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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.

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