LOUDONVILLE — The Loudonville Redbirds will make the long trek to Hocking County this week expecting to pick up valuable playoff points.
Just the second team from Ashland County to ever appear on a Logan football schedule, Loudonville is a Division V team that made its first playoff appearance in 12 years and finished 8-3 last season. For Loudonville, defeating Division II Logan could make the difference between playing at home in week 11 or having to travel.
Head Coach Justin Todd decided not to rest on the team’s laurels entering the 2013 season. After Bucyrus Wynford shut down the Redbirds’ strong running game in a 24-0 playoff win, Todd decided he need to re-tool the offense to compete at the next level.
The results have been encouraging: Loudonville is 3-0 with wins over Smithville (48-6), Crestview (41-0), and Hillsdale (46-13).
Joining Edmondson in the backfield is senior Ryan Weber (6-0, 215) at fullback. Weber, who also rushed for over 1,000 yards a year ago, is averaging over 100 yards per game this season and has scored five rushing touchdowns. Kurtis Glasener (5-11, 180, senior) adds depth to the backfield behind Weber.
The Loudonville offense will utilize more than a half-dozen skill players who will rotate in and out of the game to play the wide receiver and slot back positions. By design, these players will be utilized as both running backs and receivers.
The group is led by A.J. Lepp (5-8, 165, senior), Lane Harper (5-8, 185, junior), and Austin Van Sickle (5-9, 155, sophomore). Van Sickle and Lepp are leading receivers while Harper, a former quarterback, plays in the slot and has more versatility.
Rounding out the group of talented skill players are Mike Henderson (5-10, 185, junior), Tristan Bender (6-1, 185, junior), Jordan Wright (5-10, 175, junior), and Josh Weber (5-6, 140, junior).
Loudonville features the largest offensive line in school history led by senior guards Cody Dallenbach (6-0, 260) and Ty Young (5-10, 210) along with senior tackle Michael Itschner (6-0, 210). Blake Carey (6-2, 205, junior) will be the other tackle with sophomore Moe Aoumah (5-10, 260) at center. Joey Artrip (6-3, 220, junior) is a versatile contributor at the tight end spot.
Defensively, the Redbirds have been dominant in the early part of the season, allowing just over six points per game.
The defensive line is led by returning starters Young and Coleman Quay (6-2, 210, senior) on the ends. At the defensive tackle spots are Kyle Graham (6-0, 215, junior) and Cary, and Dallenbach and Artrip add depth on the defensive line.
Henderson and Ryan Weber are outstanding from their inside linebacker positions while Heath Snyder (6-1, 195, sophomore) and Glasener will play outside linebacker.
In the secondary, Tristan Bender is a returning All-Ohio free safety and Harper will play at free safety. Edmondson will see some time at safety on key downs. Van Sickle and Tucker Bender (5-10, 170, junior) will be the corners, but expect Lepp, Josh Weber, and Colton Ullman (5-7, 145, junior) to all rotate as well.
Tucker Bender is a reliable placekicker while Edmondson will handle the punting duties for Loudonville.
Logan football historian Spencer Waugh of loganfootball.com previews the Chiefs’ opponent every Thursday in The Logan Daily News.