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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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week 5 Preview - Orrville vs Lexington

Who: Orrville Red Riders (3-1) vs. Lexington Minutemen (4-0)
Where: Lexington Stadium (Click Here for Map & Directions)
When: Friday September 19th, 7:30pm (Note later start time)

All Time Series: Orrville leads 5-4 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2007 (Lexington won 24-10)
Last Week: Orrville beat Clear Fork 29-13, Lexington beat Mansfield 34-6.

This is the 10th meeting between the two school, and this year may be the best (or at least most anticipated) of the series.

Lexington has cruised to a 4-0 record and the #6 ranking in the latest Division II AP poll. They also sit first in the Region 6 computer poll.

The Riders have reeled off 3 straight wins since an opening week loss to Canal Fulton Northwest, and are looking for that "big game" win that has eluded them as of late. Last week's big win over Clear Fork propelled the Riders into the top 8 of Region 13, currently sitting tied with Triway in 6th place.

The OCC driver's seat and a mountain of computer points await the winner. A win by the Riders may vault them into the top 3 of the loaded Region 13 race. A Lex win will cement their first place standing in region 6.

What Orrville must do to win: 49, 42, 42, 34. Those are Lexington's scoring output in their first 4 games. To have any chance at a win, the Riders must contain the Minutemen's high scoring offense. Lex boasts a strong back in Antonio Pickens (44 car. 366 yds and 6 TD) and dual threat QB in Courtney Avery (800 yds passing, 9 TD's, 70% completion rate) and two very capable receivers in Tyler Dickson and Michael Gallik, so it will be a huge task for the Riders to limit Lex's offense. A key will be containment, Riders must stay in their lanes and not overpursue, especially when protection breaks down and Avery scrambles.

On offense, the Riders must continue to be a balanced attack. Lexington is too talented of a defense to be beat with only the run or only the pass. Mansfield Senior had some success in running QB draw's, so Orrville's QB Joey Besancon will once again be called on to run and pass the Riders to victory. Lex's D is allowing just under 10 ppg.

Plain and simple, the Riders must be excellent on both sides of the ball.

What Lexington must to do win: The Minutemen have shown the ability to beat teams with the run or the pass, and this week they may run the ball until the Riders show they can stop it. In 3 of the first 4 games, the Riders have allowed more than 200 yds on the ground. The combination of Pickens and Avery may force Orrville to bring an extra defender near the line of scrimmage, potentially opening up 1-on-1 coverage on the outside.

On defense, the Minutemen may be wise to dare Orrville to beat them on the ground and drop an extra defender in coverage, or put a spy (Gallik) on Orrville's QB Besancon.

Key Matchups: A matchup of "do everything" players. Orrville Sam Miller and Lexington's Michael Gallik.

Gallik has scored a rushing TD, returned a kickoff for a TD, has multiple receiving TD's, averages nearly 15 yds per punt return, and handles kickoff duties for the Minutemen. He's tied with teammate Antonio Pickens for 2nd in the OCC in scoring (36 points) and also plays a hard-hitting safety on defense.

Miller, while not quite as impressive in the stats column, is of equal value to the Riders. He's one of the leading receivers in the conference, returns kicks and punts, and leads the conference with 3 INT's from his safety position.

I'm sure at some point in the game, these 2 great athletes' paths will cross on the field, and the player who has the best individual performance, may propel his team to victory.

Summary: This has all the makings of an early fall (even though it's not fall) classic. With the weather promising a crisp (and dry) night, field conditions should be perfect. The Riders must put together 4 quarters of quality football to come out on top.

Prediction: Head says Lexington, heart says Orrville.

(......puts on realist glasses......)
I think in the end, Lexington's depth will wear Orrville's two-way players out, and a few late scores will be the difference, 34-20 Minutemen.

(.....puts on Red Rider colored glasses.....)
The Red Riders announce to the OCC and Region 13 that they're a force to be reckoned with and shock the state ranked Minutemen.....27-24. Hoorah for Riders!!!

I'm torn.....OK, here goes.
31-20 Minutemen. Sorry Rider fans (myself included), I think we're going to have to play darn near perfect to win, and from what I've seen so far, we've not played close to perfect football. Yet. Consider this your motivation.

Prove me wrong.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Info File: Stadium Maps

Ever wondered the best way to Clear Fork or finding a restaurant near Arlin Field or knowing what street to take to get to Ram Field?

Wonder no more. Check out my latest creation.....A Google map highlighting every OCC and Wayne County football field. It's actually pretty simple, but something I think a lot of fans will find use in.

Experience the usefulness, here.

From these maps, you can zoom in and get a close look at the actual field, search for nearby destinations (food, gas, etc.) and most importantly, get driving directions.


This is something the OCC website could use, no?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Computer Points - Region 13 - Week 4

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

Strength of schedule is starting to play a factor, as it always does, and a few upsets spiced up Week 4 action.

Perry was handled by Aurora, and Triway beat Manchester, knocking both teams out of the top 2 spots in the region.

Youngstown Mooney is once again on top of the mountain after a win over D1 Harding. Tuslaw, Coshocton, Steubenville and Perry round out the top 5.

Steubenville has had no problem dispatching their first 4 opponents, but haven't been helped by 2nd level points, seeing only 15.5 2nd level points come their way, the least of any team in the top eleven.

Triway and Orrville are tied for the 6th most points, followed by Akron St. V, Manchester and CVCA.

Sixteen of the thirty teams have at least 3 wins and only Sandy Valley and CCC are still searching for their first win.

Week 5 Schedule will be posted later in the week.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On Campus - Orrville Alumni - Week 3

Tim Hiller had another good day as QB for Western Michigan, going 23-31 for 241 yds, 4 TD and 0 INT in a 51-28 win over Idaho.

For the season, Hiller is 74/110 for 769 yds, with 9 TD's and only 1 INT, and now has 5124 career passing yards at WMU. He is 1 TD pass away from becoming only the 2nd player in WMU history to have 50 TD passes in a career.

Tom Brenner had another standout day for the Ashland Eagles, making 5 tackles (5 solo and 2 assits) and intercepting two passes, returning one 26 yds for a TD in Ashland's 48-41 win over Michigan Tech. For what it's worth, Wooster graduate Nick Bellanco had 6 catches for 122 yds and 2 TD's.

Kyle Simmons and the Ohio Northern Polar Bears struggled, losing 20-3 to North Central (Ill.). Simmons was 10-20 for 105 yds, 0 TD and 1 INT, he also ran 12 times for 28 yds.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ohio Cardinal Conference Preview

My predictions, in reverse order.

7. Mansfield Senior Tygers (2-5).
Lexington, Orrville, Clear Fork to start, could be 0-5 heading into week 9. Defense has given up big points in first 3 weeks.

6. Mansfield Madison Rams (2-5).
Rams need a strong conference start before back to back away games at Orrville & Lexington. Offensive woes so far.

5. West Holmes Knights (3-3).
Could win 3 of first 4 conference games. Orrville, Lexington, Clear Fork to end the season.

4. Clear Fork Colts (4-3)
A win over Orrville could propel the Colts to four conference wins before hosting Ashland in week 9.

2(tie). Orrville Red Riders (5-2)
If the Riders can split (at worst) their first 4, they should be able to secure a 5 win conference season, and the school's 20th playoff berth. The Riders have at least 5 conference wins in 3 of the past 4 years.

2(tie). Ashland Arrows (5-2).
Graduation hit the Arrows hard, and a 1-2 start is a little deceiving. Expect the Arrows to make a statment in the first 3 weeks (Madison, Wooster, West Holmes). Ashland currently owns a 15 game OCC winning streak. Last loss was 10/21/05 (21-0 loss to Clear Fork)

1. Lexington Minutemen (7-0).
State ranked Minutemen have a week 5 showdown with Orrville, and a week 10 matchup with Ashland being the only games that stand in the way of the schools first OCC football title. Cheerleading, Volleyball and Football are the only 3 sports that Lexington has yet to win or share an OCC crown since joining the league in 2003.

Past OCC Football Champs
2003-2004: Wooster
2004-2005: Wooster
2005-2006: Madison & Orrville
2006-2007: Ashland
2007-2008: Ashland

Past OCC All-Sports Champs
2003-2004: Wooster
2004-2005: Lexington
2005-2006: Lexington
2006-2007: Lexington
2007-2008: Lexington

Week 4 Preview - Orrville vs Clear Fork

Who: Orrville Red Riders (2-1) vs. Clear Fork Colts (2-1)
Where: Red Rider Stadium sponsored by First Merit
When: Friday September 12th, 7pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 6-0 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2007 (Orrville won 28-14)
Last Week: Orrville beat Copley 24-14, Clear Fork beat Olentangy Orange 29-13.

The 7th meeting between the schools, and lid lifter in OCC play sees the Colts still searching for their first win against the Riders. This year may be the Colts best chance for a win in the series since 2005, when the Colts advanced to the 2nd round of the playoffs, and a win over the Red Riders would be equal to a playoff win to many fans in the Valley.

What Orrville must do to win: The Riders found a long lost run game last week against Copley and must continue to do so against the Colts. Clear Fork has a stingy defense and the Riders must be able to run & pass the ball effectively.

The Riders have been led in rushing by a different back in each of the first 3 games (Week 1 Besancon, Week 2 Pittman, Week 3 Miller). Will a 4th back carry the load this week, or will Pittman or Miller begin to emerge as the feature back? Clear Fork cannot key on 1 player in the Rider backfield, and with the emergence of Freshman Mason Monheim, the Riders have multiple reliable options behind QB Joey Besancon to go along with a solid receiving core.

What Clear Fork must to do win: Clear Fork's offense is no secret, they run the ball, and I think to beat Orrville, they need to take some chances through the air. A Colt team that can break the occasional long pass, is one that is much more dangerous, because the Rider defense would at least have to respect the pass, and that would open up the ground game even more. Without a passing game, the Riders can afford that extra defender or two in the box, and dare the Colts to beat them deep.

Key Matchups: Orrville's receiving core versus Clear Fork's defensive backs. Orrville ran for 184 yds last week against Copley, but let's not kid ourselves, the Riders are a pass-first team. How Clear Fork's DB's matchup with Orrville's speedy receiving core led by Sam Miller (13 rec. for 172 yds), Chase Hoobler (9 rec. for 114 yds) & Dillon Corbett (5 rec. for 92 yds) will go a long way to determining the outcome.

The other key matchup will be Clear Fork's RB's versus Orrville's defense. Eric Cline and Jordan McCune are both over the 200 yd mark for the season for the Colts, and are both averaging over 7 yards per carry. The Riders will help their cause by limiting this 1-2 punch.

Playoff Picture: Clear Fork sits 6th in Region 14 with 3.9 points, while the Riders sit 13th with 4.2 points in Region 13. A win for either team would be rewarded with a nice amount of secondary points, and would help each team's playoff chances.
What a contrast in regions. The Riders would sit in 5th place if they were in R14. Orrville and Triway are the westernmost teams in R13, so it's not unlikely that the Riders would be redistricted into R14, that is if we remain in DIV the next time numbers are counted. This is another story for another day though.

Summary: I'd guess both teams will come in very confident after big wins last week, and it will come down to the team who can dictate their style the best. A grind it out game favors Clear Fork, while a shootout favors the Riders. Orrville throws the ball well, while Clear Fork is a strong run team, it might be the team who can balance their attack the best that comes out on top.

Prediction: I think Orrville has enough balance and talent to win a close game that will feature two athletic defenses. Orrville 21-14.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On Campus - Orrville Alumni - Week 2

Steven Carozza (4 solo tackles) and Tony McMorrow (1 assited tackle) helped Heidelberg's defense in a 62-27 win over Westminster.

Tim Hiller led Western Michigan to a 4th quarter comeback, running for a TD and throwing for another in the 4th, and leading the Broncos to their first win, 29-26 over Northern Illinois. For the game Hiller was 21/30, 186 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT, and a 5 yd TD run.

For the season, Hiller is 51/79 for 528 yds, with 5 TD's and only 1 INT, and now has 4883 career passing yards at WMU, putting him 4th all-time in WMU History.

Tom Brenner had a monster day for the Ashland Eagles, recording 7 tackles, 5 assists (12 total tackles), 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 1 sack in a 25-24 loss to Ferris St.).

Great day for Rider alums. Keep up the good work.

Computer Points - Region 13 - Week 3

Click here for the latest Harbin Computer Points for Division IV - Region 13.

Three weeks down, 7 to go and the cream are starting to rise to the crop.

Lake County Perry is the overall leader, followed by Manchester, Tuslaw, Coshocton. Steubenville rounds out the top 5.

Orrville checks in at 13th place, assisted by Triway's big win over Waynedale.

Eight teams are still undefeated, and 4 remain winless. There have been a few quirks that have changed the status of a few teams. Warren JFK announced that an ineligible player participated in their win in week 2 over CVCA, thus giving CVCA the first level points for the forfeit win. And the Week 3 game between Newton Falls and Windham was cancelled, leaving the Tigers with an open date for week 3.

Week 4 Schedule will be posted later in the week.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Week 3 Preview - Orrville vs Copley

Who: Orrville Red Riders (1-1) vs. Copley Indians (0-2)
Where: Copley-Fairlawn Stadium - Copley
When: Friday September 5th, 7pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 22-12 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2007 (Orrville won 27-6)
Last Week: Orrville beat Triway 34-13, Copley lost to Akron Garfield 19-16

This will be the 8th meeting this decade between the Riders and Indians, with the Indians holding a 4-3 edge. Orrville leads the overall series 22-12 including 1 win in the playoffs (1999 DIII Regional Final, Fawcett Stadium).

The Indians have beaten the Riders only 7 times in the past 29 years, with 5 of those wins coming at Copley, including 3 of the last 5. Clearly, Copley has had much more success at home in this series and will look to continue that trend this Friday.

Copley comes in at a deceiving 0-2 mark, losing close games to D1 schools Jackson (12-7) and Garfield (19-16).

Orrville is coming off it's first win of the season, beating Triway in a turnover filled contest, 34-13. The Riders were helped by Triway's inability to finish drives and made enough big plays to post the win.

What Orrville must do to win: The Riders must shore up a defense that has given up 200+ rushing yds a game in each of the first 2 weeks. The Riders cannot let Copley run for 200 yds and expect to win. The 3-3-5 defense has been less than impressive so far, perhaps a tweak is in order for this week's game plan.

On offense, the Riders must continue to mix the run and the pass. Fans saw a glimmer of a hope in the run game, courtesy of junior Thirajn Pittman who ran for 75 yds and a score. The Riders must continue to establish the run and cannot give up the ball up via turnovers. In short, the Riders must be better in every phase of the game if they expect to post a win over a very deceiving 0-2 Copley team.

What Copley must to do win: The biggest thing Copley needs right now is a dose of confidence, and that may come early in the game with a few big plays. This will also be the first game on Copley's field turf, so the Indians will be eager to defend their new home field.

Key players: Orrville's LB Chase Hoobler and Copley QB Dom McClain. McClain is a dual threat, with the ability to run and pass, similar to Orrville QB Joey Besancon. Orrville's defense will have to recognie his ability to run the ball as well as pass the ball. Hoobler is the leader of a maligned defense that has been very pourous against the run in the first 2 weeks. Hoobler must be an anchor against the run, and able to track McClain all over the field.

Summary: Both teams have a lot to gain with a win this week, a Rider win helps them in terms of computer points, and gives the team some momentum heading into OCC play. Copley would love to break in their new artificial turf and get their first win against their Wayne Co. neighbors before they head into Suburban Leabue play.

This game worries me, I do not think Copley is as bad as their record, and D4 Orrville might be just what the doctor ordered. The Riders have to be aggressive, tackle well and be strong on both sides of the line, or this game could get out of hand. Copley is no slouch and the Riders need to treat them as such.

Prediction: Orrville 28-24.

On Campus: Orrville Alumni - Week 1

Week 1 saw a few Red Rider alumni in action, including a good statistical performance by 2004 grad and Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller.

Hiller's team traveled to Lincoln and lost to Nebraska 47-24 in front of 80,000 Husker fans.

Tim's numbers were very impressive......30-49, 342 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT.

It was Tim's 6th 300 yd+ passing game, putting him 2nd on the all-time list at WMU.

“He had a shaky start, but played really well after about the third series,” Cubit observed. “He played exceptionally well. He was tough. He threw the ball real well. I think he threw for 340 yards. It was probably one of his better days.”
The other lone Red Rider alum in action was Ashland U. senior Tom Brenner, he had 6 tackles (4 solo and 2 assisted) including 2 tackles for losses in a 49-42 loss to Bloomsburg.

Next weeks post should be a little busier with the kickoff of Malone (Brynt Werntz) and Heidelberg (Tony McMorrow & Steven Carozza) seasons. Ohio Northern (Kyle Simmons and Josh Bowman) doesn't get started until September 13th.

Good Luck Rider alumni!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Computer Points - Region 13 - Week 2

Latest Harbin Computer Points for Division IV - Region 13

Still 8 weeks of play and a lot of moving to be done, but after 2 weeks there are some surprises.

First and foremost, the 9th place Chippewa Chipps, who have won 2 games in a row for the first time in nearly 5 years. Their schedule gets much harder this week, traveling to Tuslaw, but a great start nevertheless.

Twelve of the 30 teams are 2-0, and only 5 have yet to record win #1, including a surprising 0-2 start by the Crusaders of Canton Central Catholic.

The region is led by the Brooklyn Hurricanes, boasting 2 wins over D1 schools, albeit Cleveland City schools. These teams wont provide many 2nd level points as the season rolls on, so Brooklyn will have to continue their winnning ways to keep pace with the rest of the region.

Steubenville is 2nd followed Perry, Manchester and Akron St. V, all perrennial playoff teams.

Your own Red Riders of Orrville are tied with Cardinal Mooney with the 13th most points in the region.

Spotlight Games: Week 3

Chippewa @ Tuslaw - Who is a contender and who is a pretender? Tuslaw has been very impressive so far.

Akron Garfield @ Akron St. V. - A win likely vaults the Irish into the top 3, and would be a 3rd straight impressive win.

Canton CC @ Dover - While an 0-3 start wouldn't exactly kill the Crusaders playoff chances, the Crusaders can't afford another loss. With St. V, Ursuline & Chanel remaining on their schedule, wins may become scarce.

Girard @ Warren JFK - First real test for the Indians. Can they win on the road against a perennial playoff team?