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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.

Division III State Semifinal:
Orrville 23 - Youngstown Rayen 13
The Riders were given a break from the mud for their 3rd straight state semifinal appearance, this time having the opportunity to play on the artificial turf at Finnie Stadium in Berea.The Riders opponent were the Tigers of Youngstown Rayen, the first Youngstown public school to make the playoffs since the inception of the OHSAA playoffs in 1972.

Once again, the Riders defense was up to the task, withstanding a fast Rayen team, led by Tailback Mike Ivey and overcoming a 7-3 halftime deficit to defeat the Tigers and punch their ticket to Columbus with a 23-13 win.

The 3rd quarter defined the term "Rider Ball" as the red & white scored on a 31 yd TD run by Keith Denson and a fumble recovery in the end zone by Steve Butzer to turn a 7-3 Rayen lead into a 16-7 Orrville lead.

Game article here.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Rayen - 6 yd TD run by Mike Ivey (Extra Point good), 7-0

2nd Quarter
Orr - Sibonhuang 27 yd FG, 7-3

3rd Quarter
Orr - 31 yd TD run by K. Denson (Sibonhuang kick), 10-7
Orr - Fumble Recovery in end zone by Steve Butzer, (Conversion Failed), 16-7

4th Quarter
Rayen - 3 yd TD run by Todd Finley (Conversion Failed), 16-13
Orr - 36 yd TD pass, Wachtel to Bradley (Sibonhuang kick), 23-13

*****Personal note: Another couple of memories from this game. First off was the Rayen band. Saying they were small in numbers is a gross understatement. There were no more than a dozen members, and that might be stretching it. The other memory was walking out on the field after the game and walking among the players, quite the experience for a 8 yr old kid.

Converse aplenty. Take a look at this link again. Pay close attention to the picture at the top on the right. Look at all the Converse shoes in that shot. When's the last time you saw Converse shoes on a football field? I have it from a reliable source that those shoes were brought in specifically for this game since it was on turf, and that they were shoes that were worn previously by Ohio St. At the time, Ohio St. was a Nike school, so they had no use for the shoes.

Rayen Facts. The previous spring, the Tiger basketball team won the schools first and only state title, a Class AA title over Linden, 50-46. Similar to Orrville's successes, great athletes migrate between sports, and I'm sure this was the case at Rayen, as it is at most schools.

Also, apparently the first penalty flag was used at Rayen Stadium per Wikipedia.

"Rayen Stadium was also the site of a significant development in American football history. The first penalty flag was thrown at the stadium in 1941, when it served as home field for then-Youngstown College. Youngstown College coach Dwight "Dike" Beede created the flag to replace the alarms that were generally used at the time. He recognized that some fans couldn’t hear the alarms because of surrounding noise."
Another note about Rayen Stadium, it was home to Youngstown Ursuline as well as Youngstown St. teams before the opening of Stambaugh Stadium in the early 80's.

Last but not least, Rayen is no longer in existence, it was closed permanently in 2007. The school was first opened in 1866 (141 yrs. in operation!)

Division III State Final:
Columbus St Francis DeSales 22 - Orrville 13
Broken Record anyone? For the 2nd time in 3 years, the Riders were denied in a State Title game by a Columbus area parochial school, and 4th time in as many playoff berths, the Riders were eliminated by a private school.

Unlike the 1983 title game versus Bishop Ready, the Riders were in this game until the 4th quarter, but in similar fashion, the Stallions of St. Francis DeSales controlled the line of scrimmage and were able to slow down a potent Rider offense, securing a 22-13 win and the school's first football state title and an undefeated 14-0 season, joining C.A.P.E. & Galion as the first 3 teams in Ohio History to win 14 games in one season.

Both teams traded early TD's and turnovers and were tied at 7 at halftime. DeSales took the lead in the 3rd but were matched by the Riders, it was a 14-13 game in the 4th as the Riders decided to go for two, but failed. DeSales tacked on 1 more TD to make it 22-13 with less than 5 minutes to go.

DeSales held a decided rushing advantage, outpacing the Riders by nearly 100 yds (217-131), and held the Riders all-state back, Jack Leeder to only 28 yds on 11 carries.

Game article here.
Opinion piece here.

And on a lighter note, the first incarnation of the "Rowdy" mascot was captured on film. I think it was more of a caricature of Mo, but that's up to interpretation.

Scoring Summary

2nd Quarter
Orr - 4 yd TD run by Keith Denson (Sibonhuang kick) 7-0
DeSales - 18 yd TD run by Paul Haynes (Extra Point good) 7-7

3rd Quarter
DeSales - 1 yd TD run by Tony McCormick (Extra Point good) 14-7

4th Quarter
Orr - 6 yd TD pass, Wachtel to Bradley (2 pt. conversion failed) 14-13
DeSales - 49 yd TD pass, Asbeck to Ream (Extra Point good) 21-13

For the Riders, it was more playoff disappointment, and little did Rider players, coaches and fans know, but a 3rd shot at a state title would not come again for nearly a decade, and only 1 playoff win would be enjoyed in the next 9 years.

Big Skull-Little Skull.
If you've read this blog up to this point, you know I have a soft spot for little quirks in the Red Rider uniform. I think the picture in this article is the best uni-related quirk yet. Focus on the helmet, notice the big die-cut skull stickers on the one side of the helmet, and the smaller skull stickers on the other side? Here's another picture from the '85 season. It's pretty clear that they used both sizes of stickers that season.

I did some research and found the big stickers (bottom picture) a year earlier, in 1984, but no little stickers to go along with it. In 1983, it was only little skulls, no sign of the big ones.

It appears that there might have been 2 sets of criteria for the big & little stickers.....but that would make too much sense. In talking to a former player, there was no difference at all, just simply having both sizes on hand. Too bad, it would be cool if the big ones were issued for big hits or something extra special, like a game winning touchdown or game changing turnover.

I know, I know, this isn't Ohio St., where the criteria for the famous Buckeyes are clearly spelled out, but a guy can dream can't he?

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