Expect a higher level of play in the second week’s games

It has become a cliché, but there is some truth to what they say.

The most progress a football team will see during a season is between Week 1 and Week 2.

The anxiety and excitement of a new season has passed. Once school starts, routines become more routine. The younger players have adjusted to the speed and strength that comes with playing on Friday nights instead of Saturday mornings. Older players are placed.

Scrimmages are good, but they are dress rehearsals. They are not held in front of large crowds and surrounded by the playing of a real game. The coaches shared the film and the players could see what they did right and what they did wrong.

In short, everyone has gotten a feel for the rhythms of a work week and endured everything that goes into a Friday night.

It’s a learning process and the learning curve accelerates through the first two weeks of the football season.

We are entering the second week, so we should see better football.

Here’s a look at Week 2’s area high school football schedule and Rob McCurdy’s picks for those games:

The sun sets into dusk at Harding Stadium Friday night in the season opener against Mount Vernon.

≫ Ashland at Marion Harding: The Erie Bell Trophy is swept this week in a series dominated by the Presidents. Harding owns a 14-1-1 advantage over Ashland. The only win for the Arrows came in 1994, when the game was revived after being dormant since the 1959 season. It is the first time they have played since 2002. Harding is young and suffered some key injuries in the first week. They also seemed to tire in the second half and overtime against Mount Vernon. Ashland had the worst first half in the state, failing to make three tackles and seeing two passes intercepted for touchdowns in a loss to Division V Norwayne. The Arrows showed a potent offense in the opener and one that will constantly pressure Harding’s passing defense. Also, don’t expect Ashland to make those kinds of mistakes in Week 2. Pick: Ashland.

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