BY CHRIS MANNING, Northern Tier Sports Report
Sayre travels to Canton on Friday high for its 2023 season opener after a one-year hiatus from football in 2022. Canton takes its home field for the season opener after losing in the state semifinals late year.
“The players are excited to get the season started with a home game against Sayre,” said Canton coach Tyler Sechrist. “Last year we traveled to New Castle, Pa., and played Union Area, so it will be nice to playing our first game at home this year.”
The last time Sayre’s varsity took the field they made districts, so there is some recent history of success.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Sayre – Get some momentum early. Whether it’s a big offensive play, a turnover or even a stop on defense, Sayre can’t afford to get behind the 8-ball early. Canton has been a strong starter the past couple years, and could pull away by halftime, if they get going.
Canton – Don’t get down on the offense: There is likely to be some sputtering on offense as key players take over new roles. If things don’t click early, they shouldn’t get discouraged and keep at it – their defense will be there to lean on until they do.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kaden Bennett, Sayre, LB, TB – Bennett will be a busy man on Friday. While his running will be key, it will be his play on defense that will decide how the game goes for Sayre. Canton loves them some option with Holden Ward, and Bennett will be key for slowing that down.
Hudson Ward, Canton, RB, LB – Ward led the team in tackles last year with 141, while also recording three sacks, numbers that would win DPOY in some years. Offensively, though, he’ll be asked to carry the ball more, and look for him to improve on his 167 yards rushing from a year ago.