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April 19, 2019

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Ada hosts Jeff-Cats in NWC lidlifter for Homecoming

By Cort Reynolds

ADA - Short-handed Ada will try to snap a two-game losing skid when they entertain league rival Delphos Jefferson Friday night in the Northwest Conference opener between a pair of 1-2 squads.

DJ crushed Stryker 47-0 on the road last Friday in week three for its first win. The Wildcats lost big to Shawnee (49-0) and Versailles (47-14) in their first two games.

Injury-plagued Ada is coming off of two losses after an opening victory over USV, but hopes to get off on the right foot in league play in week four.

"Delphos is a very physical football team that plays very hard," said Bulldog first-year head coach Shawn Christopher. "They are similar to us in that they have lost to two very good teams, then they beat a team who just started varsity football again for the first time in a while (Stryker).

"They only do a few things, but they do them well," he continued. "Their quarterback runs a lot and looks for a very good receiver in McKee."

Ada sophomore quarterback/defensive back Brandon Hull injured his right throwing shoulder making a tackle late in the first half in Saturday's 43-20 loss at LCC, and did not return. His status for Friday is unknown at this point.

"He was very sore Sunday, so we will evaluate through the week to see where his progress is and his availability for Friday," said the coach. "We are going to use the opportunity in practice to get Phil Coulson more comfortable at quarterback in case we need him.

"As a team we are still dealing with a lot of injuries, so it's an ongoing process to see who will be available each week," continued Christopher. "Hopefully, some of the guys who have been banged up will start being able to come back and play soner rather than later."

Jefferson has won the last four meetings between the foes. DJ nipped Ada 35-33 last year in Delphos. The Wildcats blanked Ada 44-0 in 2016 en route to their third NWC title in a row. DJ also beat the Bulldogs 51-7 in 2015, and 10-0 in 2014.

Ada swept DJ in 2013, winning on the road twice. The Bulldogs won at Delphos in week nine 25-20, then beat the Wildcats again in the first playoff round 27-22 two weeks later.

The Wildcats are 22nd in the Div. VI, Region 24 computer rankings. Ada is tied for 15th with Hicksville in the Div. VI, Region 22 computer rankings.

The early Homecoming kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at War Memorial Stadium. Ada is 1-1 at home this season, while Jefferson is 1-1 on the road.

"This is a huge week for both teams to be able to start off the NWC on a good note," Christopher warned. "You always want to come out of week one of league play giving yourself a chance to make a splash in the conference.