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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Looking back on Wooster, ahead to playoffs

It's November 1st, leaves and temperatures are falling, Orrville just beat Wooster and helmets are full of's playoff time.

For the 22nd time in the 39 year history of the OHSAA state football playoffs, the Orrville Red Riders will once again be playing in week 11 (and hopefully beyond).

Some quick notes about the Wooster game, and we'll look ahead to the 2nd season.
1. Never before has an Orrville team captured 7 straight wins over Wooster...until now. The 35-7 win was the 7th straight in the 101 year history of the series and 4th in the last 7 meetings that have been won by 25 points or more.

2. This year's senior class also gets to be the 4th straight class to say that they never lost a varsity football game to Wooster in their 4 years of high school.

3. I thought the atmosphere was electric. Fans were loud, band was great, students showed up...and it all added up to a playoff-like atmosphere. Great lead in for the playoffs.

4. Heard from a few folks during the game that the FoxSportsOhio webcast was pretty much unwatchable.  I tried to watch the archived version on their website Sunday, and understood what people were talking about.  In speaking to people at FSO, they're saying it was the weather that night that affected the streaming of the webcast.  I have trouble believing that a 20-minute rain affected the entire night's broadcast, but I don't know how all that works.  Pretty disappointing nonetheless.

5.  Here are pictures from the game courtesy of Rod Dilyard, and some from the Wooster side courtesy of Marty's Studio.

6.  It's now 50-42-9 in the all-time series and the Wikipedia page has been updated accordingly.

7.  I like this photo.

1. So this brings us to week 11....we finished 2nd in the region (with 3 losses).  Only 8 teams in Ohio finished with 3 losses and had more computer points that the Red Riders...and 5 of those 8 are Division 1 schools.

2.  Our 22 playoff appearances is 7th best among the 192 playoff teams in 2011..and 3rd most among the 32 Div. 4 playoff teams.

3. The three other Region 13 matchups on Saturday are as follows (my predicted winner in bold)...(8) Canton Central Catholic at (1) Girard, (5) Manchester at (4) Black River and (6) Brookfield at (3) Norwayne.  The Norwayne/Brookfield game will be played at Cloverleaf High School due to the condition of Norwayne's home field.  Of course I'm picking (2) Orrville to beat (7) Labrae as well.

Given that scenario...Manchester would play Girard and Orrville would face Norwayne in week 12.  Both of those games would be at neutral sites to be determined.

4.  I know nothing about Labrae, so I wont pretend I do.  I know their school is technically in Leavittsburg, which is a suburb of Warren, actually Warren Township.  I'm told kids in Warren Twp. attend Labrae, while kids in Warren city attend Harding.  I know they're the Vikings, and their colors are red, grey and black.

Here's their team page on the Youngstown Vindicator's Blitz site.  Stats are inaccurate, so pay no attention to those.

Their QB is 6'6" sophomore Peyton Aldridge...who is more of a basketball player than a football player, but he'll be an interesting challenge for our defense.  Can't let him drop back and pick out targets.  Have to pressure him and make him uncomfortable.

Their feature back is senior Matt Szorady (5'10", 170 lbs.).  He's been hurt a little this year, but was back to near 100% for their week 10 win over Steubenville Central Catholic.

Head coach is Bill Bohren who has been coaching for nearly 50 years, and is a legend in the Mahoning Valley.  He has nearly 300 career wins and has coached at Ottawa-Glandorf (1971-75), Steubenville (1975-78), Cortland Lakeview (5 seasons), Boardman (9 seasons), Butler PA (1 season), Salem (2 seasons), Niles Mckinley (7 seasons) and now for Labrae.

I guess that's it....looking forward to another home playoff game this Saturday and hopefully the start of a long playoff run.  Win or lose, the LAST home game ever at Red Rider Stadium for a group of seniors that has seen their share of playoff football and been a part of so much Rider Tradition.

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