GOTW MB: CFC25 No. 8 Miles MacDonnell Buckeyes to test CFC25 No. 22 Portage Trojans

The CFC25 No. 8 ranked team on the new CFC25 Small School National Rankings, Miles MacDonnell Buckeyes (2-0) and CFC25 No. 22 Portage Collegiate Trojans (2-0) are meeting Thursday night in a battle of two unbeaten teams. Portage is coming off of a 51-0 thumping of the Beaver Brae Broncos, while the Buckeyes took it to the Dryden Eagles 46-0.

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With having one of the top rushers in the league in Juan Ayala one of the strengths of the Buckeyes this season is their offensive line. Quarterback Matt Graham has made multiple athletic plays this year, including turning a missed handoff on an outside zone into a 35 yard touchdown scramble. Linebackers Evan Rollwagen and Zach Chiarotto have been dominant in both games. Miles Mac has also been fortunate that both of their provincial team wide receivers, Nathan Udoh and Miciah Stone, have both almost completely returned from injuries that have kept them out or had limited action in the first two games.

If the Buckeyes want to continue their success against Portage they will have to be able to match up with the Trojans with their size and ability to pound the ball, while taking away their vertical passing attack. “They (Portage) have an athletic quarterback as well as a talented tight end. This, coupled with the size on their line, will make things very difficult,” replied Head Coach Daniel Washnuk.

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On defense, the Buckeyes will need to diagnose quickly and hit their assignments aggressively. When they’re on offense, the Miles Mac Buckeyes will have to rely on their technique and ferocity to help win one-on-one battles in the trenches. “If we can create lanes to the next level and provide quality time in the pocket, we should be able to move the ball,” said Washnuk.

The Buckeyes have sustained no major injuries this season but they are a little banged up at the moment. Coach Washnuk mentioned, “If we can stay healthy all game, we’ll be able to, at the least, hang with Portage.”

Heading into this game against Portage the Buckeyes are looking forward to an opportunity to establish themselves as the team to beat this year in AA. “Portage, with its size and large number of returning players, is the hurdle we have to jump to get there,” replied Washnuk.

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At this point in the football season the Buckeyes have matched their win total from the previous two seasons. “We want to keep our momentum going and, as long as we play the game we know we can, we can put ourselves into the top of the division and, hopefully, keep the attitude to stay there,” said Washnuk.

Kickoff for this game is at 4:00 pm. The game will be hosted by the Portage Collegiate Trojans in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.

*Portage could not be reached at media time

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