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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Broncos Humbled, Hiller Hurt

Not a good night for the Western Michigan Broncos and Orrville alum Tim Hiller. They were thrashed by the Rice Owls to the tune of 38-14. WMU's only two scores came in the 4th quarter after the outcome was no longer in doubt.

Individually, Tim had another subpar game, and Coach Bill Cubit spoke on that at the post-game press conference, more on that in a second.

For the game, Tim was 19-42 for 198 yards, 2 TD's and 2 INT's. In the 4th quarter alone, Tim went 7-14 for 118 yds and his 2 TD passes. That also means that through the first 3 quarters, he was only 12-28 for 80 yards, 0 TD's and 2 INT's.

For the season, Tim was 339-522 (65%) for 3725 yds, 36 TD's and 10 INT's, bringing his career totals to 704-1094 for 8020 yds and 76 TD's.

After the game, Coach Cubit mentioned that Tim had played the last 2 regular season games and the bowl game with a torn left ACL. It's believed that the injury happened during the Illinois game. He tore his right ACL back in late 2005 and missed the entire 2006 season. This injury will at least keep him out of spring practice.

After revealing the injury, Coach Cubit had some very complimentary words for his QB...
“One of the things I love about this kid, he’s been playing with a torn ACL in his last three games and hasn’t said a word to anybody.”

“I asked him, ‘You sure you want to go out there?’ He says, 'Coach, I’m going to do this for this football team.' I know it didn’t work out for us tonight, but these kids are all winners, and this kid, what he did the last three games was unbelievable."

“So, I just wanted to let you guys know because he’ll never say a word about it. He’s never going to use it as an excuse. That’s how dedicated this kid is, so thanks.”

“The kid went into the locker room, the training room, the restroom and put (his leg brace) on so he wouldn’t let anyone else know he was wearing that,” Cubit said. “In my book, he’s really good.”

This is another tough break for Tim. His senior season in high school was ended when he broke his collarbone against Youngstown Liberty in a first round playoff game. Anyone at the game agrees that had Hiller remained in the game, the Riders would have likely won.

Individually, here's a list of WMU passing records and where Tim stands in each category.

Passing Yards, Season
Tim now holds the school record of 3725. Tim Lester is 2nd with 3639.

Passing Yards, Career
Current record is again held by Tim Lester with 11,299, with Hiller having 8020.

Passing Yards, Game
Tim already holds this record, throwing for 471 yards in a loss to Central Michigan. Previous record was 450 yds.

Passing Attempts, Career
Tim currently has 1094 career pass attempts. The school record is 1507, again held by Tim Lester.

Passing Attempts, Season
Tim now holds the school record of 522 attempts.

Passing Attempts, Game
Tim holds the record with 63 attempts, set earlier this year against Buffalo. Previous mark was 58.

Pass Completions, Career
Tim currently has 704 and is 2nd on the all-time list, school record is 875.

Pass Completions, Season
Tim set the record this season with 339 completions. Previous record was 282.

Pass Completions, Game
Another record Tim holds, completing 42 passes this past season against Buffalo. His 38 completions the following week versus Central Michigan was the 2nd most completions in school history.

Completion Percentage
School record for completion percentage in a season is 67%, Tim's 2008 mark was 65.0%. The record for completion percentage in a career is 60.2%, Tim is currently at 64.4% for his career.

Touchdown Passes, Career
Tim is all alone in 2nd place with 76, record is 87.

Touchdown Passes, Season
Tim broke the record in the bowl game, finishing with 36 TD passes for the season. Previous mark was 34.

Touchdown Passes, Game
Tim has thrown 5 TD passes in a game only twice, once last season and once this season. School record is 6.

We at the RRS blog congratulate Tim on a great season and wish him a speedy recovery. Orrville is proud of your accomplishments, and of your character.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Wishes from the RRS Blog

Just wanted to wish all my readers a Happy Festivus Merry Christmas. I've been at this since March and couldn't be happier with how things have progressed. This is the Blog's First Christmas, so I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion.

In the spirit of giving, here are a few gifts to my readers.

1. A new Red Rider Sports Blog logo (look up). Like? If anyone out there dabbles in grahpic art, and would like to design their own RRS Blog logo, feel free. I may design a few and rotate them when I feel the need to shake things up.

2. Here's a link to all the posts in my Playoff lookback. It's probably the biggest part of my blog, and if you've just recently found the site, here's a chance to catch up.

And while I'm in the Christmas are a few Christmas wishes that I have.

1. A win for Western Michigan and Orrville alum Tim Hiller in the Texas Bowl (12/30/08).

2. A playoff berth for the 2009 Red Rider football team. I think '09 will be the year for us to finally win the OCC and make our 20th playoff appearance.

3. A district title for the boys basketball team (last one was in 1996).

4. A return to the big skull award stickers for the football team.

Have a wonderful Christmas. Now let the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength commence.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New "Non-Orrville" Links

I've tried to keep my links (Look on the right side margin) as Orrville related as I can, but it's time to include some of my favorite sites that have nothing to do with Orrville sports. I hope you at least take a look, they're meant to broaden the mind and enrich your lives....or at least kill some time.

Let's start with probably the one that's most popular at this very moment, or the one that's got the most buzz....

Club Trillion. Never heard of it? Me neither, until about 2 days ago. It's run by a guy named Mark Titus, who also happens to be a non-scholarship junior on the OSU men's basketball team. He blogs about being an "end of the bench" guy and other behind the scenes stuff. I won't bother trying to explain the Club Trillion thing, but once you read this, it will make sense. His writing is fantastic. It's rare that athletes take up blogging, most don't know how, or could care less. This guy is different.

Bill Simmons. In the same mold of Club Trillion, Simmons writing is fantastic, and if you can get by the (sometimes) excess of Boston sports talk, he's always fun to read. If you podcast, his weekly podcast is one of the best out there.

UniWatch. Anyone who's read this blog knows my love for the details encompassed in a uniform, and this site is the holy grail. Not much more can or needs to be said.

Ballparks, Arenas and Stadiums. This is the site I got the St. John Arena slideshow from. It's a great time killer, and has the most complete collection of new and old ballparks and arenas.

Ohio Media Watch Blog. Covers Ohio radio and TV dealings. Must read.

Waiting For Nexy Year. Tremendous Cleveland sports blog. A good amount of humor for a site that covers the Browns.

The O-Zone. Ignore everything but the Photo Gallery. Trememdous pictures of every OSU football and basketball game. Any picture can be made into a print for you to buy.

I think that will do for now. If you have a favorite link or two that you think I might like, post it in the comments. I'll post these in the right hand sidebar.

Lastly, I've removed the counter on the right hand side. It was not giving me accurate readings. There have been 4000 page visits since October, but not 4000 visitors. I don't want to be accused of padding my stats.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Red Rider Playoffs: 1987

The '87 Red Riders became the 3rd team in school history to win 10 regular season games (1963 and 84 were the other two) and they did it in typical fashion....a potent offense, and a staunch defense. This year's defense was especially dominant, recording six shutouts, five of those coming against AOL opponents.

For the season, they outscored league opponents by an amazing 155-0 score. The irony of the season, however, would be the way the season ended.

Let's jump in the time machine and head back to 1987, we'll discuss the season, as well as the Riders 6th playoff appearance and some minutiae that you've come to appreciate from me.

Found on YouTube...The Orrville Valvoline Commercial

I just looked on YouTube the other week for this...and now it shows up.

Check out the shot at the beginning of the "Marching Band of Style," complete with the old Grand Poobah hats. Classic stuff.

I was young when this commercial was shot and don't believe me or my family were in the crowd, but I do remember people in the shoot received one dollar for their time and participation.

Anyways, it's a neat piece of Orrville history. Joe Sedelmaier was the producer of the commercial and he was born in Orrville. He was behind the old Wendy's "Where's the Beef" commercials also.

The first scene was shot along Market St. (obviously) near Brown's Furniture and the second shot was filmed along Crown Hill Rd. (or near there).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Basketball: Canton....Riders...Wasson Watch

Before I get to the crux of the post, just wanted to take a minute and thank the people who run the WQKT/Smitty Classic...namely Mike Breckenridge of WQKT, but I'm sure there were plenty of others who make it go, including the many volunteers who give their time to this event. Things are really starting to roll downhill as the classic finishes it's 4th year. Now all they need is a website to track the history of the classic and publish news on future classics.

Regardless, it's a well run classic with some real solid teams. A few buzzer beaters always helps too.

Now on to the other stuff.....

Canton District Update
Here's an updated schedule of teams in the Canton District. Overall, the NBC looks very average. Alliance is the early impressive team, but teams like Louisville have only played 1 game, plenty of games left to play.

St. V and Buchtel will be the class of the Akron teams.

My overall top 5 in the district would look like this...

5. Minerva
4. Alliance
3. Orrville
2. Buchtel
1. St. V

Check out the schedules and results here.

Riders win 2....everyone eligible (hopefully)
Nice weekend for the Riders, 2 wins, one coming in OT and one cupcake win at the Smitty. Plenty of work ahead as the Riders get deeper into OCC play. The Riders only play 2 games in the next 2 weeks, the 20th at West Holmes, who are still searching for win #1, and the 27th against Wooster, so hopefully some of the bad habits (FT shooting and turnovers) will get some additional work.

And I don't want to keep my fans waiting, here's the initial "Wasson Watch" © for the 2008-09 season.

The Wasson Watch

Season Points to Date: 51

Career Points to Date: 340

Season PPG: 17.0 ppg

Career PPG: 13.6 ppg

Points from 500: 160 (projected date of 500th point....Jan 30, 2009 @ Ashland)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Red Rider Playoffs: 1985 (Part 2)

Note: I can't believe I never posted this, it was complete back in early August, but I never published. Many apologies.....

Here's part 1 if you need to refresh yourself on the first 2 rounds of the '85 playoffs.

Click the link below for the final two games....and again....forgive me for not posting this sooner.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hiller & WMU to the Texas Bowl

Tim Hiller and the Western Michigan Broncos finally found out their bowl fate this past weekend. After hearing rumblings of the Hawaii Bowl, they'll have to settle for the lush beauty sprawling metropolis that is Houston, Texas.....home to the largest Rodeo in the world and the Texas Bowl. Their opponent....the Owls of nearby Rice University.

The game is set for Tuesday, December 30th at 8pm at Reliant Stadium. The place seats 71,500, so I'm guessing tickets are readily available.

Seeing the game from the wintry confines of Orrville, Ohio will take a little legwork. It will be broadcast on something called the NFL Network (anyone heard of it?). Thanks to a 2 year long standoff, the NFL Network is still not available on most local cable company's lineups.

Knowing this, you have 3 options....
1. Fly to Houston
2. Find a friend with a satellite dish
3. Head to Jerry's Bar

Anyone for a roadtrip? It's a scant 20 hours by car.

Here's the trophy that goes to the winner (oil tycoon not included!!), word is it doubles as a belt buckle.

And here is the MVP trophy and requisite cowboy hat ('cause it's Texas). Just something for Mr. Hiller to shoot for.

*****UPDATE:***** Here's the list of S.W.A.G. (stuff we all get) that both teams will receive from the Texas Bowl and it's sponsors.

1. Party at Best Buy (I'm assuming the Geek Squad will be there)
2. Swisstek watch (not a cheap watch, some styles cost $1000 or more)
3. Under Armour HeatGear long-sleeve T-shirt, Twister pants and cap
4. Commemorative belt buckle (Hmm....wonder what it will look like?? Maybe this?)
5. Toppers backpack
6. $300 Best Buy gift card

Nice haul. Beats what Ohio St. gets IMO....Myvu personal media viewer, Apple iPod Nano, Kenneth Cole watch, Hat. On second thought, I guess the hat kind of puts it over the top.

Friday, December 5, 2008

4th Annual Smitty Classic Lineup

Edit: This was originally posted back in May, but figured I'd bump it to the front of the line since it's so close.

Per The Daily Record, the lineup for the 4th annual Steve Smith/WQKT Classic is set, and the organizers have delivered another solid lineup of teams and matchups. I'm basing times on how the schedule has been set in previous years.

Saturday December 13h
Norwayne (D3) vs Claymont (D2) - 12:30pm
Northwestern (D3) vs Coshocton (D2) - 2:15pm
Liberty-Benton (D3) vs Tallmadge (D2) - 4:00pm
Smithville (D3) vs Columbus Africentric (D4) - 5:45pm
(College) Wooster vs Albion - 7:30pm

Sunday December 14th
Wooster (D1) vs Wadsworth (D1) - 12:30pm
Orrville (D2) vs East Liverpool (D2) - 2:00pm
Toledo St Johns (D1) vs Cleveland Heights (D1) - 3:30pm
N. Canton Hoover (D1) vs Dublin Scioto (D1) - 5:00pm
Triway (D3) vs Plymouth (D4) - 6:30pm

The day 1 game between Smithville and Cols. Africentric will be one to watch. The Smithies return many talented starters from their district title team in 2007-08.....the Nubians will give the Smithies a great measuring stick as to where they stand on a statewide level, as well as give them a solid non-conference test.

This will be Orrville's 4th appearance in the Classic named after legendary Orrville coach Steve Smith. Orrville has never lost a game in the Classic, beating Loudonville in 2005, Walsh-Jesuit in 2006 and Lima Senior in 2007, with all 3 victories being double digit wins.

In regards to Orrville's opponent, East Liverpool, (another mediocre opponent IMO), they are 6-4 in tournament play in the last 4 seasons, making a district final once.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Basketball: Canton District Schedules

It's never too early to look toward the Canton Fieldhouse and the Div. II district tournament. The field of teams is the same as last year, fourteen teams make up this years district, with Akron Hoban being the defending champ. Read on for more on the makeup of the district as well as a link to schedules for each team.

The district is represented by teams from four different conferences, 6 teams from the Northeastern Buckeye Conference, 3 from the Portage Trail Conference, 1 Independent, 1 from the North Coast League, 1 from the Principals Athletic Conference, 1 from the Akron City Series and 1 from the Ohio Cardinal Conference.

Finally, here is a link to the schedule of each team in the district. I will update it periodically as the season goes on. Enjoy.

Canton D2 District Schedules

In terms of strength, I don't think I'd be shocking anyone to say that St V. plays the toughest schedule, followed, in my humble opinion by Buchtel, Hoban and Louisville. I'd place Orrville 5th in terms of schedule strength.

Orrville is 1 of 5 teams in the district to NOT play a non-conference game against a district team. The other 4 being Norton, Minerva, Louisville and Akron Springfield. Louisville, however, plays 3 Federal League teams (Lake, Hoover & Glenoak) as part of their non-conference schedule.

In early season reports, there seems to be a lot of question marks coming from the NBC teams. There appears to be no clear cut favorite.....meaning another great 2 weeks of basketball is sure to take place in March.

Monday, December 1, 2008

2008 Orrville Hoops Preview....a new feature, and a poll.

Put the peach baskets up on's cage season!!

Here's my 2008-09 Boys Basketball preview......albeit a brief one.

Strengths: Low post size (Wasson, Pirman, Hoobler)
Weakness: Lack of an experienced PG...overall depth.
Question Mark: Can the Riders win their 1st district title since 1996?

My Starting Five:
PG - Joe Besancon
SG - Jake Bolyard
C - Zach Wasson
SF - Syndel Gant
PF - Max Pirman

Prediction: 16-4 (11-3 in the OCC, 2nd place).


Here's the schedule.

As for my new feature, let's call it the "Wasson Watch"©, it's purpose is to track the points of sophomore Zach Wasson....and here's what it will look like.

The Wasson Watch

Season Points to Date: N/A

Career Points to Date: 289

Season PPG: N/A

Career PPG: 13.1 ppg

Points from 500: 211 (projected date of 500th point....Jan 30, 2009 @ Ashland)

I'm not trying to undermine the "TOGETHERNESS" of the team....but I do feel that he has a real chance of being Orrville's 1st 1,000 point scorer in over 10 years, so why not track it. He also had 139 rebounds last season. Honestly, I think he has a chance to be a 1500 pt/600 rebound guy....and I'm not too sure how many other Orrville hoopsters can claim that. Very few for sure.

Lastly, a new poll at the top of the page. And just like the last early & vote often once.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

King of the Hill(er) - UPDATED: Through Ball St. game

Not slighting any other Orrville alum playing college ball, they will occupy an entirely separate post, but this post will focus on all things Tim Hiller.

For the 2nd straight week, Hiller and the WMU Broncos could be found on local TV, this past weekend, the sweet stylings of Fox Sports' Michael Reghi made the Toledo/WMU game even more watchable. Honestly, is there a better TV guy than Reghi? He loves to put a little extra mustard on the hot dog, but you can't say he doesn't love what he does. I still remember him doing the Orrville basketball state championship games back when he worked for SportsChannel.....Reghi loved the Red Riders.

Back to the game, it was a sluggish start, but Hiller led the Broncos on two straight scoring drives, one to end the 2nd quarter, and the other on their first drive in the 3rd, to turn a 7-3 deficit into a 17-7 lead, and eventually a 27-17 win.

It wasn't one of Tim's best games statistically, but I'm sure he's just as happy with the team's 9th win of the season and the 30th ranked Broncos in latest AP poll.

The Broncos have the week off as they prepare for their final regular season game of the season at Ball State on November 25th (Tuesday). A win would put WMU back into the running for a spot in the MAC championship game.

For the game he was 22/36 for 225 yds and 3 TD's and 1 INT, raising his season totals to an impressive 305/448 for 3382 yds, 33 TD's and 6 INT's.

UPDATE: The Broncos were manhandled by Ball St., 45-22. Tim needed to have a big game to give the Broncos a chance, but he only managed 145 passing yards, on 15 for 32 passing, with 1 TD and 2 INT's.

At this point, even with a loss to Ball St., the Broncos are still in line to play a bowl game somewhere (the Motor City, GMAC & International Bowls are the 3 that have contracts with the MAC).

Latest projections have the playing Rice in the Texas Bowl (played at Reliant Stadium in Houston) on December 30th.

Through the end of the regular season, his numbers are still excellent. 320/480 (66.7%) for 3527 yds...34 TD's and 8 INT's

Tim has already eclipsed a few school records, and is on the verge of adding a few more before the season is over. Here are the different passing categories, and where Tim stands, an asterik denotes a record Tim already holds.

Passing Yards, Season
School record is 3639, set in 1999 by Tim Lester. Currently, Tim Hiller has 3527 with 1 games left. Barring an injury, this record should fall.

Passing Yards, Career
Current record is again held by Tim Lester with 11,299, with Hiller having 7882 to date.

*Passing Yards, Game
Tim already holds this record, throwing for 471 yards in a loss to Central Michigan. Previous record was 450 yds.

Passing Attempts, Career
Tim currently has 1052 career pass attempts, more than likely, that number will be around 1100 by years end. The school record is 1507, again held by Tim Lester.

Passing Attempts, Season
Tim now holds the school record of 480.

*Passing Attempts, Game
This was another record broken earlier this year when Tim threw 63 times against Buffalo. Previous mark was 58.

Pass Completions, Career
Tim currently has 685 and is 2nd on the all-time list, school record is 875.

*Pass Completions, Season
Another record Tim already has, throwing 320 completions this year already. Previous record was 282.

*Pass Completions, Game
Another record Tim holds, completing 42 passes against Buffalo. His 38 completions the following week versus Central Michigan was the 2nd most completions in school history.

Completion Percentage
School record for completion percentage in a season is 67%, currently Tim is at 66.7%. The record for completion percentage in a career is 60.2%, Tim is currently at 65.2% for his career.

Touchdown Passes, Career
Tim is all alone in 2nd place with 74, record is 87. This record will fall very early next season.

Touchdown Passes, Season
Tim is tied for the school record with 34 TD passes.

Touchdown Passes, Game
Tim has thrown 5 TD passes in a game only twice, once last season and once this season. School record is 6. If I'm a betting man, I say he has a 7 TD game before it's all over with.

There you go, barring injury (always possible), or an early departure to the NFL (unlikely, but you never know), Hiller will likely rewrite almost every WMU passing record.

Hiller's performance, both on and off the field, is earning him some national recognition, as well as getting his name on a few post season awards list. He's a finalist for the Danny Weurffel Trophy, which is presented to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement as well as the National Awards and Recognition Association's annual Sportsmanship Award given to an NCAA Bowl Division player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship.

If Ball State goes undefeated, the MAC player of the year award will most likely go to Nate Davis, but if they slip, Mr. Hiller might have an outside shot at MAC POY, he certianly has the numbers. MAC player of the year is Nate Davis....hands down.

Here's a few more links....

20 questions with Tim Hiller (

Hiller founds FCA chapter at WMU (Western Herald)

Here's a 4 part interview with Face to Face, focusing on his play, but also his faith. Scroll to Tim's picture, right click the "Listen Now" button, click "Save Target As" and save it to your hard drive. For some reason, it works better this way. (

So what are his prospects for the NFL? If you can tell me that there isn't a single NFL team that would take a look at a 6'5" 230 lb. quarterback with great character, a 4.0 GPA and a Master's Degree coming out of college, then I guess you could say he has no future in the NFL. I think if he entered next April's draft, he get selected, but he's got one more year of eligibility left.

If there's room for Daunte Caulpepper in the NFL, there's plenty of room for Tim Hiller. I'd venture to say that the nearby Detroit Lions would love a player like Hiller.

Whatever is to come, one this is for sure....Hiller is doing his family, and Orrville proud. Continued success Tim.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Football: Division IV All-Ohio

Congrats to three Red Riders on being named to the Division IV All-Ohio team.
First Team Offense
WR - Sam Miller (38 receptions for 585 yds and 5 TD)

Second Team Offense
QB - Joe Besancon (1773 passing yds, 10 TD & 621 rushing yds, 6 TD)

Second Team Defense
LB - Chase Hoobler (129 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INT)

This was the 3rd straight season Orrville has placed a linebacker and a wideout (end) on the All-Ohio list.

All 3 players are juniors and have the rare opportunity to repeat as All-Ohioans. My records are somewhat incomplete in this area, but I dont believe we've had multiple players repeat as All-Ohioans, if we have, it's only been once or twice. Possibly in the 90's with players such as Jared Zwick, Marcel Denson, Renauld Ray and Tom Reusser. According to my records, it did not happen in the 80's. We had a few repeat All-Ohioans, but never did we have multiple players repeat in the same 2 seasons.

Here's the full list for the sake of posterity.
2008 Division IV All-Ohio List

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Red Rider Playoffs: 1986

The following is the latest in a series of historical reflections dealing with the Red Riders of Orrville High School and their quest for a football championship in the Ohio High School Athletic Association's state playoffs. The full archive can be found here.

This edition look at the year 1986.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Football: All-OCC Honors

Congratulations to Orrville junior Chase Hoobler who was named OCC Co-Defensive Player of the Year for 2008 along with Cody Fast of Ashland.

Hoobler had a monster year anchoring the Red Riders new defense, racking up 129 tackles (57 solo), 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and 1 blocked kick. All the more impressive was the fact that Hoobler doubled as a TE for the Red Rider offense and had 16 catches for 248 yds and 2 TD's.

Ashland's Fast led the OCC with 6.5 sacks, but only had 64 total tackles from his defensive tackle position (compared to Chase's 57 SOLO tackles!!). I guess sometimes stats do not paint the entire picture.

Other Riders named All-OCC include.....

First Team
Joe Besancon - Jr.
Sam Miller - Jr.
JT Mosley - Jr.
Jordan Simon - Sr.
Josh Graber - Sr.

Second Team
Daniel Groves - So.
Kam Barnes - Sr.
Angel Kazim - Sr.
Albert Kazim - Sr.
Aaric Milligan - Sr.

Third Team
Dillon Corbett - Jr.
Mason Monheim -Fr.
Dee Miller - Sr.

OCC Player of the year was Courtney Avery and coach of the year was BJ Payne, both from Lexington and both very deserving choices.

Full list of selections is here.

Breakdown of Players by Team
Lexington - 15 (actually 17 if you count Gallik-Spec. Teams POY and Avery-Off. POY)
Orrville - 13 (14 if you count Chase Hoobler)
West Holmes - 11
Wooster - 11
Ashland - 7
Clear Fork - 7
Mansfield Sr. - 5
Madison - 5

The number of All-OCC selections correspond perfectly with the final conference standings. Apparently, the better your season, the more conference selections you get, which makes sense.

Congratulations to all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Orrville Football 2008: Season in Review

I didn't want to write the season ending post for football so soon, but such is life. This will contain a lot of historical information, statistics and even a little bragging. Here we go.............

Stating the obvious, we finished 7-3 and tied for 2nd in the OCC. It was the 41st time in school history that the Riders have won 7 or more in a season. The win over Wooster was the 569th in school history, placing us in the top 25 of all Ohio schools, per this link. Something else I've just discovered, if my records are correct, this was our 99th season of football.

That would make the 2009 season, the 100th in school history!!!

Our first year was in 1903, but there was a gap (either records were not kept, or there was no team) from 1904-1908, and then again from 1910-1911.'ve been warned. There is nearly a year to begin planning festivities for the 100th year of Orrville football. Maybe an All-Century team? Special night honoring great Orrville players from each generation? Throwback uniforms? Oh, the possibilities. We'd better form a committee right now.

This was Coach Davault's 3rd season, and 3rd winning season. His career record at Orrville stands at 23-10 (70%)

Statistics wise, we scored 281 points, 4th highest this decade, and gave up only 152 points, our best defensive effort (in terms of points allowed) since 1996. This was the first year of the 3-3-5 defense, and for getting off to such a rocky start, the defense really progressed throughout the year, culminating with 2 shutouts in the last 4 games, and giving up a total of just 44 points (8.8 ppg) in the final 5 games of the season.

One very interesting stat, we were 7-0 when scoring over 20 points.

The Riders scored 51 in a week 6 win over Mansfield Senior, their first time above 50 since a 2004 win over Lexington (56-40), and just the 4th time this decade they've broken the 50 point barrier.

For the season, the Riders had over 4000 all purpose yards (1601 rushing, 1780 passing, and 705 return yards).

They were led in scoring by Sam Miller with 42 points, Aaric Milligan was second with 40 points.

Individual Leaders
Passing Yards - Joe Besancon - 1773 yds
Rushing Yards - Joe Besancon - 621 yds
Rushing TD's - Joe Besancon - 6
Receptions - Sam Miller - 38
Receiving Yds - Sam Miller - 585 yds
Receiving TD's - Sam Miller - 5
Tackles - Chase Hoobler - 129
INT's - Sam Miller - 5
Sacks - JT Moseley - 3

Time to Brag
One of the most fun things I do on here is the game previews. Here's a rundown of all 10 game previews from this season, to refresh your memory. I loved doing the predictions, and most times, was frighteningly (read: sometimes) accurate. Observe.....

Actual Points Scored: 281
Points Predicted: 298

Actual Points Allowed: 152
Points Predicted: 185

Look out I come. As long as I don't end up like Jimmy "The Greek."

Team MVP's
Pretty simple, but deserving nonetheless.

Offensive MVP: Joe Besancon (621 yds rushing, 6 TD - 1773 passing yds, 10 TD)
Defensive MVP: Chase Hoobler (129 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INT's, 1 blocked kick)
Co-Special Teams MVP: Sam Miller (438 return yds, 1 TD) & Aaric Milligan (28/34 EP's, 5/6 FG)

Looking Ahead
Next year holds plenty of promise, as almost all of our skill positions are back, as well as 4/5ths of our offensive line. The schedule is exactly the same, only locations flipped. It's WAAAAAAY too early, but a 9 or 10 win season is not out of the question. It does appear the season will start a week later than normal, with the Northwest game coming in the last week in August, and the Wooster game being played on October 30th.

There's also the possibility of Orrville dropping down to D5, which would most likely put the Riders in the same region as most WCAL teams.

As always, we'll see what happens.

To the seniors, thank you for your dedication and for carrying on the tradition of Red Rider football.

To the underclassmen, work hard and come back hungry. You have A LOT to prove in 2009. Good is nice, but great is better. Let's be great next season.

Photo courtesy of Captured Memories Photograhpy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wooster Game Classics - Quick Hitters

Note: This is the third (and last) in a series of "lookbacks" into some of the great games and great performances in Orrville history against their rivals from Wooster. Today's feature details the 1982, 1987 and 1994 games.


The Generals again entered the week 10 matchup as the favorites, but the Riders entered Mauer Field and came away victorious, their 3rd straight win at Wooster, 26-6.
The Generals tallied nearly 300 yards through the air, but only managed 6 points, as the Riders used big plays and took advantage of every opportunity.

Here's the game article, note that the Wooster QB is their current head coach Mike McCreary.

Uni Note: Note that the Riders are wearing white jerseys on the somewhere between 1977 and 1982, the switch to "red at home" and "white on the road" was made.

Quick Sidebar: 1984

This is not from a Wooster game, but it just might be the quintessential Orrville Football picture. It simply has it all......Mo, cowboy hat, skull stickers, Tom Bolyard...simply a work of art. If you do nothing else, you need to look at this picture. 1980's Orrville Football personified.


This was the 3rd of 4 undefeated regular season in the 80's for the Riders, and one that saw their defense give up a TOTAL of 39 points in 10 regular season games, including a complete shutout of every AOL team. All that was left was to beat Wooster, and the Riders came through, posting a 21-10 win at Red Rider Stadium.

The Generals rushed for 122 yds against the Steve Kovacs led defense, the only team to rush for over 100 yds as a team all season.

Game article here.


This was the first Orrville-Wooster game at the new Follis Field, and the Riders christened in the way only a Red Rider could love, by putting up 40 points and shutting out the Generals. The Riders potent offense led by QB Jared Zwick, RB Tom Reusser and WR's Marcel Denson and Renauld Ray drove up and down the field and the Riders senior laden defense held the Generals in check.

It would be the first of two wins at Follis Field, and the first of 2 shutouts, as the Riders would beat Clear Fork the very next week in the first round of the playoffs 19-0. The Riders won more games at Follis Field in 1994 than the Generals did, and the Riders would continue the dominance on the basketball court, beating the Generals at the College of Wooster a month later by the same 40 point margin.

The 1994 Riders would advance all the way to the state finals in Division 4, before being bounced by Germantown Valley View.

Here's the article from the game.

That's it for the rewind machine....hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed researching them. Honestly, I could a writeup for every Orrville/Wooster game, it was hard picking just a few.

I'd love to hear any and all feedback. Thanks for reading.

Go Riders! Beat Wooster!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Week 10 Preview - Red Riders vs Generals

Who: Orrville Red Riders (6-3, 4-2) vs. Wooster Generals (6-3), (4-2)
Where: Charles W. Follis Field (Click Here for Map & Directions)
When: Friday October 24th, 7:00pm

All Time Series: Wooster leads 50-38-9
Last Meeting: 2007 (Orrville won 14-0)
Last Week: Orrville beat Madison 41-7, Wooster beat Mansfield Senior 38-13.

This is the 98th meeting between these 2 rival schools, one of the longest in the state, and when you talk about Orrville versus Wooster, the old cliche of "you can throw the records out the window" is very apt. It truly does not matter if 1 team is undefeated and the other is winless, it typically has very little impact on this game. The game can be a season maker or a season breaker. It can win a league title or lose a league title. It can secure a playoff spot or eliminate a team from the playoffs.

The Riders have owned the series in the "playoff era" (1972 to Present) winning 23 of the 35 games between the school, including the last 3. The Riders are 4-3 at Follis Field since it's inception in 1994.

Quick History Note: Here's a picture of Charles Follis from 1899 surrounded by his Wooster High teammates. Even though it's Wooster, that's a pretty awesome picture. Check out an early version of shoulder pads on the 1 kid holding the sign. And the ball Follis is holding is looks much more oblong that footballs today. This picture was taken 4 years before Orrville and Wooster would square off for the first time.

Both teams enter the game with identical 6-3 records, and both teams mathematically still have a shot at making the playoffs in their respective regions....albeit a terribly small percentage. Drew Pastuer's (COW math professor) Fantastic 50 web site has the Riders with a 1% chance of making the playoffs and the Generals with an 8% shot.

As for the game itself, the Generals rely heavy on Senior running back Shawn Riley, the OCC's 2nd leading rusher with 1079 yds and 12 TD. He is also 2nd in the OCC in punt return yardage with 255 yds and a score. He is less than 100 yds away from gaining 1500 all purpose yards for the season.

The Generals complement Riley's running with a balanced passing attack. Senior QB Nick Allen has thrown for 1201 yds on the season, but only 5 TD's to 13 INT's. Allen's favorite target is sophomore Duke Price (24 rec. for 430 yds and 4 TD).

Orrville is led on offense by junior signal caller Joe Besancon, who leads the Riders in passing yards (1559 yds, 8 TD) and rushing yards (527 yards, 5 TD). Seniors Josh Graber (263 yds, 2 TD), Dee Miller (191 yds, 1 TD), junior Thirajn Pittman (164 yds, 3 TD) and freshman Mason Monheim are all viable options out of the Rider backfield.

The Rider defense has only allowed 152 points in 9 games so far, and barring a scoring outburst by the Generals, are poised to hold opponents under 200 points for a 10 game season for the first time since the 1999 season. The Rider defense is anchored by junior Chase Hoobler (114 tackles, 2 INT, 1 sack) and senior twins Angel (63 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT) and Albert (66 tackles, 2 sacks) Kazim.

The Wooster defense is led by Ryan Huttinger (90 tackles, 2 INT and 1 sack) and Matt Kopina (69 tackles, 3 INT's).

Summary: Both teams have taken similar paths to this game. Both have beaten the bad teams on their schedule, and gotten beat by the good teams. I think this has the potential to be a very good game, with both teams playoff hopes almost invisible, all that's left is pride and bragging rights.

Prediction: A tight first half, but the Riders pull away late and beat the Generals 28-14. And for the 4th year in a row.....Rider fans will celebrate.

Orrville/Wooster - By the Numbers

All-Time Series: Wooster leads 50-39-9

First Game: 1903 (Won by Wooster 22-6)

First Orrville Win: 1917 (The 8th Meeting, Orrville 13-0)

Longest Win Streak for Wooster: 7 (1903-1916)

Longest Win Streak for Orrville: 6 (1994-1999)

All-Tim Series Score: Wooster leads 1621-1234

Most Points Scored by Wooster: 67 (1913: Wooster 67-0)

Most Points Scored by Orrville: 55 (1995: Orrville 55-6)

Largest Margin of Victory: 67 (1913: Wooster 67-0)

Least Points scored by Winning team: 3 (1979: Wooster 3-0)

Shutouts by Wooster (not counting ties): 26 (last one was in 1981)

Shutouts by Orrville (not counting ties): 12 (last one was in 2008)

Games played at Neutral Sites: 4 (2 at the COW, 2 at the Wayne Co. Fairgrouds)

Orrville coaching records versus Wooster:
Bill McMillan (11-7)
Mo Tipton (10-9-3)
Bill Shunkwiler (3-6-1)
Doug Davault (3-0)

One item of note, Tipton started out 1-6-3 in his first 10 Wooster games, but went 9-3 over his final 12 seasons. Almost opposite, Bill McMillan was 10-2 in his first 12 years against Wooster, but then lost 5 of his last 6 to finsih 11-7 against the Generals.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wooster Game Classics - The Griggs Years

Note: This is the second in a series of "lookbacks" into some of the great games and great performances in Orrville history against their rivals from Wooster. Today's feature details the 1975, 1976 and 1977 games.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wooster Game Classics - 1959 & 1964

Note: This is the first in a series of "lookbacks" into some of the great games and great performances in Orrville history against their rivals from Wooster. Today's feature details the 1959 and 1964 games.

1959: Howard runs the Riders to victory

In what was probably the first great individual performance by a Red Rider in a Wooster game, senior back Bobby Howard rushed for 210 yds and 3 TD's, and a 75 yd punt return for a TD in leading the Riders to a 32-22 win at Orrville.

Howard's 3 rushing TD's were not merely goal line plunges, but rather long runs of 72, 45 and 50 yards. The 50 yd TD run came in the 4th quarter as the Riders were nursing a 26-22 lead, and effectively put the game away. Howard's performance would not be eclipsed until nearly 20 years later by Mark Griggs' 5 TD's in the 1975 game.

At the time, the win was the 2nd highest winning score by an Orrville team and broke a 5 game winless streak (0-4-1) against the Generals, who were favored in this matchup by 2 TD's in "pregame ballotting" (I'd love to see what that consisted of), according to the game article. The combined 54 points was the highest point total in an Orrville-Wooster game since 1931 (A 61-0 Wooster win).

With the win, the Riders finished the '59 season with a 4-5 record, while the Generals finished 6-4.

Note: I'd post the article, but the microfilm was very blurry.

1964: "Hoss" Houmard leads the way

The 1964 Red Rider squad came into the Wooster game with an 8-1 record (only loss to Coventry) and their 2nd Chippewa Conference title (in the 2nd year of the Chipp Conference) in a row, boasting a defense allowing less than 7 points a game, and an offense that averaged over 35 ppg.

Leading the way for the Riders was senior all-state back Bob Houmard, who ran for 1000+ yds plus in each of his junior and senior seasons. Legendary coach Bill Shunkwiler called Houmard "the best all-around back I've coached."

Houmard found the endzone twice, and ran for 136 yds on 25 carries, but was also assisted by a littany of fellow Red Riders, led by senior back Mike Norman (82 yds on 14 carries) and junior back Fred Ray (110 yds on 6 carries), Jim Lyon (56 yds & a TD) and Dave Yonto (52 yds on 2 carries).

The Rider defense was led by cornerbacks Paul Reusser and Howard Lorson.

The Generals had no answers on either side of the ball, and the Riders ran at will to a 40-8 win over Roman Majerczak's Generals at Mauer Field, capping a 9-1 season.

It was Wooster's most lopsided loss of the season, and most lopsided Orrville win in the history of the series to date, a record that stood exactly 30 years.

What struck me about this article was the complete team effort, on both sides of the ball. I'd like to believe that the young men on this team banded together for 1 common cause, to beat Wooster.

Again, the microfilm printed out very blurry, but here's a picture from the game of Bob Houmard slicing through the Generals defense. Uni Note: Take a look at those Orrville helmets.....what a thing of beauty.

The article mentioned a "jinx" on the Riders when it came to beating Wooster, and in looking through the archives, it was accurate. The Riders won over 70% of their games in the 1960's but only managed a 2-5-3 record against the Generals, and especially tough games in 1960, 1968 and 1969 where the Riders came into the Wooster game undefeated, but left with either a loss (1960) or a tie (1968, 1969).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wooster Week - Calling All Riders!!!!

I want to provide an opportunity for you, the reader, to relay any story that you think is relevant to Wooster week. The prespetive does not matter, if you're a player, a parent, a fan, a coach, band member, cheerleader, official, it makes no difference. I'd love to get some stories or memories dealing with the entire spectrum of the week. Anything that is memorable to you, or left an impact on you.

And the angle of your story or memory does not matter either. If it's about the Wooster Senior Assembly, putting the pads on 1 final time, beating Wooster and making the playoffs, a personal recollection of a memorable game or performance, going to the bonfire...whatver. It's truly a blank slate for you to fill. All I ask is that it be relatable to the Orrville/Wooster rivalry.

Use the comment section below to post your stories & recollections, I will not publish any messages left in the comment section to this particular post, rather I will use them in a separate post, to be posted hopefully the morning of the bonfire, to give everyone plenty of time to read them.

Sharpen your pencils fellow Riders, let's really make this something that brings to life the passion that we all share.

Here's your inspiration, should you need any........

PS - Please, if you know of someone that hasn't yet discovered this blog, but think they could contribute a Wooster Week memory, forward them this link. Just copy and paste this link in an email and send it to them.......

Beat Wooster!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Week 9 Preview - Orrville vs Mansfield Madison

Who: Orrville Red Riders (5-3, 3-2) vs. Mansfield
Madison Rams (2-6, 1-4)
Where: Orrville Red Rider Stadium (Click Here for Map & Directions)
When: Friday October 17th, 7:00pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 22-15-1 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2007 (Orrville won 28-21)
Last Week: Orrville lost to West Holmes 19-17, Madison lost to Lexington 48-15.

This is the 38th meeting between the 2 schools, making it the 3rd longest rival in terms of games played against each other. Only Wooster and Wadsworth have faced the Red Riders more than the Rams (the combined games between Millersburg High and West Holmes total 84, but in terms of games against 1 school, Wooster is first, Wadsworth is 2nd and Madison is 3rd).

The Riders have won 4 of the last 5 meetings, including the last 2, both by 7 points.

Both teams come in licking their wounds. The Riders lost to West Holmes, and their playoff chances took a serious hit, while the Rams were the latest victim of the Lexington Minutemen.

The Rams are a run first team, having 2 backs over the 400 yd mark on the season. They also have 1 receiver of 400 yds as well, so they are not afraid to throw the ball.

The Rider offense has struggled in the past 2 weeks, failing to score more than 20 points in either game. One bright spot in last week's game was the seeming emergence of senior Josh Graber as the feature running back, who posted 117 yards on just 8 carries, and is averaging 8 yards per carry for the season, only Pickens from Lexington is averaging more yards per carry. It will be interesting to see if Graber is given more carries in an attempt to jump start the offense.

The Riders may be without senior DB and kicker Aaric Milligan who left the West Holmes game early with a leg injury.

Both teams have plenty left to play for, and this series has produced some very memorable games, it will be interesting to see how the Riders respond and if they are ready to put last week behind them, and if Madison can again play the Riders tough and hang around until the 4th quarter.

Summary: The Riders can still make the playoffs given they win their last 2 games and get some help. A loss to Madison would end the season and be indicative of a team that's given up. I have plenty of faith in the coaches and the players to motivate themselves to come out and play hard.

Prediction: The Riders get back on track and build some momentum toward a week 10 matchup with Wooster with a 29-15 win.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend WrapUp

Let's get this out of the way first.......

Deflating Loss to West Holmes.
For the 2nd year in a row, the Knights scored a victory over the Riders, 19-17. The win was the first on Orrville turf since 1992 (the 1996 win was a forfeit) and again threw the Riders playoff chances into limbo.

The Riders held the lead (17-13) and the ball with 5 minutes left but were unsuccessful in running time off the clock and were forced to punt. The Knights took over and drove 68 yards for the game winning score.

Playoff Chances.
The Riders hopes for their 20th appearance in the state playoffs took a major hit with the loss to West Holmes. Orrville would have most likely been in the playoffs if they had won their last 3 games, with very little help needed.

Now the Riders need to not only win out, but get help in the forms of several teams ahead of the Riders losing.

Currently the Riders sit in 12th place, a full 2 points out of 8th place.

For the record......I predicted the Riders would be 7th after week 8 with 13.575 points, had they beaten West Holmes and everything else remained the same, the Riders would be 7th with 13.58 points, ahead of 8th place Triway with 13.39 points. If and buts..........

Let's take a closer look at games this week that will impact the Riders playoff chances.....teams that Orrville fans should be rooting for are in red.

Triway (6-2) @ Tuslaw (8-0). Very simple, a Titan win would seriously wound, if not kill, Orrville's chances. Triway could end up as high as 5th place with a win over the Mustangs. A Triway loss means the Titans would need to beat Timken and get help to get in.

New Philadelphia (8-0) @ Coshocton (7-1). See above. A Coshocton win makes it very difficult for the Riders. The Redskins are fresh off a win over winless Maysville, and end the season against (1-7) River View. Neither game gets Coshocton too many 2nd level points, so this week's game against the Quakers is pretty much a win-or-stay-home scenario. A Redskin win would vault them into the top 8.

Girard (8-0) @ LaBrae (7-1). A game against 2 schools I know very little about. The winner is in the top 8, the loser needs help. The best situation (and most likely) the Riders can hope for is for Girard to lose to LaBrae and then lose in week 10 to undefeated Liberty. This would end Girard's hopes.

Perry (7-1) @ West Geauga (5-3). The Pirates sit 5th and look to solidify that position with a win. A loss would certain tighten up the standings and push the Pirates down to the 7th or 8th spot, and make their week 10 matchup with Chagrin Falls a must win. I don't think a win or a loss directly impacts the Riders, but I'd rather see Perry win and solidify their 5th or 6th place standing.

So.....where will we sit after this week??? The million dollar question. Given a Rider win over Madison, a Wooster win over Senior, and a Clear Fork win over Ashland, I project the Riders to only move up 1 spot to 11th, behind Manchester (8th), Triway (9th) and Coshocton (10th).

With Manchester's big week 10 game against CVCA, and Triway and Coshocton running low on 2nd level points, a jump to 8th place by the Riders after a win over Wooster is not only possible, but probable.

Riders in College.
Tim Hiller - QB - Western Michigan.
The drumbeat of solid statistical games continues for the OHS grad, and this one may have topped them all. Hiller set school records for attempts (63) and completions (42) in a game and threw for 345 yds and 4 TD's leading the Broncos to a 34-28 comback win at Buffalo.

Tim is statistically among the top QB's in the country, ranking 5th in passing yards (2046), 2nd in attempts (283), 2nd in completions (193) and tied for 2nd in TD passes (23).

In terms of WMU school records, Tim needs 11 more TD passes to tie Tim Lester's mark of 34, and needs 1593 yds to break the record for passing yards in a season, also held by Tim Lester (3639). With five games left, these records are all reachable.

For his efforts against Ohio, Tim was named Co-Offensive Player of the week for the MAC West.

The Broncos (6-1, 4-0) are currently on top of the MAC West division, tied with Ball State and Central Michigan with 0 losses. But in the latest Rivals 120, the Broncos weigh in at #61, while 4-2 Central Michigan (WMU's next opponent) is almost 20 spots higher at #43. Doesn't appear that the Broncos are getting much respect.

Speaking of respect, here's a nice article about Tim's maturation in the WMU program. It's nice to see Coach Cubit giving out some well deserved praise to his junior signal caller. Pretty amazing also that Tim is set to earn his MBA (Masters in Business Adm.) the spring after his senior season.

Tom Brenner - DB - Ashland.
Tom had 9 tackles (6 solo and 3 assist) including 1 sack in Ashland's 43-24 win over Northwood.

The win puts the Eagles at 5-2 and 5-1 in the GLIAC.

Tom is either the sole leader, or tied for the lead in every major defensive category (tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, INTs and forced fumbles)

UPDATED: Turf Stadiums - Northeast Ohio

Here is the list of NE Ohio Stadiums with artificial turf, and the teams that use each field. (recent additions are in BOLD)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Week 8 Preview - Orrville vs West Holmes

Who: Orrville Red Riders (5-2, 3-1) vs. West Holmes Knights (3-4, 2-2)
Where: Orrville Red Rider Stadium (Click Here for Map & Directions)
When: Friday October 10th, 7:00pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 24-11 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2007 (West Holmes won 33-17)
Last Week: Orrville beat Ashland 21-0, West Holmes beat Senior 14-13.

This is the 36th meeting between the Knights and the Red Riders, with the first game in the series coming in 1967. The Riders have won 7 of the last 9. The two teams did not play between the seasons of 1997-2002, but have renewed the rivalry since both joined the OCC in 2003.

Last season's win by the Knights (33-17) was the most lopsided Knight win since a 24-7 win over the Riders in 1982.

The Knights are coming off a 1 point win over Senior, while the Riders shutout Ashland 21-0. The Knights currently sit in 15th place in Division III Region 11, while the Riders are 10th in Region 13 and stand to make a jump into the top 8 with a win over the Knights.

The Riders posted their first shutout in nearly a year last week, and are on pace to have their best defensive season since 1999, currently allowing only 18 ppg.

The Knights boast two backs who have cracked the 500 yd mark on the season in senior Mark Rohr (636 yds) and junior Brandon Mackey (516 yds). Junior Zac Mathis leads the Knights air attack, passing for 508 yds and 7 TD's on the season.

The Riders are led on the ground and through the air by junior QB Joe Besancon. He has ran for 367 yds and passed for another 1244 yds and 9 total TD (6 passing, 3 rushing). Besancon's favorite target is junior Sam Miller who is first in the OCC in receptions with 30 and 3rd in receiving yards with 416.

Summary: The Riders remember their trip to Millersburg last season, and the sting is still present from that 33-17 loss. West Holmes will look to win only the 4th game on Red Rider Stadium turf, and first road win at Orrville since 1992.

Prediction: The Riders post a convincing 31-7 victory and take their next step towards the playoffs. Senior Aaric Milligan caps off the scoring with a 40 yd+ field goal.

Week 8 Projections - Region 13

Here is my best educated guess on games this week that will impact DIV, R13. I'm only looking at teams currently in 5th through 12th position. I think the top 4 is about as solid as can be (Steubenville, Tuslaw, St. V. and Mooney).

Here are the current standings as of right now.....

Rank - Team - (1st Lvl - 2nd Lvl - Avg)
5th - Manchester (27.5-82-12.12857)
6th - CVCA (25.5-84.5-12.09286)
7th - Coshocton (27.5-81.5-12.07857)
8th - Triway (23-86-11.88571)
9th - Perry (31.5-70.5-11.550)
10th - Orrville (26-64.5-10.16429)
11th - Girard (31.5-55.5-10.10606)
12th - LaBrae (27-61.5-10.0714)

Here's how I see each team doing this week.....
Manchester - Lose to Tuslaw (7-0)
CVCA - Beat Division II Timken (3-4)
Coshocton - Beat Division IV (and winless) Maysville (0-7)
Triway - Beat Division IV Tusky Valley (1-6)
Perry - Beat Division IV Beachwood (2-5)
Orrville - Beat Division III West Holmes (3-4)
Girard - Beat Division IV Campbell Memorial (2-5)

And from that, and the resulting 2nd level points earned by each team, here's where I think each team will stand after the weekend.

Rank - Team - (1st Lvl - 2nd Lvl - Avg)
5th - CVCA (31-110.5-14.925)
6th - Perry (36-98-14.300)
7th - Orrville (31-97-13.575)
8th - Manchester (27.5-100.5-13.4875)
9th - Coshocton (32-94-13.400)
10th - Triway (27.5-99.5-13.3875)
11th - Girard (36-73.5-11.9242)
12th - LaBrae (31-79-11.775)

The big winners....Orrville & Perry, due to their strength of schedule, jump from 10th and 9th to 7th and 6th respectively. Triway and Coshocton will drop the most, largely due to very little 2nd level points from their opponents. Coshocton will get no 2nd level points for beating Maysville and Triway will only get 5 second level points for beating Tusky Valley. Compare to Orrville who will get 16.5 second level for beating West Holmes alone.

The Wild Card....Manchester. A win over Tuslaw would put the Panthers in the top 4, and also bump Triway back into the top 8.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend WrapUp

Big Win over Ashland.
The Riders took care of business Friday, beating Ashland 21-0 on the road. Nothing too earth shattering, other than Dillon Corbett's kick return for a TD to open the 2nd half. Kickoff returns for touchdowns have become an endangered species over the last several years, but it was just a matter of time before Corbett or Sam Miller broke one.

What I think is getting overlooked is the Riders performance on defense. The Riders gave Ashland their first shutout in nearly 2 years, and held the OCC's leading rusher Shane Kipp to just 27 yds, and the entire Ashland offense to just 82 yards.

Computer Points.
The Riders jumped up 1 spot to 10th in the latest Region 13 poll. Click here for the detailed standings. The Riders need to keep winning and all is well.

Riders in College.

  1. Tim Hiller - QB - Western Michigan. Another solid day for Tim in a 41-20 win over OU. He was 24/37 for 347 yds, 4 TD and 1 INT. For the season he is 151/220 for 1701 yds, 19 TD and 4 INT. Hiller's passing yards put him 5th in the entire NCAA (D1) and he's tied for 2nd place in TD passes.

  2. Tom Brenner - DB - Ashland. Tom had 9 tackles (4 solo and 5 assist) and 1 INT in the Eagles 41-14 win over Wayne St.

  3. Tony McMorrow - DE - Heidelberg. Tony had 2 tackles in Heidelberg's 52-14 loss to Otterbein.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Week 7 Preview - Orrville vs Ashland

Who: Orrville Red Riders (4-2, 2-1) vs. Ashland Arrows (2-4, 1-2)
Where: Ashland Community Stadium (Click Here for Map & Directions)
When: Friday October 3rd, 7:00pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 7-6 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2007 (Ashland won 42-0)
Last Week: Orrville beat Senior 51-18, Ashland beat West Holmes 20-13.

This is the 14th meeting between the two schools, dating back to the 1995 season, with Orrville holding still holding a 7-6 series lead even though Ashland has won 4 of the last 6.

Ashland broke a 4 week losing streak last week, beating West Holmes 20-13. It has been an up and down year for the Arrows, hit hard by graduation, including All-Ohio QB taylor Housewright. Their offensive struggles have been well documented, outside of a week 1 win over Willard, they have not scored more than 20 points in a game.

The Riders are coming off their best offensive output of the season, rolling up 465 yds (168 rushing and 297 passing) in a 51-18 win over Mansfield Sr. The Riders still sit in 11th place in the most recent OHSAA computer poll and need to continue winning in order to secure a playoff spot.

Orrville's attack will again be led by junior QB Joey Besancon (86/159 for 1156 yds and 6 TD) who will look to spread the wealth among fellow junior wideouts Sam Miller (27 rec. for 379 yds and 4 TD) and Dillon Corbett (11 rec. for 251 yds and 2 TD).

Ashland's success in this game will center on RB Shane Kipp, #31 has run for 925 yds on the season, along with 10 TD's. He averages over 7 yards/carry and over 150 yds/game. If the Kipp and the Arrows are able to run the ball effectively, they will be able to keep the Riders potent air attack off the road. Ashland's air attack has been less than impressive this season, so I'm sure the Arrows will look to run first and pass second.

Summary: On paper, this is a game the Riders should win. I think the game earlier this season on turf at Copley will help the Riders this week on Ashland's turf. The Riders must limit Kipp's big plays, let him get his yards and limit any other Arrow from doing damage.

Prediction: The Riders fly around on the turf, and score 42 in honor of OHS alum & 7th Grade coach Jack Leeder who was taken from us far too soon. 42-21 Riders.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend WrapUp - Remembering Jack Leeder

The Orrville community lost one of it's football greats on Saturday. Jack Leeder passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a truck accident.

He was widely considered one of the best all-around athletes in Orrville history, excelling in football and wrestling, and winning the 185 lb. State Wrestling Title in 1985.

He was inducted into the Wayne Co. Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Read his induction bio here.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Jack's family & friends.

The comment section is wide open if you would like to share a story about Jack.

Big Win Over Senior
The Riders picked up their 4th win of the season in a very convincing way, 51-18 over Mansfield Senior. Joe Besancon had a big day throwing the ball, going 12-21 for 292 yds and 4 TD's and rushing for a TD also. For the season, Besancon is now 86/159 for 1156 yds and 10 TD's.

The Riders remain 11th in Region 13 and is looking more and more likely that they will have to win out, including a week 1o win @ Wooster to secure a playoff berth. Week 7 will be no easy win, the Riders travel to Community Stadium in Ashland to take on the 2-4 Arrows, fresh off a win over West Holmes.

Riders in College
  1. Tim Hiller - Western Michigan. Tim leds the Broncos to a 4th Quarter TD, and the Broncos moved to 4-1, beating Temple 7-3. Tim had another great game statistics-wise, going 26-42 for 252 yds and the lone WMU touchdown. Tim is now 127/183 for 1354 yds, 15 TD and only 3 INT.
  2. Tom Brenner had 9 tackles (8 solo and 1 assist) in Ashland's 24-17 win over Hillsdale.
  3. Tony McMorrow had 3 tackles in Heidelberg's 17-15 loss to John Carrol.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week 6 Preview - Orrville vs Mansfield Sr.

Who: Orrville Red Riders (3-2) vs. Mansfield Senior Tygers (1-4)
Where: Red Rider Stadium (Click Here for Map & Directions)
When: Friday September 26th, 7:00pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 6-5 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2007 (Orrville won 42-27)
Last Week: Orrville lost to Lexington 34-20, Senior lost to Clear Fork 34-13.

This is the 12th meeting between the two schools, dating back to the 1997 season, with Orrville holding a 6-5 series lead including 3 of the last 4.

Senior has struggled under first year coach Jamie Masi, scoring only 1 win in the first 5 weeks (34-24 over winless Marion Harding). Nevertheless, the Tygers have the usual group of dangerous athletes that are capable of making big plays.

The Riders come off a tough and physical loss to Lexington, and begin the 2nd half of the season sitting in 11th place in the computer polls, needing to win out to guarantee a 20th playoff appearance.

The answer to this game will be which defense can stop the other teams offense. Both Senior and Orrville rank near the top of the OCC in passing yards, and in 4 of the 5 Senior wins in the series, they have scored 30+ points. If the Riders can slow down the Senior passing attack, they should be able to secure their 4th win of the season.

Summary: Plain and simple, the Riders need a win or their hopes of a playoff berth are all but gone. They have lost 2 competitive games to some very good opponents, so I'm inclined to think the Riders are much better than their 3-2 record indicates, but they still have to go out and prove it on the field for the next 5 Fridays. Step 1 in this week.

Prediction: A close physical game early, with the Riders pulling away in the 2nd half.......41-18 Riders.

Uni Note: The Tygers have gone through a major uni overhaul this season, now going with the Clemson-esque paw design on their helmet, and ditching the unique block M/Tiger logo from last season. I also notice a deemphasis on the color brown from the Tygers overall scheme. Here's their uni from last season (Look at all those sock styles!!), compared to this season. Nothing wrong with either, IMO, but last year's were very unique. This year, not so much.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Campus - Orrville Alumni - Week 4

Tom Brenner (Ashland)
In a 34-6 win over Tiffin, Tom had another outstanding day, recording 12 tackles (6 solo, 6 assist), 4 tackles for loss, 1 INT and 1 sack.

Tom leads the team in solo tackles (22), total tackles (37), tackles for loss (7) and INT's (3) through 4 games.

He is also among the conference leaders in most defensive categories. Click here for current GLIAC stats.

Tim Hiller (Western Michigan)
Another week, another great day for Tim Hiller. Tim completed his first 13 passes, and finished the day completed 27 for 31, for 333 yds and 5 TD's in leading the Broncos to a 41-7 win over Tennessee Tech.

For the season, Tim is 101/141 for 1102 yds, 14 TD and only 2 INT.

Tim ranks 11th in the country in passing yards, 4th in TD passes, and 17th in passing yds/gm.

In terms of the MAC, Tim is 2nd in QB rating, 3rd in yds/game, 2nd in completion pct., 1st in TD passes, and first in TD/INT ratio.

His 1102 yards this season bring him up to 5457 yds and 54 TD's for his career at WMU. If he continues at this pace, he has an outside shot to set the school passing yards in a season mark, currently at 3639 yds. He also has a very good shot to eclipse the school mark of TD passes in a season (currently 42). His career TD pass count is now at 54, which puts him all alone in 2nd place in school history, still 33 behind all-time leader Tim Lester.

Kyle Simmons & Josh Bowman (Ohio Northern)
For the 2nd straight week, the Polar Bears came up short, this time against DIII super power Mt. Union, losing 44-7.

Kyle had a better 2nd week, going 17-29 for 163 yds and 1 TD, raising his year to date totals to 27-49 for 268 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT.

Josh Bowman also had 1 tackle in the game.

Tony McMorrow & Steven Carozza (Heidelberg College)
The Student Princes lost their first game of the year, 38-17 to Capital.

Both Red Rider alums contributed to the defensive effort, with McMorrow earning 4 tackles (2 solo, 2 assit) and Carozza grabbing 5 tackles (1 solo, 4 assist).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Computer Points - Region 13 - Week 5

Click here for the latest Harbin Computer Points for Division IV - Region 13, and results from all weeks of play.

It's amazing how the good teams are always there at the end, that is what is starting to happen in this region.

After 19 of the 30 region teams lost, things are really starting to take shape, and the perrennial playoff teams are assuming their rightful place at the top of the region.

Mooney held on to the top spot in the region, followed by Manchester, who was helped by a treasure chest worth of second level points. Steubenville, Tuslaw and CVCA round out the top 5.

Akron St V, Perry, Coshocton, Triway and Girard round out the top 10.

In my humble opinion, 7 of the 8 spots are basically locked up, with the 8th spot to be decided among Triway, LaBrae, Orrville and Coshocton.

First level point potential favors Orrville, as they have 3 games against D2 opponents, 1 D1 opponent and 1 D3 opponent. In terms of 2nd level points, Triway is a clear favorite. As long as D5 Waynedale and D3 Manchester continue winning, the Titans will continue to benefit.

Week 6 game of the week will pit CVCA and Tuslaw in a battle of unbeatens. The two teams are currently tied for the 4th spot in the region. This matchup has both playoff and league title implications.

Orrville news: The Riders lost a golden opportunity to score a mountain of computer points with a loss to D2 Lexington. The Riders are beginning to travel down the same road as they did in 2007, needing to win at least 7 to have a real shot at the post-season. Looking ahead to this week's 2nd level points potential does not paint a very pretty picture, Triway is at Fairless (winnable), Copley is at Revere (doubtful) and Clear Fork is at Lexington. Copley may only win 1 more game this season. (doubtful).

Plain and simple, the Riders need to win 8 to assure themselves of their 20th playoff berth.

It is quite possible that the Riders will need a week 10 win over arch rival Wooster (currently 4-1) to secure the playoff berth. A win over the Generals would be worth 22 second level points right now, and it's likely that they will come into the Orrville game with at least 6 wins, possibly 7, thus increasing the potential 2nd level points.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Separated at Birth?? - Lexington & Mt. Union

Ok, this is where I get a little "uni-crazy" on you.

Going into this week's game, it was no secret to me that Lexington wore purple, and that their coach, BJ Payne, played at Mt Union college, a Div. III college powerhouse that also happened to wear purple.

But in looking a little deeper, it's amazing how similar these 2 programs are, and the influences, uni-wise & attitude-wise, that Coach Payne has brought with him.

Let's take a closer look, shall we?


Home Uniform

Road Uniform

Alternate Home Uniform

***Lexington does wear the white bottoms with their black tops on occasion.

Alternate Road Uniform
This seems to be the biggest difference between the two schools. Mount seems to always wear white bottoms with their road white tops. Lexington goes with the gold pants and purple pants alternately, along with the white ones.


I know Lexington has always been purple, and so has Mount, but it's more than a little coincidental, no?

1. Same sponsor, Nike.
2. Similar helmet design.
3. Same block letter on the pants.
4. Same numeral font
5. Both black jerseys have small letters on the front
6. Purple and white jerseys have bigger block letters across the chest.

My guess is Coach Payne believes in dressing for success, and that players who look good and feel good, play good (a belief that a lot of coaches have). I'm sure he also used some contacts through Purple Raider coach Larry Kehres to get a nice little deal on the Minutemen's Nike uniforms.

All in all, Lexington has more possible uniform combinations (I count 9) than most colleges have, much less high schools. Again, Coach Payne's pedigree is showing through, this time his Massillon Tiger stripes. The Tigers are the gold standard when it comes to changing uniforms designs and throwing together as many combinations of school colors as possible.

Alright, I'm done. Sorry for the tangent, but uni-talk trumps just about anything else on this site.