Who: #3 Orrville Red Riders (7-3, 5-2 in OCC) vs. #6 Triway Titans (8-2, 6-1 in PAC)
Where: Red Rider Stadium - Orrville, OH (Map & Directions)
When: Friday November 5, 2010, 7:30pm
All Time Series: Orrville leads 32-6 (detail here)
Last Meeting: Week 2, 2010 (Orrville won 41-18)
Last Week: Orrville beat Wooster 42-17, Triway beat Canton Timken 41-0.
Playoff History: Orrville is making their 21st and second consecutive playoff appearance, their all-time playoff record is 25-19. Triway is making their 5th appearance, and is 2-4 all-time in the playoffs. Triway is making their 3rd straight trip to the playoffs. Their last playoff win came in 2003 over Manchester (21-14) in round 1.
Coaches: Doug Davault is 39-17 in his 5th year as Orrville coach, he's 4-2 in playoff games. Tony Lee is 16-5 in his 2nd season as Triway coach, he's 0-1 in the playoffs.
Radio/TV: Options aplenty...WQKT 104.5 FM out of Wooster will be doing the game, naturally. Also, 95.3 WKLM out of Millersburg and WZIP 88.1 FM out of Akron will be broadcasting as well. So depending on where you are, you could possibly listen to the game on three different FM radio stations at the same time.
Both WQKT and WZIP have live streams on their website, I know for sure that WQKT will be streaming the game at wqkt.com, I imagine Z88 will stream the game as well, here.
Oh yeah, Clear Picture cable out of Wooster will also be doing the game....and Fox8's SkyFox will be there too. The load limit of that pressbox will be tested Friday night.
I'll be sending updates to my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Don't bother checking both, it's the same update, just sent to both services. Or just stay here on the blog homepage and keep an eye on the Twitter gadget on the right hand side of the page. Refresh every 20 minutes or so for the latest.
Other Region 14 Games: #8 Ontario travels to #1 Clear Fork, #7 Huron travels to #2 Elyria Catholic & #5 Ottawa-Glandorf travels to #4 Genoa Area. The entire D-4 bracket is here.
Everyone has heard the old adage that it's hard to beat a team twice in the same season...but it's never really applied to Orrville in football. In our first 19 playoff appearances, Orrville has never played the same opponent in the regular season and again in the post-season. But since our move to Region 14 before the 2009 season, it's happened twice in two years. It's even more amazing considering that there's only three other local teams in the region (Chippewa, Triway & Clear Fork) and we've played two of them in the playoffs already.
Stating the Obvious
Sure....both teams are familiar with each other, and that's good and bad. Both teams know the others style. We know Triway likes to throw the ball, and Triway knows we won the first meeting by throwing the ball, but we can run the ball effectively too. I don't think it will be which team plays to their strength, but which team plays to their weakness better. Right now, I'd call Triway's run game their weakness. If they can run the ball effectively, it will help their chances. Orrville has struggled passing the ball lately. If they can have a repeat of week 2 and hit some big passes, it will certainly help their cause.
Position by Position
Let's break this down by position.
QB - Triway. Carmichael has the edge just because of numbers and him being an experienced senior.
RB - Orrville. Mason Monheim & Tre Simpson will be leaned on heavily, and have the ability to deliver.
WR - Even. Orrville has the edge in speed and height, but Triway has better depth. Tossup.
O-Line - Orrville. Orrville's D put a lot of pressure on Carmichael in week 2...their line will need to do a better job of protecting him if they're to have success this time around.
Defense - Orrville. They've show ability to stop the run and the pass this season. They will be tested again to slow down Triway's passing attack. Triway will need to slow Orrville's run game and not give up the long pass play.
Special Teams - Other than Orrville's Dylan Tanner, it's a push. Tanner gives Orrville a legit field goal threat from 25-35 yards out. That's invaluable when it comes down to playoff football.
Why Orrville is the favorite
I know...we'd rather be the decided underdog, but facts are facts, Orrville is the favorite. Their strength of schedule, the fact that it's a home game, and already having beaten Triway are three factors that work in favor of the Red Riders. And that's not even taking into consideration the kids who will actually play the game. I think we'll have the edge in overall team talent as well. I don't think "Wooster Week" hangover will be a big deal, Orrville kids know what time of year it is and will be ready to play.
That said, they still need to come out and prove it. Triway will be mighty excited for this one, and wouldn't surprise me if they get off to a hot start. We need to match that intensity and play smart football. I think the last few weeks have been better in terms of turnovers and penalties, it needs to continue this week.
Why Triway can win this game
I think Triway throws everything they can at Orrville this week. They know nobody expects them to win so they'll use that as motivation. I think to win the game they'll need to have some semblance of a run game...and I think a lot of that has to come from QB Derek Carmichael. He'll need to read Orrville blitzes and gain yards via scrambling when he can. I'm sure the Titans will get the ball into Sawyer Polen's hands whenever possible...whether it be runs, reverses or quick passes...as the Sawyer goes, the Titans go.
According to FridayNightOhio.com, Polen has 1192 receiving yards and 82 receptions on the season. His receiving yards account for 44% of the Air Titan attack and 45% of Derek Carmichael's pass completions on the season.
They will spread it around to Kyle Kearney (465 receiving yards, 7 TD), Kyle Maxwell (602, 7 TD) & Marcus Bertsch (282, 2 TD). I believe Bertsch missed the week 2 matchup so this would give Carmichael one more weapon.
If I'm Titan coach Tony Lee, I give the kids the old "If you lose, nobody will remember you, but if you win, nobody will ever forget you" pre-game speech. Let it all hang out and go for broke. What's to lose?
I don't think this is the pervasive thought among the purple-clad Titan fans, at least I hope not...but I'm hearing and reading a lot of "it will be closer than last time" talk. If I may speak for Orrville fans....so what!! As if a close loss will somehow be a morale booster? A 1-point win is still a win, and that's all that matters in the playoffs. Where's the confidence in your team that has lit up the scoreboard all year and has a QB who has thrown for a bazillion yards this season?
If all you have to hang your hat on is losing by less than last time, then don't even show up. I KNOW that's not how the Triway team and coaches are thinking, and really the play of the two teams will be what decides this game, not me or any other fan or their thoughts.
Guest Host & Key Points
Going to open up the gates of the blog fortress and let in former Orrville quarterback Brynt Werntz for his analysis. His keys to the game if you will. Take it away QB....
1. Triway will have to find a way to give Carmichael time to throw to his stable of receivers. If they can give him time, it could be a long night….like the game against Ashland.
2. The Titan defense has to find a way to shutdown some of the Rider playmakers.
3. Triway’s players to watch will be Sawyer Polen and Derek Carmichael. Polen is dangerous and a threat to score anytime he touches the ball, and Derek is a general out there directing that offense. If he has time to find the open guy, they could put up a lot more points than the first meeting.
4. Orrville will have to get the running game going like they did last week against Wooster. If Tre Simpson gets over 100 yards we are hard to beat, add Mason in there and we have a solid running game. Drew Brenner also had his best game of the year against the Titans with over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns receiving.
5. Orrville’s defense has to pressure and get in the face of Carmichael from the opening kickoff. If the Riders can disrupt the offense in the backfield, and our secondary can cover the receivers like they did in week 2, it could be another long night for the Titans.
6. Orrville’s players to watch will be Tre Simpson and Max Pirman. Simpson can be a force when he runs with purpose (like he did against Wooster), if he gets over 100 yards rushing, I look for this offense to put some nice drives together. Max may as well have been a Triway running back in week 2, as he was in the Titan backfield a lot. If he can get that same pressure on Derek early and often look for another rough night for Air Titan.
7. Weather forecast is calling for rain and maybe snow. This could cause problems for both teams, but especially Triway since they are a spread passing attack. Look for Triway to run a little more than normal if they struggle throwing the ball.
Footing will be an issue for both teams as the field will be wet and slippery.
This type of weather I would say favors Orrville and their running game. (Ed. Note: I'll just add the fact that Triway's offense struggled in picture perfect weather back in week 2. Doesn't bode well for their timing based offense if the weather makes the field a mess.)
Good job Brynt. If anyone else ever wants to do any writing for the site....feel free to contact me. My door is wide open.
Back to the game....let's talk about key players.
For Orrville, it's got to be Kyle Lichti. But not in terms of him having to put up monster numbers. All Kyle needs to do in order to be called effective is control the offense, make smart decisions, and not turn the ball over. That's it. He does that and it will greatly improve the Riders' chances.
For Triway, I think it's anyone OTHER than Derek Carmichael & Sawyer Polen. Someone other than those two has to step up and have the game of their life in order for the Titans to pull off the upset. Carmichael is going to get his passing yards, and Polen is going to be his main target, but a third Titan stepping up and producing has to happen.
CalPreps.com says 31-24 Orrville.
Drew Pastuer's Fantastic50 says Orrville by 14.
I think both services have been wrong on Orrville's predictions 4 of 10 times this year. That's way above their normal correct prediction percentage of 75-85%.
I don't think either team wins by more than 14. This one will be close, and with the weather being a big question mark, it may be the team that commits fewer turnovers (isn't it always?) and is the most opportunistic with big plays and turnovers.
I think in the end, Orrville's overall talent will be enough to hold off Triway for a second time this season.