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Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 6 - West Holmes at Orrville

Who: West Holmes Knights (5-0, 2-0 in OCC) vs. Orrville Red Riders (1-4, 0-2 in OCC)
Where: Heartland Field at Red Rider Stadium
When: Friday September 28, 2012, 7pm
All-Time Series: Orrville leads 26-12, including the last 3 in a row and 10 of the last 13.

Coaches: Kevin Maltarich, 11-14 in his 3rd year at West Holmes. Doug Davault, 51-27 in his 7th year at Orrville.
Last Week: West Holmes beat Ashland 41-36, Orrville lost to Mansfield Senior, 35-12.
Last Year: Orrville beat West Holmes 28-21.

Radio: Live webcast courtesy of The Voice of Holmes County. Broadcast begins at 6:30pm

Orrville and West Holmes will meet for the 40th time since the rivalry began in 1967 and for the 88th time if you count the games between Orrville and Millersburg High.

The Riders have won 11 of the 13 meetings between the schools since 1993, but will be decided underdogs to the undefeated and state-ranked Knights.  Fresh off a big win over Ashland last week, the Knights will look to begin the 2nd half of the season the same way they ended the first half..with a win..and they can think of no better venue to continue their winning ways than the new turf at Red Rider Stadium against a Red Rider team having it's share of struggles.

They will bring a stable of running backs to the turf at Heartland Field and will run the ball 85% of the time, but will also have athletes to catch the ball as well.

The Riders are struggling to find their way on offense, scoring a total of just 20 points over their last 2 games, while the defense has given up 32.5 points over those same 2 games.  In the Riders 4 losses, they've allowed 29, 34, 30 and 35 points (128 total) while scoring just 70.

To have a shot at a win, the Riders must create turnovers and turn those into points.  On offense, they must sustain drives and on defense they have to get off the field on 3rd down.  They cannot be on the field for long Knight drives of 10+ plays.  The Knights attack will simply wear our defense down unless the Riders can get stops & turnovers.

Stranger things have happened, and perhaps the Knights, who have big contests looming with Mansfield Senior and Lexington will be looking past the Riders...but I doubt it.  The Knight faithful know all too well of the Red Rider Tradition and I'm guessing won't be looking past anyone on their way to a likely playoff appearance.

Amazingly enough, if the Riders are able to pull out a win, a bevy of computer points will come their way, possibly enough to crack the top 15 in the region.  It would be the needed first step to even begin discussing a playoff spot.

Play for pride, Riders!!  Let's win one on the turf.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Week 5 - Mansfield Senior at Orrville

Who: Mansfield Senior Tygers (3-1, 1-0 in OCC) vs. Orrville Red Riders (1-3, 0-1 in OCC).
When: Friday September 21, 2012
Where: Heartland Field at Red Rider Stadium.
All-Time Series: Orrville leads 9-6, including 5 of the last 6. Senior has not won at Orrville since 2002.
Last Year: The Tygers won 21-14.
Last Week: Orrville lost to Lexington 30-8, Senior beat Clear Fork 35-7
Coaches: Chioke Bradley is in his 3rd season as Tyger head coach with a 12-12 record. Doug Davault is 51-25 in his 7th season as Orrville head coach.
Radio/TV: None.

Well...this is certainly uncharted territory for Red Rider fans..and players/coaches too.  We've not lost 3 games in a row since 2002 & it's only happened 3 times since 1990.  And never had an Orrville team lost 3 in a row in a season and gone on to make the playoffs.....but enough of the negative, that's not what this site is about and that's not what this team is about.

I have a real good feeling about this matchup with the Tygers.  They've won 3 of their first 4 and are averaging 40 points per game over the past two weeks.  Our offense struggled to put points on the board last week at Lexington, but had several drives stall in Lex territory & our defense fell victim to the big play.

Senior will bring maybe their most talented and athletic team (and new helmets) they've had in a long time to Orrville so the Riders will have to play their most complete game of the season to break the losing streak and get all-time win #598.  Senior has not won at Orrville since 2002 so they'll have plenty of their own motivation.  A week after breaking a 7-year drought against Clear Fork last week, Senior is out to put another losing streak to bed, and position themselves nicely in the OCC and possibly a playoff appearance.

With West Holmes coming to town next week and a trip to Ashland after that, the Riders are running out of time to get back in the hunt.  Another OCC loss probably means another season without a OCC title and will dig us a deep hole in the hunt for playoff appearance #23.

I think the Riders come out with something to prove.  I'm encouraged to hear that the kids are keeping their heads up and continuing to work hard to get better.  I think it's a matter of hitting some big plays early.  Playing with a lead is imperative this Senior seems to be a team that gets more confident as the game wears on.  It's time our defense creates some turnovers and some big plays of their own....let's get an early lead and make the Tygers play catch up.

The Riders haven't killed themselves with penalties so far this season, it's just a matter of finishing drives.  When we get inside the 20, we have to find a way to put points on the board.

Call it a hunch, but I think the Riders get the win and ride some momentum into week 6.  Our backs haven't been against the wall in week 5 in a very long time...and if there's one thing fans should know by now is that we seem to play our best ball when our backs are against the wall & everyone doubts us.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Week 4 Preview - Orrville at Lexington

Who: Orrville Red Riders (1-2, 0-0) vs. Lexington Minutemen (2-1, 0-0)
Where: Lexington Stadium
When: Friday September 14th, 7:00pm

All Time Series: Orrville leads 8-5.
Last Meeting: 2011 (Orrville won 35-12)
Last Week: Orrville lost to Copley 34-28, Lexington lost Olentangy 35-21.

Coaches: Dan Studer takes over Minutemen football after BJ Payne resigned at the end of last season.  Studer is a Massillon graduate and one of the featured subjects in the film 'Go Tigers.'  Doug Davault is in his 7th season at Orrville, with an overall record of 51-24.

Radio/TV: None.

This isn't territory an Orrville football team is accustomed to.  The last time an Orrville football team lost 2 straight games was in 2009 when they dropped the first 2 games of the season to Northwest and Triway.  The Riders under Doug Davault have never lost 3 games in a row.  A 3-game losing streak hasn't happened since the 2002 season that saw them go 2-8.

The Riders will seek to avoid a 3-game losing streak when they travel to Lexington Friday night in the opening week of OCC play.  Lexington is coming off their first loss of the season last week so both teams will be looking to right the ship.

I hate to look any farther than this week, but if the Riders are to make a run at their 4th straight playoff appearance, this game is as "must win" as any week 4 game can be.  A 1-3 record with Mansfield Senior, West Holmes and Ashland looming on the schedule would not bode well for the Riders playoff chances.  But a win over the Minutemen Friday would give the Riders a much-needed jolt of confidence heading into 2 straight home games.

The Riders will look to build on last week's positive effort against Copley.  They fought back from down 28-7 to make it a 1 touchdown game.  If not for the effort of Copley's Aregeros Turner, the Riders might have pulled that game out.

For the 2nd straight week, the game won't be on TV or radio, which is a bit disappointing, as a drive to Lexington is nearly an hour.  This would be where a web radio broadcast specifically for Orrville games would come in real handy....someone should work on that.

Here's hoping for a Rider win.  Let's get this thing back on track.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Week 3 - Orrville at Copley

Who: Orrville Red Riders (1-1) vs. Copley Indians (2-0)
Where: Infocision Field at Copley Stadium
When: Friday September 7, 2012
All Time Series: Orrville leads 24-14.  Copley has won the last two matchups, 34-33 in double overtime in 2010 and 14-13 in overtime last year.  Orrville is 3-2 at Copley since the rivalry renewed in 2001.

Last Meeting: Copley won 14-13 in overtime last season.
Last Week: Orrville lost to Triway 29-20, Copley beat Akron Firestone 34-27.
Coaches: Doug Davault is 51-23 in his 7th year as Orrville coach, Ron Viscounte is 27-26 in his 6th year for Copley.
Radio/TV: None that I know of.