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Monday, May 3, 2010

Red Rider Playoffs: 1990

Let's look at the 1990 season and playoffs.

The Riders were coming off a 4-loss season in 1989 and a 28-0 playoff drubbing at the hands of Ironton (the eventual state champ).  A talented junior class would now lead the team as seniors, and as always, expectations were high.

Before we get to the season and the playoff game, a few pictures.'s former Rider assistant Claude Brown.  Remember him?  He was my 8th grade basketball coach for like a week, then one day he wasn't there and Jim Ladrach was the coach for the rest of the season.  And yes, I'm aware of his legal troubles since leaving Orrville, but we wont be discussing those.

Notice the players helmets?  At first I thought it was a glare, but it was at the same spot on everyone's helmet.  I'm almost positive that it's the Student Athletes Detest Drugs (S.A.D.D.) sticker.  I'm pretty sure that the helmet that is displayed in the window of Seifried Drug Store every fall still has that sticker on it.

Speaking of helmets and stickers....I think we're at the end of an era.  You'll know what I'm talking about once you see the next 2 pictures.

Don't see any of the large skull stickers do you?  I'm willing to say that 1989 was the last season of the big skull stickers.  I don't remember seeing them in my 1980 playoff review, but every year since then there's documented evidence of them being on the helmets.  So it seems like they were around forever, but in realily, it was probably just over half a decade.  Still wish they'd make a comeback, even if the back of every helmet just had one, for the sake of tradition.

Also note the article on James Bradley and his successes at Michigan State.  Still 1 of 2 Orrville alums that have been selected in the NFL draft.  Damian Vaughn is the other.

Ok, on to the season......

The regular season saw the Riders go 9-1, losing only to Canton Central Catholic by 1 point.

For the regular season, the Rider defense surrendered only 64 points, and only allowed 6 total points in their last four games.  In their 9 wins, they held all but two opponents to 8 points or less.  It was a top-5 defense in the last 30 years of Orrville football.

We saw the addition of Cleveland East to the schedule, replacing local rival Wadsworth, but it made no difference in terms of computer points as the Riders earned 130 points (scroll to page 10), good enough for a Division 3, Region 10 championship and a first round playoff date with the Minutemen of Richfield Revere.

The game was held at North Canton Hoover's Memorial Stadium.

Division III, Region 10 Semifinal
Richfield Revere 13 - Orrville 7 (OT)

Revere would bring an unblemished 10-0 record into the game.  Led by Coach Joe Pappano, the Minutemen won the Suburban League title and featured a stout defense and a "grind-it-out" style on the ground, led by junior running back Chuck Penzenik.

The game was just as expected, a defensive struggle.  The Riders struck first, just before halftime, on a 10-yd pass from Doug Hamsher to Dennis Maag.  Sean Hartzler's extra point made it 7-0 at halftime.

The Minutemen would tie the game midway through the 3rd on a short TD run by Brian Willis.  The score was setup by an Orrville interception.  It would not be the last turnover that would cost the Riders points.

The game would stay tied through the end of regulation.  The first of four overtime games in Orrville football playoff history.  The Riders would get the ball first in overtime and would turn it over an interception in the end zone.  Revere would take their shot in overtime, and Penzenik would score from 12 yards out to end the game and the Riders' season.

Here's the full article from the Courier Crescent. (Part 1, Part 2).

That's it, another playoff loss, and another low scoring playoff effort.  The loss was the 5th straight playoff loss (all to public schools), and 6th playoff loss (out of 9 playoff losses) of 8 points or less.  It was also the 3rd playoff game in the last 4 where the Riders would score 7 points or less.

Penzenik is an interesting fella.  After graduating from Revere in 1992, he would go on to play at Penn State, where he would intercept 2 passes in the 1995 Rose Bowl.  Read more about it here.  He's #29 in this pic.

He also blogs about his flag football dominance, apparently.

Revere would advance three more rounds to the state championship game before being eliminated by Hamilton Badin by a score of 16-6.  I honestly never knew how far Revere advanced until doing research for this post.

1990 was also the first year that the state finals were held in Massillon.  At the time, there were 5 divisions, and divisions two thorugh five were held in Massillon.  The D-1 game was held at the Rubber Bowl in Akron.

Speaking of the state finals....all five state title games in 1990 were very close.  The winning margin in all five games combined was only 34 points, right around 7 points per game.  Three of the five games were decided by 7 points or less.

It was another one of those "woulda, coulda, shoulda" situations where Orrville would have had as good a look as anyone else had they been able to win that first round game. It would be the 2nd year in a row that the team to end the Riders season would advance to the championship game.  Ironton won it all in 1989, and Revere finised as runner-up in 1990.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great season and some great young men on that team, Maag, Dolmer, Wright, Hamshire, Goodard boys, Gibson and many more! Helped teach us freshman how to compete!