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December 2, 2020

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MAC New Bremen comes to Ada Friday night

Non-conferece season opener part of a two-year, home-and-home series

By Cort Reynolds
ADA - Friday's intriguing season and home opener is the first meeting between Ada and New Bremen as part of a two-year, home-and-home series.

Playing in the powerful Midwest Athletic Conference, the Cardinals are primarily a running team. NB lost quite a few seniors from last season, but is likely better than their 2018 record (6-4 overall, 4-4 MAC) indicates because of their rugged schedule. They finished sixth in the formidable 10-team league last season.

"New Bremen does a great job of gettng off the ball and attacking," said Christopher. "They only run a few things, but do it out of a large number of formations in order to keep you rather vanilla defensively," he explained.

"Their top running back (junior Zach Bertke) is a tough runner, and the quarterback (senior Nolan Bornhorst) runs their offense very well," he continued.

"Defensively they are aggressive, fly to the ball and play very hard," he continued. "I also think they are very well-coached."

Chris Schmidt enters his fifth season as Cardinal mentor, and has a 19-50 overall record as a head coach in seven years. His team employs a spread wing offense and runs its defense out of a 5-2 format.

Christopher feels his defense will have to keep NB from controlling the ball and time of possession in order to win. And when Ada gets the ball, their potentially potent aerial offense will have to light up the scoreboard.

"We will need to not allow them long, time-consuming drives and get our defense off the field in order to give our offense an opportunity to put points up," he predicted.

Ada's run defense was porous last season and it will have to step up Friday in order to contain the Cardinal offense. NB averaged 21.9 points a game last season, despite shutout losses to playoff powerhouses in St. Henry and Coldwater. The red and gold defense gave up 20 ppg.

The Cards finished ninth in Div. VII, region 28 to just miss the playoffs by one spot.

"If we are able to take away their run game, it will put them into a position of passing, which is not what they do best," said Christopher. "We will need to be aggressive offensively and utilize our athleticism to put our players in great situations to be playmakers," he added.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.

Ada football at a glance: Div. VI, Region 23
2018 record: 2-8, 1-7 NWC (7th of 8)
Head coach: Shawn Christopher, 2nd year
Roster numbers: 41 (9 seniors)
Lettermen back: 16
Offensive starters back/lost: 9/2
Defensive starters back/lost: 7/4
Top offensive players back: WR Phil Coulson, QB Brandon Hull, RB Landon Blankenship, WR Zac Swaney
Top defenders back: DBs Coulson, Swaney, Keagan Hull, Cayden Murphy, LB Holden Purdy, DL Ty Miller, Dylan East
Strengths: Receivers, secondary, QB depth.