By JOSH STROPE
While it is far from the end of the road, an 0-2 hole is not fun for any coach, player or fan.
Can Bryce Ingram and the Wheeling Park Patriots reverse their fortunes after an 0-2 start?
The message is almost always the same: ''Focus on one game at a time.''
Sure it might be coach speak but, at this point, is there any other way? If a team is going to make the playoffs, it starts now. For these 15 OVAC schools, that is the uphill battle facing them the rest of the way.
Wheeling Park: The Patriots showed a lot of fight against one of the better teams in the state in Bridgeport, holding a 16-3 lead at halftime. But much like the first game, Wheeling Park still hasn't found a way to win. The Patriots have the talent, but the schedule is brutal. Chris Daugherty's club has two weeks to prepare for a must-win game against University.
John Marshall: Things haven't been pretty this season and the rumblings and grumblings from the Monarchs faithful is only getting louder.
John Marshall has been blown out in the first two games and have current 2-0 teams Buckeye Local, Oak Glen, and Zanesville next on the slate. Things could get even uglier in a hurry.
Brooke: The Class AAA state runner-up hasn't found an identity yet in losses to Parkersburg and St. Clairsville. Brooke fans may not need to panic just yet. Brooke has a challenging schedule (Steubenville, Morgantown), but also has some teams that are struggling just as much. Mark Sept. 23 on the calendar when the Bruins visit Wheeling Island Stadium to face Wheeling Park in a match that is all of a sudden filled with importance.
East Liverpool: The Potters will have some work to do to get back to the playoffs after losses to Beaver Local and Carrollton. Maybe new coach Rick Prescott should have kept East Liverpool alum Lou Holtz around for a while when the national championship-winning coach stopped by recently for an ESPN special.
Edison: The Wildcats turned the corner last season but after just missing out on the playoffs, have appeared to take a step back with back-to-back losses. An increase in numbers has Edison looking good for the future but the present will need to be worked out first.
Union Local: The Jets dropped a heartbreaker to Morgan by one point. Not a good way to start with a 2-0 Barnesville team coming into town before entering the Buckeye 8 schedule.
Weir: Disaster is the best word to describe the beginning of the season for Weir. The Red Riders have been blown out in both games this season and saw starting quarterback William Larch injure his shoulder. Edison comes to town Saturday so one of those teams is guaranteed to get their first victory.
Bridgeport: A perfect regular season in 2010 has been just the opposite in 2011. The Bulldogs have plenty of talent but haven't been able to put it together. With Wheeling Central and Madonna still waiting in the wings, Coach Rudy Vavrock and his staff will likely be working overtime to right the ship quickly.
Buckeye Trail: The Warriors have been outscored 94-6 in their first two games. Ouch!
Tyler Consolidated: At least Buckeye Trail has scored. The Silver Knights haven't dented the scoreboard in their first two games and have been outscored 112-0.
Magnolia: Tyler Consolidated will try to get its first points against Magnolia, which is off to its first 0-2 start since 2008. Don't fret Blue Eagles fans, that same season they advanced all the way to the state championship game.
Frontier: The Cougars face Buckeye Trail on Friday with the winner avoiding an even more woeful 0-3.
Hundred: Team made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores aren't getting off to good starts to their varsity careers.
St. John Central: Just how bad is it at St. John? The Fighting Irish were pummeled by Conotton Valley, snapping a 28-game losing streak. That prompted Coach Paul Rose to say ''we are fielding a jayvee team playing a varsity schedule.''
Valley: Coach Tom West wasn't in a good mood Friday night after Cameron ran through the Lumberjacks and limited them to 10 yards of offense in the second half. A game against Hundred may be just what the doctor ordered.
Good Hands Team
(Weekend wrap only includes teams that called or emailed their stats on Sunday).