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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week 9 Preview - Clear Fork Colts at Orrville Red Riders

Who: Clear Fork Colts (7-1, 5-0) vs Orrville Red Riders (6-2, 4-1)
Where: Red Rider Stadium - Orrville (Click here for map & directions)
When: Friday October 22nd, 7pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 9-0 (Click here for detail)
Last Meeting: 2009 (Orrville won 28-7 in first round of Div. 4 Playoffs)
Last Week: Orrville beat Mansfield Madison 35-14, Clear Fork beat Ashland 48-33.

Coaches: Doug Davault is 38-16 and in his 5th year as Red Rider coach. Dave Carrol is 14-5 in his 2nd year as Colts' boss.

Region 14 Standings: Clear Fork is 1st in Region 14 and has already locked up a home game for the first round of the playoffs. They have the 3rd highest points of any team in Division 2 through 6, and the 12th highest point total in all six divisions. Orrville is currently 3rd in Region 14, and have pretty much locked up a spot in the top 8. A win over Clear Fork will most likely cement a week 11 home game as well.

Radio:  The game will be broadcast on the 50,000 watt sports powerhouse, 104.5 WQKT.  Game will also be webcast at I believe this is the 3rd time Orrville has been on WQKT.  Triway, Ashland were the two others.  The Wooster game will make four broadcasts on the year.

This game is so similar to last year's week 9 matchup it's a little eerie.  Here's the opening paragraph of last year's game preview.
this is a very big game for both teams, possibly more so for Orrville than Clear Fork.
Pretty much the same deal this year, no?  Only this time, Clear Fork comes into Orrville as the clear favorite for maybe the first time in series history.  Weird to think a team that's never beat us is the favorite, but it's the truth.  No sandbagging here.  They're good.

Since a week 1 loss to Sandusky, the Colts have rattled off seven straight wins in most impressive fashion, scoring 41 or more in six of those 7 wins.  Their closest win in that stretch was an 8-point win over Mansfield Senior in which they fell behind 14-0.

They really opened a lot of eyes last week with a seemingly easy win over Ashland.  Using an unconventional defensive approach in which they dropped all 11 defenders into pass coverage at times, and a rushing attacked that gained nearly 500 yards on the ground, they throttled the Arrows by a 48-33 score.

It propelled the Colts to the top of the OCC and kept them in first place in Region 14.  A win over Orrville will give them a share of the OCC at worst, and widen their lead in the region.  Even with a loss, they'll remain #1 in the region.  An Orrville win would vault them over Genoa to 3rd place in the region.

Don't think the Colts are content with beating Ashland and tying for the OCC.  They want the whole ball of wax, and they're riding a tidal wave of confidence on their way to Orrville.  In some of their fans' minds, it's just a matter of handing the ball off to Jordan McCune for a few more weeks, and they'll be on top of the OCC mountain.

Speaking of McCune......He's only rushed for nearly 3,000 yards over the past two seasons, and has 40+ rushing TD's in that same span.  He's over 1,500 yards on this season and has 21 TD's coming into the game.  He's averaging nearly 190 yards per game on about 23 carries.  A very impressive 8 yards per carry and an even more impressive 1 touchdown every 9 touches.  He's thrown for two TD's on the season and caught another.  He's the OCC player of the year unless he really has a bad last two weeks.

He made a comment about Orrville being down a few weeks ago to the Wooster paper, so don't think the Riders wont be coming for him to show how "down" they really are.

Three Headed Monster.  Maybe the biggest difference in the Colts attack from last year to this year is their versatility in their running game.  It's not just Jordan McCune.  Senior Caleb Doup and junior Dion Bellamy can also tote the pigskin with effectiveness.  Doup has 674 rushing yards (7 yards per rush, 9 TD) and Bellamy checks in with 475 yards (9.9 yards per rush, 6 TD).  All three can break big runs at any time.

Oh...and they can throw the ball too.  Probably a result of teams playing the run, but QB Jordan Beans has over 600 passing yards on the season.  That's less than 80 yards per game, but his favorite target, Logan Slavinski is averaging nearly 25 yards per catch, so when they do tends to go for big yards.

So.....what's Orrville have to do to keep the unbeaten streak against the Colts in tact.  A few things.

1.  Control the ball.  That means, of course, not turning the ball over.  But it also means having a run game of our own.  Tre Simpson is back this week, hopefully close to 100%.  Both he and Mason Monheim will need to have big nights running the ball.

2.  Smart defense.  For whatever reason, we've had good success against Clear Fork.  We seem to do much better against dominant run teams than we do against dominant passing teams.  But we've also lost to the two best teams we've played this year....and given up an average of 38 points per game in those two losses.  Clear Fork is the third of the "really good teams" we've played this year....and in my opinion, we can't give them 30+ points and expect to win.  We have the athletes on defense to make things tough on Clear Fork.  Keep the action in front of you and make sure tackles.

3.  Our "talent" HAS to show up.  I mean Tre running the ball, Max on BOTH SIDES of the ball.  I mean Stewart Turner's speed, Mason Monheim's tackling, Kyle Lichti throwing the ball, Drew Brenner catching the ball, and our line blocking better than they have all year.  Everyone and anyone with a red jersey on needs to have their best game of the year if we expect to win.

Projections says Clear Fork by 10
Fantastic50 says Clear Fork by 7
I bet the Daily Record picks against us again (for the 5th time this year).

When's the last time an Orrville team was a 10 point underdog at home?  Maybe the Ashland game in 2007 (Ashland won 42-0)?  The Daily Record mentioned the same issue and said we were the underdog in week 2 against Triway.  I guess I forgot about that one...but I don't think many considered us the underdog.  It was a tossup game in week 2 that swung our way.

This seems like one of those games where no one gives Orrville a chance.  And it's usually a good thing when we play with a chip on our shoulder.  I'd like to think that in what might be the last home game for this group of seniors, they'd want to make it a memorable night.  A win would really give this team a huge momentum boost heading into Wooster Week and the playoffs.

Like Coach Davault said a few weeks ago...we'll see what this team is made of.  I think a lot of fans still don't know.


Anonymous said...

One thing is for sure, this team is good or they wouldnt have the record they do. If we come out not ready to play like we have against many teams (madison, SR, and West Holmes) we will be down big early and wont come back. The coaches need to light a fire under their butts in that locker room before the game and get them ready. There is a lot on the line here - Good Luck Riders!!!

Anonymous said...

What a blow out last night. Orrville should have lost by 50 that's how good Clear Fork is.

Orrville's offense is not very good at all.