Let's get this out of the way first.......
Deflating Loss to West Holmes.
For the 2nd year in a row, the Knights scored a victory over the Riders, 19-17. The win was the first on Orrville turf since 1992 (the 1996 win was a forfeit) and again threw the Riders playoff chances into limbo.
The Riders held the lead (17-13) and the ball with 5 minutes left but were unsuccessful in running time off the clock and were forced to punt. The Knights took over and drove 68 yards for the game winning score.
The Riders hopes for their 20th appearance in the state playoffs took a major hit with the loss to West Holmes. Orrville would have most likely been in the playoffs if they had won their last 3 games, with very little help needed.
Now the Riders need to not only win out, but get help in the forms of several teams ahead of the Riders losing.
Currently the Riders sit in 12th place, a full 2 points out of 8th place.
For the record......I predicted the Riders would be 7th after week 8 with 13.575 points, had they beaten West Holmes and everything else remained the same, the Riders would be 7th with 13.58 points, ahead of 8th place Triway with 13.39 points. If and buts..........
Let's take a closer look at games this week that will impact the Riders playoff chances.....teams that Orrville fans should be rooting for are in red.
Triway (6-2) @ Tuslaw (8-0). Very simple, a Titan win would seriously wound, if not kill, Orrville's chances. Triway could end up as high as 5th place with a win over the Mustangs. A Triway loss means the Titans would need to beat Timken and get help to get in.
New Philadelphia (8-0) @ Coshocton (7-1). See above. A Coshocton win makes it very difficult for the Riders. The Redskins are fresh off a win over winless Maysville, and end the season against (1-7) River View. Neither game gets Coshocton too many 2nd level points, so this week's game against the Quakers is pretty much a win-or-stay-home scenario. A Redskin win would vault them into the top 8.
Girard (8-0) @ LaBrae (7-1). A game against 2 schools I know very little about. The winner is in the top 8, the loser needs help. The best situation (and most likely) the Riders can hope for is for Girard to lose to LaBrae and then lose in week 10 to undefeated Liberty. This would end Girard's hopes.
Perry (7-1) @ West Geauga (5-3). The Pirates sit 5th and look to solidify that position with a win. A loss would certain tighten up the standings and push the Pirates down to the 7th or 8th spot, and make their week 10 matchup with Chagrin Falls a must win. I don't think a win or a loss directly impacts the Riders, but I'd rather see Perry win and solidify their 5th or 6th place standing.
So.....where will we sit after this week??? The million dollar question. Given a Rider win over Madison, a Wooster win over Senior, and a Clear Fork win over Ashland, I project the Riders to only move up 1 spot to 11th, behind Manchester (8th), Triway (9th) and Coshocton (10th).
With Manchester's big week 10 game against CVCA, and Triway and Coshocton running low on 2nd level points, a jump to 8th place by the Riders after a win over Wooster is not only possible, but probable.
Riders in College.
Tim Hiller - QB - Western Michigan.
The drumbeat of solid statistical games continues for the OHS grad, and this one may have topped them all. Hiller set school records for attempts (63) and completions (42) in a game and threw for 345 yds and 4 TD's leading the Broncos to a 34-28 comback win at Buffalo.
Tim is statistically among the top QB's in the country, ranking 5th in passing yards (2046), 2nd in attempts (283), 2nd in completions (193) and tied for 2nd in TD passes (23).
In terms of WMU school records, Tim needs 11 more TD passes to tie Tim Lester's mark of 34, and needs 1593 yds to break the record for passing yards in a season, also held by Tim Lester (3639). With five games left, these records are all reachable.
For his efforts against Ohio, Tim was named Co-Offensive Player of the week for the MAC West.
The Broncos (6-1, 4-0) are currently on top of the MAC West division, tied with Ball State and Central Michigan with 0 losses. But in the latest Rivals 120, the Broncos weigh in at #61, while 4-2 Central Michigan (WMU's next opponent) is almost 20 spots higher at #43. Doesn't appear that the Broncos are getting much respect.
Speaking of respect, here's a nice article about Tim's maturation in the WMU program. It's nice to see Coach Cubit giving out some well deserved praise to his junior signal caller. Pretty amazing also that Tim is set to earn his MBA (Masters in Business Adm.) the spring after his senior season.
Tom Brenner - DB - Ashland.
Tom had 9 tackles (6 solo and 3 assist) including 1 sack in Ashland's 43-24 win over Northwood.
The win puts the Eagles at 5-2 and 5-1 in the GLIAC.
Tom is either the sole leader, or tied for the lead in every major defensive category (tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, INTs and forced fumbles)