Things are starting to come together in a big way for the Linsly football team.
The Cadets will take a two-game winning streak into Ohio's capital city Friday night for another clash against the Columbus Crusaders.
''Last year, during our undefeated season, they gave us our closest game of the season when you look at margin of victory,'' Linsly coach B.J. Depew said of the non-OHSAA member squad.
''I'm really impressed how hard they play. They play with great enthusiasm. As a coach, you notice that. They always pose a threat and we know that.''
Depew had a chance to see the Crusaders (3-6) in person when they played host to Ursuline - the one from Ontario, not Youngstown - a few weeks ago. The team is coached by Ben Barlow, who served as the team's defensive coordinator last season.
''They use two quarterbacks, one is a better passer and one is a better runner,'' he said.
''I think every year their scheme is the same. They have some good athletes and can run the ball.''
That has posed some problems at times this season for the Cadets (3-5).
''We've been working on tackling and getting better on team defense,'' Depew said.
Linsly's offense got a shot in the arm last week with the return of quarterback Jameson Murray. Murray went 6-for-6 for 89 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-33 victory at Gilmour Academy.
Chimechi Oparanozie also returned to the lineup.
''Our offensive line has just made so much progress during the last few weeks,'' Depew stressed. ''The last few weeks something has ... just clicked. They're working well together right now.''
One the things Linsly done during the last few weeks is get more people involved in the offense. One of the players reaping the rewards is Brooks Simmons, who scored two touchdowns last week.
From about the middle of the season he's made more of a role and taken some of the load off Chinelo (Oparanozie),'' Depew said. ''He's turned into a good lead blocker.''