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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.

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