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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week 10 - "The Game" - Wooster at Orrville - 99th Edition

Who: Wooster Generals (5-4, 3-3) vs. Orrville Red Riders (6-3, 5-1)
Where: Red Rider Stadium
When: Friday October 30th, 7:00pm

All Time Series: Wooster leads 50-39-9 (Detail here)
Last Meeting: 2008 (Orrville won 31-0)
Last Week: Orrville beat Clear Fork, 31-21, Wooster beat West Holmes, 21-20.
Coaches: Doug Davault is 29-13 in his 4th year as Rider coach, his teams are a perfect 4-0 in Wooster games. Mike McCreary is 58-53 in his 11th year as Generals coach, he is 5-5 against Orrville.

Radio:  As always, the game will be broadcast on WQKT, and also streamed on
Cue the figures of speech ("it's more than just a game"), cliches ("throw the records out the window") and hyperbole ("It's a war out there")'s Wooster week.

As always, this game means a lot to both towns, and even though the roll that Orrville is on has been nice, and the shutout streak has been extra nice, there's part of me that wants to see a really close game.  Think of all the memories in the series history.  Do you remember the 50-0 beatdowns?  Okay, maybe you do....but the ones that resonate with me are the close games that come down to 1 play in the final minutes of the game.

Amazingly, the ones I remember vividly were the close losses, the '86 game where Orrville was stopped just short of the goal line.  The 2004 loss, 21-20 on a failed 2 pt. conversion.  I'm sure there are a dozen more that you or I could think of.

And no matter what, this series will always be about the little brother (Orrville) beating the big brother (Wooster).  It's about Orrville proving themselves worthy, and about Wooster trying to squash the hopes of the "not ready for primetime" little brother.  I'll spare the David v. Goliath song & dance....but there's an air of that in this rivalry as well.

What Wooster's been up to.
Pretty mundane season for the Generals.  Close loss in week 1 to a good Canfield team, then a close win over a bad Mt. Vernon team.  In short, the good teams have beaten Wooster, and the Generals have beaten the bad teams, although largely unimpressively (the aforementioned Mt. Vernon game, 21-20 over West Holmes, 30-20 over Senior).  I guess a win is a win though....and they've got 5 of them.

Bryan Gallo-Malta (hyphenated names are interesting.  Has Orrville ever had a player with a hyphenated last name?) leads the Wooster passing attack with 1266 yards and is also the teams leading rusher (translated: they don't have much of a run game).  His favorite targets are Duke Price and Stu Turner.  Both have tons of speed and are threats to score each time they touch the ball.

The defense is led by Cameron Bahler, who has 2 interceptions (1 for a TD) to go along with 105 tackles (2nd in the OCC).

Orrville = A 9 week roller coaster
Maybe no team anywhere has had the up and down season that the Riders have had in '09.  Hype and expectation gave way to suspensions and an 0-2 start.  But they've righted the ship, winning 6 of their last 7 and locking up the program's 20th playoff berth.  One more win would cement a 1st round home game.

Tre Simpson needs 90 yards to top 1,000 for the season, and needs 2 scores to overtake the OCC scoring lead from Clear Fork's Jordan McCune who is out for the rest of the season.  Two touchdowns would give him 20 on the season (21 actually, but 1 of those came on an INT return), and I'd guess it's been quite some time since we've had a back score 20+ rushing TD's in a season.

I've picked us the whole season, not stopping now.  Wooster scores, but Orrville scores more.  28-13 Riders.  Orrville jumps out to an early lead and is cautious with their starters.  Wooster gets shutout in the first half, pushing the shutout streak to 18 quarters before getting two 2nd half scores.

I'd like to see the shutout streak continue, but I'd rather see us get a win and get off the field with everyone healthy leading in to week 11. says Orrville 31-14
Drew Pastuer's Fantastic 50 says Orrville by 15
Akron Beacon Journal says Orrville, 4 votes to 0
I'm guessing the Daily Record says 7-2 Orrville.

One last prediction......I say we play the Chargers of Milan Edison (and these cool uniforms) in the first round of the playoffs.  We should know for sure by late Friday night.

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