CLYDE — It’s an easy assumption to make.
With Sandusky Perkins visiting Clyde at 7 p.m. Friday, both teams 4-0 overall and in top four playoff positions in Division III, Region 8, one can look at this game as the default Sandusky Bay Conference championship.
But with the season only entering Week 5, Flier coach Ryan Carter thinks such an assumption takes too much for granted.
“It’s way too early in the season, with as good as the SBC is this year,” Carter said. “(We) are looking at it more along the lines of ‘It’s Perkins and Perkins has had our number for the last couple of years.’
“That subject (an SBC championship) has not been brought up, it will not be brought up by me and I don’t think our kids are thinking about that at all.”
Senior wide receiver Zach Rieman agreed championship talk was premature, even if the Fliers were to win on Friday.
“The rest of the season isn’t a fly-by either,” Rieman said. “It’s going to be rough and tough and I think we’re just trying to get the job done this week.”
The desire to beat Perkins is more immediate in the Fliers’ eyes than an SBC title. Perkins has defeated Clyde in each of the past three seasons by a combined score of 95-48, though the Fliers did get revenge in the second round of the playoffs in two years ago with a 19-6 win.
While Perkins was picked by the coaches and the media as the league’s preseason favorite, Clyde, which lost numerous starters on both sides of the ball, was thought to perhaps start slowly and improve as the season progressed. The Fliers have defied those expectations.
What impressed Carter the most about his team isn’t necessarily the high level at which his players have performed – that was expected. What’s pleased him the most is how his young players have responded when things haven’t gone as expected.
In the first two games, the Fliers didn’t panic when they went scoreless in the first half. Rival Bellevue took an early lead in Week 3 and Toledo Bowsher scored an 80-yard touchdown on its first offensive play of the game last week. Both times, Clyde stayed the course.
“I’ve been pleased by the fact that we haven’t faced adversity and continued to go south and pack it in and do what a young team does sometimes and say ‘It’s not our night, we’ll try again next week,’” Carter said. “We’ve kept fighting and kept playing every week and good things have happened for us.”
The Fliers will be in store for their stiffest challenge of the season trying to slow down Perkins’ wing-t offense which has rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.
“Not as many teams run the wing-t anymore so it’s kind of a foreign entity,” Carter said. “It was the spread for the longest time, nobody ran the spread and when teams started running the spread no one knew how to defend it. Everybody runs the spread now, and everybody has forgotten how to defend the wing-t because you don’t go up against it very often.”
IF YOU GO
Who: Sandusky Perkins (4-0, 1-0) at Clyde (4-0, 0-0)
What: A meeting of the Sandusky Bay Conference’s top two teams
Where: Clyde High School
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Follow along with the game by followinr Rich McGowan on Twitter, @RMcGowan1 and online at http://www.thenews-messenger.com