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(Rick Hickman/American Press)

Tigers try to reload for title run

Last Modified: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:25 AM

By Rhett Manuel / American Press

You know what you’re going to get when you play Oberlin.

The recipe hasn’t changed through the years. The Tigers like to run it, early and often.

Even with head coach Ronnie Simmons bringing along a new set of backs this high school football season, it doesn’t stop him from believing his team has what it takes to compete for the District 4-1A championship.

He said any success his team has will begin with senior quarterback Tanner Hebert. Hebert led Oberlin in rushing and receiving last year, but is making the move under center this season to maximize his touches.

“Tanner has been playing for us since his freshman year,” Simmons said. “We’ll try to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. He’ll be running a lot from the quarterback spot and he’s got a real strong arm.”

Hebert (5-9, 175) is one of 13 returning starters from last year’s 7-5 regional-round playoff team. Much of the team’s strength figures to be in an experience-laden defense that returns seven of those starters and projects every starter to be an upperclassmen.

Even with the experience returning, Oberlin lost seven seniors who Simmons called important. One of those seniors was Lance Frank, who had 117 tackles to lead the Tigers.

“We’re not losing a lot of numbers but we’re losing a lot of quality from that senior class,” he said.

Hebert will be flanked by as many as six ballcarriers on Friday nights and a pair of returning receivers in Johnny Andress (5-9, 170) and Donovan Berry (5-8, 160).

“We’re still going to run the ball. That’s what we do,” Simmons said. “We’re always going to try to run. This year we have a few more threats at wide receiver; we have good skill players. We’ll try to get them the ball in space as much as we can.

“I think we have six guys right now I feel comfortable about carrying the ball on Friday nights,” he added. “We’re going to play them all. Whichever one is hot that night is the one going to get it the most. I expect all of them to carry the ball.”

Oberlin Tigers

Sept. 5 — at Iota 7 p.m.

Sept. 12 — vs. Kinder 7 p.m.

Sept. 18 — at Rosepine 7 p.m.

*Sept. 26 — vs. E. Beauregard 7 p.m.

*Oct. 3 — at Elton 7 p.m.

*Oct. 10 — vs. Grand Lake 7 p.m.

*Oct. 17 — vs. Merryville 7 p.m.

*Oct. 24 — at Hamilton Christian 7 p.m.

*Oct. 31 — vs. South Cameron 7 p.m.

*Nov. 7 — at Basile 7 p.m.

*District game

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