How about we crown a Region 14 champion? It's down to 2 teams and is set to be a dandy. Not sure it can top the Riders' heart stopping win over Genoa (did I show you the scoreboard picture?)...but there will be more on the line. Namely, a trip to the state semifinals and a shiny new trophy.
Who: Orrville Red Riders (9-3, 3 seed) vs. Ottawa-Glandorf Titans (10-2, 5 seed)
When: Saturday November 21st, 7pm
Where: Frost-Kalnow Stadium. Stadium is shared by Tiffin Columbian and Tiffin Calvert High Schools as well as Heidelberg College and Tiffin University. It's right next to Tiffin Columbian High School. Couple of different ways to get there, here's a link to a map. Head west on Route 30 and choose your own adventure from there.
Coaches: Doug Davault is 32-13 in his 4th season as Rider coach, he's 4-1 in playoffs...Ken Shriner is in his 14th season as Titan boss, his record is 97-56 with an 8-7 mark in the playoffs.
Playoff History: Orrville is 25-18 in 20 appearances, and has appeared in 11 previous regional finals, boasting an 8-3 record, but have not won a regional final since 1999. O-G is making their 8th appearance, with an 8-7 record. They've made 2 previous regional final appearances, losing both.
Media: At a minimum, the game will be broadcast on WQKT 104.5 FM and webcast at WQKT.com.
Series History: This is the first meeting between the 2 schools.
Last Week: O-G defeated Pemberville Eastwood 48-3, Orrville defeated Genoa 36-35.
Titans to watch:
QB Nathan Kahle - dual threat QB out of the option offense. Has ran for 974 yards and thrown for 1302 with 19 total TD's on the season.
RB Brandon Kuhlman - Main option out of the Titan backfield. 951 rushing yards on the season to go along with 8 TD runs.
WR Ryan Kuhlman - 32 receptions for 526 yards and 3 TD's.
LB Jeff Siefker - 125 tackles.
DB Brian Laubenthal - 7 INT's (3 returned for TD's). O-G's team defense has 18 picks on the year.
Pregame Dining: Let's talk food. As mentioned in the comment section of a previous post, Rider fans are welcome at Carmie's Sports Bar on state route 231 in Tiffin. Here's their website if you're looking for a local place to get a meal beforehand. Some other places that I can't vouch for.....Clover Club on Washington St, TJ Willies in the Mall, Shellshuckers at 224 and 53.
Video Game Dorkery: Again, let me state that this is as fair of a matchup as I can make it. But the video game Riders are on as big of a roll as the real Riders. Check it out.......
21-7 Riders. Ho-hum. Regional title is ours.
Since this game was a regional final, I thought a stadium with a bit more seating was in order, I thought the Rose Bowl was adequate.
My Thoughts: I'll be honest, still kind of high from that Genoa win, it was such a big win, but there's plenty of football left to be played. The Genoa win is hopefully one that served as a springboard to greater things, not the apex of our season.
The Titans don't bring the gaudy numbers that Genoa had, but they also play in a clearly tougher league (The Western Buckeye League). Seven of the ten teams in the league had a .500 or better record.
Since a week 4 loss to Kenton, OG has rattled off 7 wins in 8 weeks, winning games by an average of 29 points per game. Very similar to the Riders 9 wins in 10 weeks run. This seems to be 2 teams playing their best football of the season.
O-G boasts a tough defensive backfield (18 INT's in 12 games), providing another test to Joe Besancon and the Rider offense. The O-G option offense will be another tough test for our defense, but if there's one aspect of the Rider defense that is always solid, it's their run defense. O-G will need to have success via the pass to open up their run game....and I think the Riders will need to have success running the ball to soften up the pass defense of the Titans.
Fantastic50.net says Orrville by 5.
CalPreps.com says Orrville 21-17.
I think the Riders keep rolling, 33-24 and advance to the STATE SEMIFINALS!!!!!!
Good luck Riders, keep working hard, your goals are right in front of you.
Other D4 Regional Championships
Region 13: Chagrin Falls vs. Woodridge (I like Chagrin Falls)
Region 15: Ironton vs. Coshocton (Ironton gets this one)
Region 16: Clinton-Massie vs. Archbishop Alter (Kettering, but pulling for Massie)