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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.

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