By Josh Brown
MIAMI COUNTY — Milton-Union hasn’t had a winning record in the past two seasons.
In Week 2, the Bulldogs want to put some distance between them and the .500 mark.
And while half of Miami County’s teams will be looking to win their second straight to start the season, Milton-Union included, the others are all trying to get back to the .500 point — with a few of those already beginning conference play — as most of the county heads out on the road Friday and Saturday night.
Only two teams other than Troy — Tippecanoe and Piqua — will play their Week 2 games at home this weekend. The Red Devils — who obliterated Week 1 opponent Graham 56-0 at home, will complete its two-game homestand against 1-0 Greenville. The Green Wave defeated a team Tippecanoe scrimmaged in the preseason, Eaton, 30-20 in the first week. It was Greenville’s first opening-week win since 2008.
The last time the Devils did not begin the season 2-0? The year 2009, when it lost to Graham in Week 1.
Milton-Union, meanwhile, will travel to Oakwood looking for a two-game winning streak. The Lumberjacks enter the game with on 0-1 record, falling at Mariemont 27-14 in Week 1. Last season, Oakwood lost by six to Mariemont before holding off the Bulldogs for a 31-27 win.
The Bulldogs, though, began this season with a 21-7 victory at Miami East, including a pair of touchdowns by quarterback Blake Smith. And while Smith showed off his arm strength, Milton-Union will be hoping to put together some consistency on offense as all three of its touchdowns came on plays of 60 yards or more.
The Devils and Bulldogs will meet in Milton-Union’s home opener in Week 3.
Miami East finds itself looking to recover from that loss to the Bulldogs — and with the stakes raised, too. The Vikings travel to National Trail to open Cross County Conference play Friday night. The Blazers opened the season with a 55-6 loss to Preble Shawnee, though, and if the Vikings remain focused on controlling their side of the ball, they should be able to get back on track.
Bethel had arguably the toughest loss of opening week, falling by one, 28-27 to Northridge. The Bees continue their three-game road trip to start the season at Mississinawa Valley this week, facing a Blackhawks team that lost to Union City Community 26-14 in Week 1. Last season, Bethel won the matchup by 10 — but it also defeated Northridge 30-6 to start 2014, also. The Blackhawks went 0-9 last season and are looking to snap a 10-game skid dating back to the final game of the 2013 season.
Covington, meanwhile, began the year with a loss to St. Henry for the second straight season, 27-3. Last season, the Buccaneers lost the matchup 34-7 — then went on to win the next four straight and finished with a playoff appearance. They begin CCC play at 0-1 Arcanum, which lost 20-7 in Week 1. In fact, five of the Buccs next six opponents began the season with a loss, with only Troy Christian — their Week 5 opponent — picking up a win to start the year.
Speaking of the Eagles, who hammered Perry 49-0 in the first week, will travel to Waynesfield-Goshen for their Week 2 matchup. The Tigers lost by one score, 21-14 to Hilltop, and appear at a glance to be an improved team from a season ago. Last year, Troy Christian shut out the Tigers 18-0 in Week 10 of the regular season en route to a playoff victory the next week. Friday, they’ll both get to find out who has improved more.
Piqua, meanwhile, returns home after an impressive 34-30 victory at Toledo St. John’s in Week 1, hosting Urbana. The Hillclimbers lost 42-30 to London to open the year, and the Indians are looking to start out 2-0 for the second straight year.
Lehman hosts Mister — which pounded Fort Loramie 41-7 in the first week — Friday night. The Cavaliers began 0-2 last season before winning the next 10 straight to earn a regional title game berth. And Bradford, after not fielding a varsity team a year ago, will travel to 1-0 Elgin on Saturday after being shut out 21-0 by New Bremen in Week 1.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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