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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Red Rider Playoffs: 1989

Now we're getting into the years that I recall more clearly. Let's look at the '89 season and the playoffs. The Berlin Wall fell, Batman was the hit movie and computers cost a small fortune.  (20 mhz, lol!)

It was also the first year as an independent for the Red Rider football team.

As a member of the All-Ohio Conference, and later the All-Ohio League, the Riders simply were in a class by themselves, registering an all-time record of 60-8-2 (including the last 29 in a row), and winning a combined 10 league titles (6 outright and 4 shared) in 13 years in the league.

An independent schedule brought news teams and rivalries to Red Rider stadium, but we did manage to keep 6 of the 10 opponents from our '88 schedule, including 3 AOL opponents (Northwest, Triway, West Holmes).

The team started the season with 3 straight road wins before dropping a close game to Canton Central Catholic.  The loss snapped the Riders 29 game home win streak, the longest in school history.  For the entire decade of the 80's, the Riders lost a grand total of 6 (SIX!) home games; so home losses were a big deal.  CCC was the defending Div. 4 state champ from 1988.  When's the last time the Riders have played a defending state champ in the regular season?  Has it ever happened other than this example?

There were several pics of Dennis Maag as a quarterback....and for some reason, I can't recall that at all.  Maag wore #34 which would easily make him the player that wore the highest jersey number as a QB in the modern era...maybe ever.

Here's Dennis as QB.

In scrimmage photos, Bryan Carter was listed as QB, then Maag for the first half of the season, and it even listed Jim Haley as seeing time at QB in the Wooster game.  Sounds like a rare year where the Riders didn't have a solid #1 QB option. Were there injuries that year?  Someone fill me in. I've been filled in.

I do know one thing; the big skulls were still en vouge.  See below, just to the left of the helmet stripe.  The streak continues.

It was another year of a mixed bag, big skulls and small skulls.

Cool picture here.  Willard Gibson standing over a vanquished opponent, amidst the falling snow.

This is another entry in the category of "Classic Orrville Football Pictures."  Just a great shot.  The other 2 entries so far are here and here.

The Riders would drop a tough road game at West Holmes (10-7) and a heartbreaking loss to Wooster (7-6) to finish the regular season at 7-3 and would finish 3rd in the Div. 3, Region 11 computer point standings. 

Division 3, Region 11 Semifinal
Ironton 28 - Orrville 0
Ironton was the 1988 Div. 3 state runner up, losing to Akron St. V. by a score of 14-12. 

This game was played at Ohio University's Peden Stadium.  Several bits of detail need to be discussed here....

1.  The game was played at 1pm in the afternoon.  Did the stadium not have lights?  I'd think a college stadium would have lights.  Was it a doubleheader?

2.  Orrville and Ironton being in the same region is a bit of a stretch.  Other teams in the region include Dover, Martins Ferry, Bellaire and such and such.  Triway and Chippewa were the other Wayne Co. teams in the region.  A 3-hour drive for a first round game at a neutral site has to be a record.

3.  The other matchup in Region 11 was between St. Clairsville and Dover.  According to the article in the Courier, the game was played in Wheeling, West Virginia!!!  An Ohio playoff game was played in another state.  How unreal is that?  Might this be the only game in the 3+ decades of Ohio playoffs that a tournament game was played beyond the borders of Ohio? 

4.  Orrville was the 3 seed, Ironton the 1 seed.  Dover was the 4, St. Clairsville the 2.  Shouldn't 1 have played 4, and 2 played 3?  Maybe that's not how it's was done back then.

As for the game itself......ummm....not a very good day for the Riders.

Article here

Not a whole lot of detail, but maybe for the better.  This was the 2nd time the Riders were shutout in the playoffs in three years ('87 loss to Struthers, 21-0).

Orrville football would finish the decade with a record of 92-23, 2 state final appearances, 7 league championships, 4 undefeated regular seasons, 8 playoff appearances and 4 regional titles.  It was easily the greatest decade in Rider history.

That's it for 1989. If I left out some important details, the comment section is wide open, let's hear from Rider Nation.


Anonymous said...

yeah you forgot to mention there was a Red "O" in the middle of the field that royally ticked off Ironton. Alledgedly there were a couple of Orrville Alumni who were OU students who painted the field the night before. There's more to the story, but I need to protect the guilty. It had nothing to do with the outcome...but still a good story.

The 1989 team had 5 seniors? One of the smallest senior classes ever at Orrville I suspect. A great junior class that had at least 7 college players carried that team.

I think your next project should be to track down all the OHS graduates who played in college.

Red Rider Sports Blog (Tim Snyder) said...

comments like yours make this site great. I'd love to know more details, but I understand the need to protect those involved...from something that happened 20 yrs ago. :) There may still be warrants out.

As far as that project you mentioned. A noble cause for sure. As soon as I'm compensated (handsomely) for doing the research that would be required, I'll get right on that.

It's not a bad idea, but would take so much research and knowledge. The more recent ones would be easier, but there'd be tons of players who played at small colleges, or walked on that never got any mention in the paper.

I would really like to compile a list of Orrville All-Ohioans. Again, easier with the more recent years, but the ones from several decades ago would be tough...and research would again be required.

Anonymous said...

I remember the Red "O" and the story behind it also. Other than the the loss I remember it was the first time I had ever seen those long plastic horns at a football game. The horns I refer too are generally used at soccer games (or they were then) and it was like playing a trumpet.

Anonymous said...

The reason Magg was the QB was because in practice Eric Marks speared Doug Hamsher in the side that ruptured his kidneys. Put Doug out for the year. This is why we put Ham #11 on our arms with tape. Thanks Kyle Domer