to a monsoon and that was good to see. “It was a great feeling to play Carey last Friday at home, who is a very good football team and come out and play like we did in all three phases of the game and in some crappy weather. Last Friday was not ideal conditions by any means and our kids came out and handled that, which at this time of year you have to be able to do. That is just another thing to put in your back pocket and feel good about your kids that they can handle different conditions and play well,” said Phillips.

It is likely we will see rain again on Friday night and many times that can lead to ball security issues, which hurt Carey last week, but not the Tigers.

Hillsdale (7-3) is no stranger to the postseason either. This their sixth trip to the playoffs all since 2009 and all under current coach Tom Williams. They beat a good Smithville team (34-20) by outscoring the Smithies (27-7) in the second half.

Phillips says the Falcons do a lot of the same things they do on both sides of the ball. He says Hillsdale does it very well. “It was funny because we were out in practice (Wednesday) and our defense is playing against their offense. Our kids were having a really good practice with great energy and communicate very well, and one of the coaches goes they are a lot like us, which makes it easier. They do a lot of the same things we do,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “They run it well, they throw it well, they spread you out, they have a lot of weapons. So, it is a good challenge for us because they do a lot of things we do, but it makes it kind of fun to prepare for them because it is stuff you are used to in that sense formation wise and play wise. So, it has been a lot of fun this week. We are excited to play them.”

Both teams have solid and athletic skilled position players, but Phillips believes the story of this game in going to be told up front. “I say it week in and week out to somebody, but execution and who plays well up front on the offensive and defensive lines is probably going to come out on top on Friday,” he said.

Published 11/02/17

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Seneca East Tangles With Carey

Two teams battling for a playoff spot square off on Friday night in Attica in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play Seneca East hosts Carey.

Both sit right now in the top eight of the same division six region. Seneca East (7-1,5-1) is fourth and Carey (7-2,4-2) is fifth. You must finish in the first eight to play on week 11. Both are clearly in with a win.

Seneca East blitzed Bucyrus (46-7) last week just seven days after losing a tough one to conference leader Wynford (31-13) top fall into second place.

Coach Ed Phillips says they just went out and had fun. “It capped off a really good week for us. Maybe that is ironic to hear a coach say that after the week we had. Probably the best back to back four practices that we have had in a while and that is saying a lot because our kids practice really well. So, we had four great practices and went out right from the get go and executed in all three phases. We just went out and had a lot of fun. Sometimes I tell the kids you have to go out and play like you are on the playground with your friends. That is kind of what we did last week,” said Phillips.

Carey fell two back of Wynford when rival Mohawk pounded them (32-0) last week. Phillips says the game of football is a lot about momentum. “Just as I say that, but what I think about the league the whole year you have five teams that are at the top the league that are really good. When you get in there you better be ready to go because if you’re not or if things don’t go well for you, you are going to get beat. Things just kind of rolled for Mohawk right off the bat and went well for them and they had a good night. You can’t draw any conclusions from that because Carey is a very good, dangerous football team that has a lot of very good football players that we have to be ready for,” he said.

Phillips believes that Carey have a lot of quality athletes and they have opened up their offense a little more. “They have playmakers at every spot. Their quarterback is extremely dangerous. They have some receivers. They have evolved and they have a new coach this year. They were kind of evolving under coach Wourst too. They had a 1,000-yard passer under coach Wourst for about four years. Now they are really multiple in formations, like a lot of teams in this league,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They will come out and play power football one snap and then they will spread you out and make you play the spread another snap. They are very multiple and get their guys in space and do a really good job of using a lot of formations to make sure that you are disciplined and sound in what you do.”

Published 10/24/17

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Seneca East Still Confident

Seneca East lost last week to Wynford in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference showdown and now they are going to need to some help to get a piece of the title.

However, they remain a solid third in their division six computer region.

They trailed last week by only four in the fourth quarter before losing (31-13) to the Royals. They trail Wynford by one with two to play.

Coach Ed Phillips says they had the momentum in the fourth quarter and then made a couple of critical mistakes that cost them. “There was about eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and we scored to make it 17-13. Then we forced them to punt. When we forced them to punt, three and out, I thought we are going to win this thing. Unfortunately, we fumbled the punt return and then we fumbled the next kick return too. It kind of got away from us really quick there. We were certainly in position to win that football game. We are not into moral victories at Seneca East any more, but we did some really good things against a Wynford team that we have never done in the past. As a coach you look at that as moving forward,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “I said we have to turn the page. We lost a game. What we want most is still in front of us. The kids came out (Monday) and really showed me that they believe that and understand that. They had a great night. We are looking forward to Bucyrus this week and getting this thing back on a roll.”

Phillips believes the Tigers (6-1,4-1) have a lot of build on from last week. He says they did a of good things. “Before we even got off the bus on Friday night. On the ride home, my assistant and I were talking about some things we did really well for a lot of that game our defense was just outstanding and really played Wynford well. We held them under 200 yards rushing and under 300 yards total offense and did a lot of really good things. So, we were excited about that. We moved the ball pretty well. We were at the point where we were really starting to roll and it got away from us and that is high school football. Instead of feeling bad about it I talked to the guys on the bus about things I was excited about from that game and looking towards the future. I told them (Monday) the Buckeyes lost to Oklahoma earlier in the year and I don’t think anybody is too worried about that loss right now. They have launched themselves forward and going after greater things,” said Phillips.

Bucyrus (1-7,1-5) hosts Seneca East in an “N10” game on Friday night. The Redmen lost to Mohawk (42-14) last week in a conference game.

Phillips says the Redmen have kids that break some big ones. “They have playmakers. They have a couple of receivers that will start for anybody. They will make plays. They are the top two receivers in the league. Their quarterback does a really nice job also. They play a couple of guys at quarterback. They definitely have some weapons. They have improved as they have gone along. Their schedule is a nightmare. I think that is one thing I look at man they need to change that. They are still playing a division four like schedule to begin the year and that is just not what they are anymore. They aren’t in the “NOL” anymore. Galion is one of the teams they played early and Galion year in and year out is a big school for a team like them to handle. They have gotten better and they are a very dangerous team and can throw the heck out of the football,” said Phillips.

Published 10/17/17

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Seneca East Must Tackle

For the second straight year what amounts to the Northern 10 Athletic Conference championship game might be between Seneca East and Wynford. They meet Friday night at Wynford.

Both are unbeaten in “N10” play so far this year.

Wynford won last year (35-12) to claim the outright title. The Royals have never lost a conference game in the “N10.”

The Tigers (6-0,4-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, got in this position with a thrilling (24-21) win over Mohawk last Friday. Quarterback Mason Foos connected with D.J. Ruffing for a score with 45 seconds left.

Coach Ed Phillips says they had the confidence to believe they could win the sew saw like game. “When they got the ball back around two minutes I went to our kids and said, hey, with our time outs we can get this ball back with more than a minute left and that is plenty of time to win the game and our kids know that and our kids believe that. When you feel that way about yourself and your teammates you can do special things and that’s what they did,” said Phillips.

Wynford (5-2,4-0) lost (28-16) to Lima Central Catholic on Saturday night in non-conference play. That broke a five game winning streak.

Phillips says again they are solid on offense with quarterback Wyatt Smith at the controls. “They were pretty balanced a year ago too. They might have run it a little more last year, but when they had to throw it they were really good at it and they are this year also. They are really good this year, running or throwing the ball and that is a credit to them,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They lost a really good exceptional quarterback from last year that was great in the run and the pass game. They put a new guy in there and they just keep going. That’s what good programs do. They certainly have done that so far this year.”

Wynford bet Mohawk (7-0) two weeks ago and they are outstanding on defense. Phillips says both teams are physical and really get after it. “They are really good. They have tough, physical kids over there, just like we do here. I think that is what is going to make Friday night a special game. There are two tough, physical teams that are hungry and want get after it and that is going to make it a very exciting night,” he said.

Seneca East still must play Carey, who trails the leaders by a game, but the winner Friday night puts itself in very good position in the league. Phillips says they have to win the point of attack and be very good tacklers. “We have to play well up front because against them if you don’t control the line of scrimmage you are in trouble. On both sides of the ball we have to do that. We have to tackle very well. They have a lot of playmakers like we do and tackling them in space is going to be a big key for us,” he said.

Published 10/10/17

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Seneca East and Mohawk Play Big One in “N10”

When there is so much balance at the top of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference there seems to be a good game every week. This week Seneca East hosts Mohawk on Friday night.

The Tigers share first with Wynford, while Mohawk and Carey trail by one.

Last week, the Tigers scored 28 points in the first quarter and went on to blank Upper Sandusky (41-0) in league play.

Coach Ed Phillips says it was kind of unexpected they would get off to a start like that. “That was a lot of fun. Our kids just kind of kept things rolling from the week before. It was as good a quarter of football as a team can play I think. Upper Sandusky had been starting games fast and playing very well and was a team I was very worried about,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I kind of expected a four quarter game with them. For our kids to come out and play that well and just put them away so quickly made it a lot of fun. It was just an awesome thing to see.”

Seneca East had railed the week before to beat Colonel Crawford (34-28) in overtime and Phillips says they just feel real good right now. “Momentum is a huge thing in the game of football and within the season and we just want to keep it rolling. You just kind of ride the wave of momentum and try and get it as big as possible and that is our goal right now. Our goal day in and day out in practice is to do what we have to do to make that happen. Our kids (Wednesday) night our kids were outstanding in practice and that’s what we need right now,” said Phillips.

Mohawk lost their first game of the year last week, (7-0) to Wynford. Phillips says the Warriors have good players all over. “They are a very balanced team, a physical team, and play really solid defense. They are very good offensively this year in both the run and the pass game. So, they present a big challenge for us and one we are really excited about for Friday night,” he said.

Phillips says he knows Mohawk will come out with first in their eyes. Plus, he says the adventure for these two the last three years has been pretty similar. “I think they are a team with a lot of pride. It is exciting to see this because three years ago we were at this point in the season and neither had a win, so it is a great thing to see. That is what makes high school football so awesome they are 5-1 and we are 5-0 and just three years ago we were both at the bottom if the heap. It is great for both programs and something that makes you really excited to get out there on Friday night and get after it again,” said Phillips.

Published 10/05/17

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Seneca East Wants to Ride the Wave

Seneca East rallied from two touchdowns down in the second half to beat Colonel Crawford in overtime last week and they want to take that momentum into this week’s game at home against Upper Sandusky.

Brock Martin scored in overtime to give the Tigers a (34-28) win over Colonel Crawford. The Tigers had scored in the final minute of regulation to tie the score.

Coach Ed Phillips says it was a very exciting win for them. “It was awesome and I saw a fan post it was the greatest game they had ever seen live and I would have to think that anybody that was there would have a hard time arguing. We were never ahead in the game until we won. We were down 13-0, 21-7 then 28-21. That takes a lot of focus and a lot of energy to continue to fight back. In the process of coming back we had some things go wrong and we kind of stayed the course and overcame it and that’s when things come together,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “I think sometimes you need a little adversity and you need to get through it together. I told the kids after the game what was special was in that second half there was one common goal, and they only cared about one thing, and that was getting a win for the Seneca East Tiger football team. That’s why we did it because we had one common goal and we were fighting for it and they got it.”

Seneca East (4-0,2-0) is at home for Upper Sandusky (1-4,0-2) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night. The Rams lost (31-8) to Mohawk, another of conference co-leaders last week.

Phillips says the Rams, the biggest school in the league, have some kids that can play the game and make big plays. “They have some guys. I say they have some dudes. They have some skilled guys with a lot of speed mixed in with some explosiveness. They have a quarterback that kind of scrambles around and does his best Michael Vick impersonation and I mean that is a good way. They have got really good size up front. On defense, they come at you and attack. So, they are a formidable opponent. I have told many people here in the last couple of weeks now that we are kind into the heat of it and you are kind of getting familiar with what everybody in the league has to offer I think this is the best league I ever been in from top to bottom. There are so many good football teams and so many good football players. It is just awesome to be part of it,” said Phillips.

Phillips wants to take that momentum the second half last week produced and use it to their advantage against Upper Sandusky. “I think in high school football you have to ride the wave. We came back and had a lot of success in that second half and put one together for Seneca East football and there is nothing wrong with riding that wave as long as your focus is on the next team. High school football is a game of momentum and that game last week is certainly an example of it. We had nothing in the first half. The second half we just kept building and building. I believe you need to move your focus from the game last week to the game this week with Upper Sandusky, but also when you have that wave of momentum you get on it and you go,” said Phillips.

Published 9/27/17

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Seneca East Tangles with Colonel Crawford

Seneca East plays its toughest game of the season so far when the Tigers take the bus to North Robinson to take on the Colonel Crawford Eagles in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

`They hammered Sandusky St. Mary’s (33-6) in a non-conference game last Saturday night.

Coach Ed Phillips says they did a lot of good things on Saturday night, but he highlights the special teams play in particular. “It was a pretty well rounded game for us, especially defensively and special teams we played outstanding. Sometimes you don’t talk about special teams, but our kickoff and punt units were exceptional in that game. Bo Smith’s punting did a great job of really switching the field position for us. He had a couple of punts over 60 yards in the first half and it helped to get us rolling,” said Phillips.

The punt can be a big play in terms of momentum, good or bad, and Phillips says for them in was clearly a positive. “It can be devastating, but it was the opposite for us. We had some penalties on a couple of drives in the first half that stalled us a little bit. When he boomed the one that went over their head and then we were able to pin them with our defense. We just kind of rolled from there,” he said.

Colonel Crawford (1-3,0-3) is off to a slow start to the season after a third straight loss to Wynford (44-36) last week. They have also lost to Carey (27-13) and Mohawk (34-20) in conference games.

However, Phillips is not fooled. He says they know the Eagles are a darn good football team. “I told the guys (Monday) they are the best 1-3 team you will ever see. They have had a tough opening schedule and some bounces not go there way, but they are absolutely a quality football team that you better be ready for,” he said.

Colonel Crawford has the ability to throw the ball, but Phillips says when you get down to it, the Eagles want to be a power football team. “They are kind of an old school team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They are really big and physical and they like to run the football. Their quarterback is doing a good job this year and he has some nice skill out at receiver. They are certainly not one dimensional. They can run the ball and throw the ball. I think if coach Teglovic had his druthers he likes to run the football.”

Published 9/19/17

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Seneca East Getting Some Young Kids Experience

Seneca East didn’t seem to suffer much from a week off and they punished Buckeye Central last week. They play at Sandusky St. Mary’s on Saturday night in a non league game.

The Tigers handled Buckeye (63-0) last week in play in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

Coach Ed Phillips says they played well in all three areas of the game last Friday. “We played really well in all phases. I really thought about our kickoff team. Our special teams played really well. Both our kickers and our kick coverage. The kickers did a very good job with their placement. That is kind of a microcosm of the whole game. We played a lot of people on special teams. We played a lot of people on both offense and defense. Something I was really proud of is when we put the younger guys in they continue to execute at a high level and that is something we talked about during the game and at halftime and they went out and did a great job of it,” said Phillips.

The Seneca East coach says they try to prepare their kids to play at a high energy level the whole game. “In a game like that that is something that we really concentrated on. I tell the kids a lot of times you can smile when the game is over because sometimes you get a little happy with yourself in a game like that and you can start to get sloppy. They did a really good job of waiting until the game was over to be happy about it,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “While the clock was still ticking being focused and intensive and executing. That is really a goal of our right now is to eliminate mistakes because we still are making mistakes, even last Friday, that we shouldn’t and we need to eliminate those as we move along each week.”

The Tigers (2-0) play at Sandusky St. Mary’s (0-3) on Saturday night. The Panthers are coming off a (42-0) loss to Crestview last week.

St. Mary’s best effort came in week two when they lost (26-19) to Monroeville. Phillips says they cause some match-up problems for them. “They have had an up and down season. They did play a very good Monroeville team that probably will be toward the top of the Firelands I think, and they played really tough and had them down 19-6 and then Monroeville came back and made some plays to win the game. St. Mary’s is very capable on offense and defense and they present a lot of problems and challenges with big kids on both sides of the ball that create some match up issues. We just need to do a really good job of blocking and tackling their big guys and not let them make plays in space,” said Phillips.

Published 9/14/17

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Tigers back at it with Home Game with Buckeye Central

After a week off, Seneca East hosts rival Buckeye Central in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night with some emotion in the air.

Seneca East was unable to find a suitable replacement for Ridgedale on its schedule for week two. The Rockets pulled out of the “N10” in football last winter.

Coach Ed Phillips says they spent last week getting better. “It is not fun not having a game, but there are some advantages to it. I would probably like to have it later in the year if you are going to have one. We came out of week one and we had some things to work on and it was really advantageous for us to work on some of the fundamental things that we need to get better and not have to work about preparing for one particular team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “That is what I think was really good for us because we play a lot of young guys that are new to it. So, it allowed us to step back and get better at those things. I think from week one to week three of the season I think fundamentally we made some big improvements last week that down the line will be to our advantage.”

Seneca East has posted a sign honoring Bryce Lutz, the young man that was killed in an auto accident this summer, and would be a senior at Buckeye Central.

Phillips says it is a very emotional situation, but he knows what Bryce would want both teams to do Friday night. “They are dangerous and we know each other so well. This is the “Battle for the Paddle.” Your heat breaks for them. Bryce grew up around a lot of our kids and was good friends with a lot of our kids. He went to our school for a longtime with our Seneca East kids, so that is tough. Whenever I think about it what would he want? What would be doing if he was here? He would be playing his butt off on the football field. It’s the best way to play tribute to him and the legacy he left behind is for both teams to go out and play their butts off. They play hard and they have some playmakers you have to contain, especially the (Max) Loy boy at quarterback because he is a dangerous football player and the moment you don’t contain him he makes things happen,” said Phillips.

Buckeye lost (45-14) to Mohawk in an “N10” game last Friday.

Max Loy is the engine for the Bucks (0-2,0-1) this year. Phillips says you have to keep an eye on him at all times. “You have to be really disciplined in your rush while still attacking him. He is not afraid to stay in the pocket. If he doesn’t have a rush he will stay in there, but when he sees a lane open he will go. He is a double threat. He will scramble to run or he will scramble to throw and makes plays in both ways,” he said.

Published 9/06/17

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