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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2011 Week 2 Preview - Orrville Red Riders at Triway Titans

Who: Orrville Red Riders (1-0) vs. Triway Titans (0-1)
Where: Titans Stadium
When: Friday September 2, 2011

All Time Series: Orrville leads 33-6 (detail here)
Last Meeting: Week 11, 2010 OHSAA Playoffs (Orrville won 27-25)
Last Week: Orrville beat Northwest 41-27, Triway lost to West Holmes 20-7.
Coaches: Doug Davault is 43-18 in his 6th year as Orrville coach, Tony Lee is 16-7 in his 3rd season as Triway coach.

It's the 40th matchup between the Riders and Titans, and the 3rd time these teams have met in the past 15 weeks of football.  Two programs that are very familiar with each other, and will look to add another classic chapter to this local rivalry.

Five Things to Watch

Titan Youth
I don't care what anyone says about this game on paper.  Yes, the Riders have lots of talent on the field, and yes, Triway lost lots of talent to graduation.  But this is a game the Triway kids get excited's their home opener, and what a tone-setter it would be for the season if they could take out Orrville on their home turf.

The Titans are young, and struggled in their week 1 opener at West Holmes.  They mustered only 155 total yards of offense (104 passing, 51 rushing) according to The Daily Record, and threw 2 interceptions on the night.

It's team's like this that seem to bounce back quick and have short memories after a bad game. 

Rider O
The Riders rolled up nearly 400 yards of total offense in their week 1 win over Northwest, but looked sloppy at times.  It was the Riders big-play ability that saw them through in week 1 and it will be receiving targets like Drew Brenner and Stewart Turner, and the fierce running of Mason Monheim that the Titans will have to find a way to stop.

What concerns me more than anything is the Riders ability to cut down on mistakes and turnovers.  They committed 11 penalties for 97 yards and had 3 total turnovers in week 1.  I'd like to see no more than 4 or 5 penalties this week.  Turnovers will happen from time to time, but it's how they happen that's concerning at times.  Bad reads, bad decisions and general carelessness can't continue to happen if we're to compete with the dangerous teams on our schedule.

Drake vs. Orrville D
On defense, the Riders will look to harass sophomore Titan QB Lane Drake and use their team speed to contain the Titan receivers.  If Drake can find an early rhythm, he could have a big night....but with Orrville's speedy DB's and Monheim roaming the middle, Drake will need all options at his disposal.

The weather points to a hot day Friday, and kickoff temperatures in the 80's.  The Riders fought some cramps last week on a night that was pleasant.  How will both teams react if the weather is hot and humid.

Nuts & Bolts
I think it boils down to this...if Orrville can stay away from drive-killing penalties and turnovers, and execute and use their talent to their advantage, they win the game.  If they struggle to put together sustained drives, and Triway is able to hit some big plays, it will be another classic back and forth, Rider/Titan matchup....and who knows what could happen on their turf.  Remember, 5 of the 6 Titan victories in this series have have happened at their place.

Rider fans seem to remember the losses to Triway much more than the wins, so let's take care of business and put win #2 of the 2011 season (and win #590 in Orrville history) in the books. says Orrville wins 35-13.

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