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Saturday, November 20, 2010

After Week 13...Final Four edition

What a night that was. What a great all-around game by the entire team. This team is peaking at the right time, our defense is playing awesome. Last night was the 9th regional title in school history, and first since 1999. Now it's on to the state FINAL FOUR and a date with the Chagrin Falls Tigers this Friday at Medina.

This team has a look....a legitimate look at the state title. No one's getting ahead of themselves, but this team has a real chance to be the last team standing. Who'd have thought that at the beginning of the year? We have the talent on offense, a strong defense, and capable special teams.  We're also battle tested.  The scary part is we can still get better.

Let's talk about the Genoa game and all the lovely, lovely details of another playoff victory against an undefeated Comet team.

I thought this was a very hard fought game. Orrville took away Genoa's run game like no other team this year. Genoa was getting 6 and 7-yard runs early on, but those turned in to 1 and 2 yard runs later on, and it forced Genoa to throw the ball on 3rd down...something they were not comfortable at all in doing.

Their two turnovers inside Orrville territory were obviously huge and once Orrville made it 16-6, you had to like the Riders' chances. Genoa lacked that "big play" guy that they had last year in Greg Hillabrand. Not that sophomore Kyle Nutter couldn't break those long ones, he just never got loose to do so.

Once we had that 10-point lead, our defense started really flying around. I commented to someone on the sideline that "we'd seen this before." The D had that strut (or swag) to them and it was just a matter of time.

Link roundup
Toledo Blade - Port Clinton News Herald, a 2nd one, and a pic (NSFG...not safe for Genoa).

Here's two from the Daily Record. Great job as usual guys.

Photos gallery by Rod Dilyard here. Rod is a local guy who does a great job week in and week out. Please consider purchasing his work as a keepsake.

Sadly...this was the extent of the Akron Beacon Journal's coverage. Just sad. They practically had an office in Orrville back in the 80's and 90's. It would be comical if it weren't so unfortunate. They're really missing out.

A once proud and respected paper has really dropped the ball in their coverage of local sports. Last night they covered a Stark County (Lake) team playing in Ashland but won't cover a Wayne County team playing in Avon Lake? It's obvious they don't see Wayne County as a market anymore...which is fine, it's their choice. But it's also our choice to not buy your paper. The Daily Record runs circles around them in their coverage of high school sports.

What a great game by Orrville junior Drew Brenner. His juggling catch in the first quarter set up a score, his long punt return set up a field goal and his fake punt pass to Max Pirman led to another score.  Drew is one of a handful of terrific all-around athletes that are match up nightmares, on offense, defense & special teams, for any opponent.

Division 1 guys
Also a big night from our two Division 1 college recruits...Mason Monheim and Max Pirman. Max had a TD catch in to open the scoring and hauled in the key fake punt pass. And Mason, well..Mason may just be the best linebacker in the entire state...and he's a weapon on offense as well.

Not to put too much pressure on two young men (although I think their shoulders are plenty wide)...but I thought at the start of the playoffs that if we had two guys getting looked at by Big10 schools and other D-1 programs..we shouldn't be losing in the first round. Both have more than proved themselves so far.

Thought the turnout on our side of the stands was a little small. It was a late-arriving crowd for sure, and of the announced crowd of 3,500, I'd guess that at least 2,000-2,500 were on the Genoa side. We MAYBE brought 1,000..and that's a little disappointing.  Hopefully a state semifinal less than an hour away will really bring out the fans this week.  Most folks will hopefully be off work on Friday so that should increase the turnout a little too.

Let me be clear in saying that the fans that were there really brought the noise...and one fan in particular was much more involved than she ever probably thought she'd be. Kerry Pickett loaned her knee brace to Max Pirman late in the 4th quarter so Max could finish the game. You can't make this stuff up. Next week, I'll carry a mouthpiece and a set of receivers gloves. You just never know. :)

Big thumbs up to the folks at Avon Lake. Great facility and good people. Can't say enough. Really did a great job catering to the media too. I got a packet of information (rosters, program, etc) upon entering the stadium. Great to see a facility pay attention to the details. First-class all the way. A little more parking and that would be one of the nicest facilities in Ohio.

I've said it many times...teams that are one-dimensional have a tough time in the playoffs.  Unless you do that one thing extraordinarily well, teams that are run (Genoa) or pass dominant (Kenton) have a tough time.  Genoa needs to inject some sort of passing attack if they're to be a threat on the state level.  I also think they're schedule needs a shot of competition.  What good is going 10-0 every season if you don't test yourself at some point?

Chagrin Falls
Don't know much about the Tigers. Out of the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division, they were a state finalist last year in Div. 4...losing to Alter 37-7 in the title game (Chagrin beat Ottawa-Glandorf in the state semis 20-14.).

Their only loss this season was to Aurora in week 4 (25-14). Aurora lost to Ashland in the first round of the D-2 playoffs (36-26). The Tigers haven't been challenged at all in the playoffs, winning their first three games by an average of 21 points per game. They beat Garrettsville Garfield (22-7) in round 1, Cortland Lakeview (54-28) in round 2 and Manchester (37-14) last night

They're similar to us in that they can run it and throw it...and have a very good defense.  It's that kind of balance that gets teams to week 14 and beyond.  According to Drew Pastuer's site, they have the 12th toughest schedule in Division 4, Orrville has the #1 toughest schedule in D-IV according to that same site.

Like Orrville, they graduated a big class of seniors last season, but are right back in the final four this year.

All-Time Record
Like I said above, last night's win was our 9th regional title well as our 588th all-time win and 28th playoff win.  The "All-Time Record" page has been updated to reflect.  T-R-A-D-I-T-I-O-N.

Keep on Rollin'
I guess that's it...just wanted to say that we're behind you 100%.  What a ride so far.  I know you've got 2 more wins in you.  Refuse to lose.  Prepare, perform, persist!!!  I know with the short week it will be tough, but it would be great to have some sort of sendoff for the team Friday afternoon.


Anonymous said...

on your alltime record , you updated everything, but 1 , 21 playoof appearances not 20 :) GREAT JOB RR1 from riders1

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the band be more involved. They should be playing a lot more than they are. Last week arrived just before the kickoff. Whether they realize it or not, they can make a difference. They get the fans going too. Two weeks ago in Medina they started playing right off the bus. We need that again this week. We need to let Chagrin know we are there and ready to go.

Anonymous said...

We are blessed with talent every year and plain old athleticism. Drew and Stewart are the perfect combo. Turner has blazing speed and has developed into a very aggressive corner. Drew is just very versatile. albeit unorthodox at times. they both can jump out this world and both a great kids. Pure overall athleticism would be hard to pick from a number of the players....but I know exactly where you were coming from. I think Turner has proved his value at the next level and I think Drew is right behind him.

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

Yeah that was weird about the band. My guess is this....since we were the visitors, they didn't need to be there for the pregame band show...and maybe they got stuck in traffic. I'm sure it's wasn't anything intentional. But I also agree that their presence gets the players and fans into the game early...need that this week.

I switched up some of the wording from the content your comment came from. It came off like I was comparing Drew & Stew and that's not the case at all. I'm glad I don't have to gameplan for either.

Anonymous said...

I knew that wasn't your intent. Some may have misinterpreted it. If you follow your blog and writings enough you get a sense of where you are coming from. Keep up the good work! What an awesome tool for Rider fans and foes.

Anonymous said...

Pregame at BW3s in Medina? Join in Riders fans and pack the house. Lets show the city of Medina that the Red Riders are here!!! Hope to see you all there

Anonymous said...

Regarding the band arriving late, apparently it was slow going on their way up there, especially when they hit the construction.

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

thanks for the clarification about the band. Figured it was a traffic deal. It was slow going once you got off the turnpike.