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This week the Holgate Tigers have to deal with something they haven’t had to do in its short history of 8-man football, prepare for a game coming off a loss. Last week, Holgate(2-1) fell to Danbury 40-26. The Lakers were able to score a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Tigers to get the win.

Now, the Tigers need to get to basics.

“Basically, it’s been a reality check for our guys,” said Holgate Colton Wagner. “We came out flat (against Danbury). “We were flat all the week through in practice. It was a reality check that you always have to be ready.”

This week, the attention at Holgate has been to just get better.

“Our focus has been a lot better,” admitted Wagner. “Our seniors took over. After Friday night we told them it (the season) could go one of two ways. We can go into a doward spiral and it could completely fall apart or we can learn from it and move on and get after it and get better for next week.”

Because of cancelled games, Holgate and Stryker opened the season against each other. The Tigers were able to come away with a 56-6 decision.

“They have a lot of athletic kids on their team,” Wagner said of the Panthers. “With us all seeing each other, we have every week of film. They definitely have improved since week one. That program is only going to get better.”

Hunter Gerschutz ran for 183 yards and three TDs in the opening night win. As a team, the Tigers rolled up 308 yards on the ground.

“That is how we built our identity last year,” stated Wagner on running the football. “We wanted to come our and hit guys in the mouth and that’s what we want to continue. Last week we couldn’t run well, we couldn’t block well and we couldn’t pass well. Nothing stood out well.”

Gavyn Kupersmith had four TD passes in the win.

Meanwhile, it’s been a rough start to the season for Stryker. The Panthers are 0-3, and are coming off a 42-18 loss at home to Toledo Christian. After an even opening stanza, the Eagles were able to pull away to get the victory.

Quarterback Payton Holsopple has been a bright spot for the Panthers this season, throwing for 379 yards and four scores. Kaleb Holsopple has caught 10 passes for 327 yards to lead the team in receiving.

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