Updated Wed, Oct 19, 2011 10:26 pm
It is the matchup everyone has been looking forward to this year. Tri-Valley (7-1, 6-0) travels Sheridan (8-0, 6-0) on Friday where the winner will be crowned 2011 MVL champs.
The two squads are almost identical statistically. The Scotties score 37 points per game and allow 11 per game, while the Generals score 40 and allow 9 per week. Yardage-wise is similar, both average more than 400 yards per game, but how they rack up those yards is completely different.
Led by quarterback Nathan Strock and running back Austin Jones, Tri-Valley features a balanced attack with 196.5 passing yards and 205.6 rushing YPG, whereas Sheridan is run heavy; averaging 358 YPG on the ground. Most of that can be credited to Mitchell Fouch who is good for 170 yards each week.
So where will this game be won and lost? Look to the backfields. Both star running backs, Jones and Fouch, will be the keys to victory. For Fouch, it is simple. He must put up the numbers he has done all season. The Generals offense will be in trouble if their senior workhorse cannot provide the yardage needed.
On the flip side, if the Scotties can establish a run game with Jones it will keep Sheridan honest on defense and open up the field for Strock. Head Coach Justin Buttermore strives for a balanced attack every week, and if Jones gets bottled up early and often that will be tough to achieve.
Another stat that proves this game is essentially a toss-up: Sheridan Head Coach Paul Culver Jr. is 4-3 against Tri-Valley since Buttermore has taken over for the Scotties. The Scotties are also seeking revenge for last season’s disappointing 42-14 loss at the hands of the Generals.
One thing is sure, though. The crowd at Paul Culver Jr. Stadium on Friday night is sure to witness another hard-fought battle in this epic rivalry.