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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Red Rider Playoffs: 1983

Division IV Regional Final:
Orrville 15 - Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas 8

The Red Riders finished the regular season with a 7-3 record (losses to Timken, Northwest and West Holmes) but a 23-21 win over arch-rival Wooster secured the school's 2nd playoff appearance.

The Knights of Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas posed the first hurdle on the way to Columbus. The game took place at Canton's Fawcett Stadium. The Knight would win the Division IV state title in 1984 & finish runner-up in 1985, but this night belonged to the Red Riders.

The field conditions slowed both teams (Fawcett was a natural grass field until 1997) but the Riders were able to ride the broad shoulders of Jack Leeder and took advantage of 3 Aquinas fumbles to secure a spot in the final 4 with a 15-8 win.

Here's the article as it appeared in the Courier Crescent.

Here's a picture from the game.

You can really get a sense of the field conditions this game was played in.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Orr - 2 yd run by Tom Bolyard (PAT good) 7-0

4th Quarter
Orr - 5 yd run by Tom Bolyard (2 pt. conversion good) 15-0
StA - 71 yd TD drive (2 pt. conversion good) 15-8

Stars of the Game

  1. Jack Leeder - 113 yds rushing

  2. Tom Bolyard - 2 rushing TD's

  3. Red Rider defense - 3 fumble recoveries, 8 points allowed.

Division IV State Semifinal:
Orrville 24 - Loudonville 15

The Riders next traveled to Mansfield's Arlin Field to take on the Loudonville Redbirds in a state semifinal match between two teams separated by less than 35 miles.

Loudonville out gained the Riders (311-267), had more plays from scrimmage, and had 8 more first downs, but the Riders won where it counts most...the scoreboard. The Red Riders reserved their spot in Ohio Stadium with a 24-15 win over the Redbirds.

Big plays were the name of this game, and leading the way was Jack Leeder. For a second straight week he topped the century mark in rushing, tallying 132 yards on 17 carries in this game, along with 2 TD runs of 36 and 18 yds.

Here's the game article.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Orr - 36 yd TD run by Jack Leeder (PAT was no good) 6-0
Lou - Field Goal, 6-3

2nd Quarter
Orr - 8 yd TD run by Roger Davidoff (2 pt. conversion was no good) 12-3
Orr - 43 yd INT return by Tom Bolyard (2 pt. conversion was no good) 18-3

3rd Quarter
Lou - Loudonville TD (2 pt. conversion was no good) 18-9
Orr - 16 yd TD run by Jack Leeder (2 pt. conversion was no good) 24-9

4th Quarter
Lou - Loudonville TD (2 pt. conversion failed) 24-15

Stars of the Game

  1. Jack Leeder - 17 carries for 132 yds, 2 TD's

  2. Tom Bolyard - INT for TD
Division IV State Final:
Columbus Bishop Ready 43 - Orrville 15

The Red Riders were one step away from a state title in only their 2nd playoff appearance. But that one step turned out to be a giant roadblock, in the form of the high powered Silver Knights of Columbus Bishop Ready.

The Knights, fresh off a 44-0 state semifinal win over Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant, ran at will over the Riders and used their size and strength to intimidate the young Riders.

The game was certainly closer than the final score. Three late TD runs by Ready turned a close 22-15 game into a 43-15 rout.

The star of the game was Ready's Jewell Jackson, who ran for 230 yds on 28 carries and scored 3 times. The 230 yds was a record for rushing in a state title game at the time, but Hilliard Davidson's Bo Delande ran for 236 yds in a 2006 D1 title game.

Here is the game article as it appeared in the Courier.

Part 1
Part 2

Here is a picture of Tom Bolyard running the Red Rider offense

Note the empty seats in the background, it had to be a thrill for the players at the Horseshoe, but as a fan, there is no better environment than Massillon & Canton for state finals).

Lastly, here is an article covering the team's return to Orrville and a "Welcome Home" rally that was held at the high school.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Orr - 33 yd TD pass, Bolyard to Auble (PAT was good) 7-0
Ready - 10 yd TD run by Jackson (PAT was good) 7-7

2nd Quarter
Ready - 1 yd TD run by Jackson (PAT was good) 14-7

3rd Quarter
Ready - 1 yd TD run by Miller (2 pt. conversion good) 22-7
Orr - 20 yd TD pass, Bolyard to Davidoff (2 pt. conversion good) 22-15

4th Quarter
Ready - 50 yd TD run by Jackson (PAT was good) 29-15
Ready - Rushing TD (PAT was good) 36-15
Ready - Rushing TD (PAT was good) 43-15

The Riders only had 4 seniors graduate from the '83 team, and would again make noise in the playoffs the very next season.

I'd love to hear thoughts from people who were at this game, or players who played in this game. What was the atmosphere like? Were the Ready players (specifically Mr. Swastika) as dirty as the article makes them out to be? Was this another case of a parochial team that had D1 talent on a D4 team? Let's hear it.


Proboxer said...

We were only just down 7 points in the 3rd Q. What happened was all the skilled players got hirt and yes that Mr. Swastika and a few more players were cheap shotters. At half time the riders were going back to their locker room and the Columbus teams fans were spitting and yelling go back to your farms . I thought the spitting was ridiculous and the farm thing was funny. Roger Davidoff # 20

Anonymous said...

Who was MR.Swastika? I was a 12yr waterboy for Ready and i remember your team was twice the size of Ready but hitting harder dont make them cheap shots you had no O line to protect your QB.

Red Rider Sports Blog (Tim Snyder) said...

Allan Schell was the guy. Read part 1 of the newspaper article linked in the blog for the 1983 playoffs, he is specifically mentioned as coming after our QB and having at least 1 roughing call against him. Also talks about the swastika, got the tattoo during the week leading up to the game.

Maybe not the best look for a kid attending catholic school, is it?

There's aggressive play, and there's dirty play. I think we saw more of the latter during that game.