Following two straight undefeated regular seasons, Columbus DeSales stands at 2-2 following a Week 4 loss to Cincinnati Anderson.
The preseason favorite in the Division III, the Stallions have some work to do, according to head coach Ryan Wiggins.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Oh, how the mighty have…stumbled.
Ranked No. 1 in Division III in the Ohio High preseason
Power Poll, Columbus DeSales has hit a wall.
With the 28-25 loss to Cincinnati Anderson Friday night,
the Stallions stand at 2-2 with the toughest part of the schedule ahead of them.
DeSales trailed 21-3 in the first quarter and 28-10 at halftime but the Stallions made it interesting in the end.
“We battled back,” Wiggins said. “We gave them a lot in the
first quarter but that’s not to take anything away from Anderson. They have a
great football team and you can’t give them a short field turn the ball over and
allow them to get a lead like that especially with how strong of a running game they
Of course, last season Anderson and DeSales were both in
Division II. DeSales defeated Anderson 38-17 in the regular season but the
Redskins exacted revenge to the tune of a 14-10 state semifinals loss.
“When you played a team twice in one season and early in
the season the following year, I think they knew some things about us and we
knew some things about them,” Wiggins said. “It was a hard-fought football game
and when it comes down to it we made more mistakes than they did.”
After opening the season with a 38-0 win over Gahanna
Lincoln, it looked as though DeSales was well on its way to its third straight
undefeated regular season. But the Stallions fell to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
21-14 the following week and barely squeaked but New Albany 13-6 last week
before the Anderson loss in Week 4.
The task doesn’t get any easier with Division I Findlay,
Columbus St. Charles, rival Watterson, No.1-ranked Cincinnati Elder, Division I Cincinnati
LaSalle and Cleveland Benedictine left on the schedule.
“With our schedule, we have to regroup and bring our ‘A-Game’
every week if we want to win any games on our schedule,” said Wiggins. “I think
our guys fought hard (tonight) and hopefully we can learn from it.
“We’ve got to look at ourselves and get our mistakes
corrected and look at our next opponent. We’re going to do that each and every
With a program used to winning coming off back-to-back
undefeated regular seasons, spirits appeared to be broken amongst the players,
coaches and the Purple Faithful following the Anderson loss.
“I think when you fight that hard and come back and come up
just short, it’s hard,” Wiggins said. “It’s tough to lose on your home field but
there is a long road ahead and hopefully this game will make us better.
“I think you get a spoiled sometimes when you go 10-0,”
said Wiggins. “The bottom line is we’ve got some goals and all the goals we’ve
set are well within reach. We need to keep improving and take it one (game) at a
“I think you have to look at what’s ahead and learn from
what’s behind you and you don’t want to dwell on the past. We got beat by two
very good football teams. We’ve got to go at it each week and I think our guys
Ranked No. 4 in this week’s Power Poll, DeSales is sure to
slip further down the rankings or even drop out.
But for Wiggins, the rankings aren’t important and doesn’t think it is time to panic.
“When you’re playing for a championship, I don’t think rankings don’t help a
whole lot,” he said. “They don’t get you computer points, they don’t help you win
and they don’t mean anything, really. It’s all about getting to the playoffs.
“We’ve been down this road before and that’s what happens when you play a