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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Week 1 Football Preview - Northwest at Orrville

Who: Orrville Red Riders (0-0) vs. Northwest Indians (0-0)
Where: Red Rider Stadium - Orrville, OH (Click Here for Map & Directions)
When: Friday August 28th, 7pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 19-6 (Click Here for Series Detail)
Last Meeting: 2008 (Northwest won 34-13)

Orrville and Northwest will lock up for the 26th time (counting the matchups with old Canal Fulton High School) with Northwest claiming the last 2 victories, holding the Red Rider offense to 14 points or less each time.

Let's not kid ourselves, there are WAY too many variables for me to accurately predict this game. Riders will be missing a lot of talent, and Northwest is debuting a brand new offense and replacing 22 seniors from last year's squad.

Add into it the unknown of Week 1 and it's a total tossup. So instead allow me to pay an homage to Nick Bakay (required reading, even if a bit dated) and let's do a 'Tale of the Tape' between the city's of Orrville and Canal Fulton.

City population: Canal Fulton - 5000.....Orrville - 8000.
Advantage: Orrville (it's still Orrville even if you count the wonderful levy defeating folks of Clinton (pop. 1337).

Noteable Alums: Northwest - Wikipedia says Mary Murphy (a judge on some dance show)...that's it....Orrville - Bobby Knight (I could stop there and win this one) & Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller.
Advantage: Easy...Orrville.

Alternative transportation: Canal Fulton - Canoes......Orrville - Amish Buggy
Advantage: Canal Fulton (because you can't drag a cooler behind Jonas and his trusty steed).

Local Watering Hole: Canal Fulton - The Canal Boat Lounge....Orrville - Jerry's.
Advantage: Orrville. This one was tough...both places are charming, Jerry's gets the nod because of the fish dinners.

Mini-Golf Courses: Canal Fulton - Sluggers and Putters....Orrville - Putt-n-Stuff.
Advantage: Canal Fulton. Better overall experience, IMO, of course.

Industry: Canal Fulton - Clay's Park??....Orrville - The JM Smucker Co.
Advantage: Orrville (not even a debate).

Movie Theater: Canal Fulton - none....Orrville - none.
Advantage: Push (unless you count large pharmacy corporations (no names please) that rip the soul from quaint downtown business districts. I'm speaking in generalities, of course.).

Greasy Spoon Restaurant: Canal Fulton - The BnK...Orrville - Mrs. J's.
Advantage: Push....because no one wins when sausage gravy is involved.

Chants heard from each team's fans: Canal Fulton - "Scalp 'em!" (unconfirmed)...Orrville - "Move those chains!!"
Advantage: Canal Fulton, they could break out the Tomahawk Chop and it's still not as offensive as shouting instructions to the chain gang.

In an amazingly close battle (similar to the one we'll see on Friday night)....the advantage goes to Orrville. See, it's so easy when you break things down scientifically.

My Real Prediction.
Red Riders 26......Indians 20.

I think the Riders start the '09 season on a good note for the first time in the past 3 years. Even with a numbers of players out, the Riders have enough to withstand Northwest's new offense. It wont be pretty, but there's not style points for winning, especially in week 1.

Other predictions of note 28-21 Orrville.
Akron Beacon Journal: 2 votes for Orrville, 2 for Northwest.
Wooster Daily Record: 5 votes for Orrville, 4 for Northwest. (guessing Orrville by a 5-3 margin.)

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