Published Thu, Oct 27, 2011 11:05 am Dateline
Updated Thu, Oct 27, 2011 4:59 pm
If the 2011-2012 seasons for Nelsonville-York and Athens were movie scripts, they could possibly get criticized for playing out too perfectly.
Nine times, the Buckeyes and Bulldogs have stepped onto the gridiron this season.
Nine times, the two have walked away victorious.
Now, in one of the most anticipated sporting events in Athens County history, the two unbeatens meet at Basil Rutter Field on Friday to determine the TVC-Ohio Championship.
The battle holds as many storylines as one could imagine.
Two 9-0 squads playing for both an outright conference championship and the coveted Doc Kroner Trophy.
Two Player of the Year finalists battling out of the backfield.
The final home game in the inaugural season for a new facility.
And enough individual matchups and similar statistics to make even the most seasoned analyst scratch their head.
For Athens, a motto for the year has been “Athens Football: Rebuilt”. What a construction job it’s been for Coach Ryan Adams and crew.
The Bulldogs finished last season at 5-5, with the only two conference losses coming against Alexander and Nelsonville-York.
Athens fell in its final two contests at old Rutter Field before capturing the last three home games under the lights of Peden Stadium.
Now, 407 days after their field was destroyed by a series of tornadoes, the Green and Gold attempt to christen the first year in its new home with the crown jewel of a perfect season.
When it comes to Athens’ resurgence, the backbone has come from the backfield.
Running back DeVon Sharp has dazzled all season long, amassing 1,508 all-purpose yards and 24 total touchdowns.
Under center, Bulldog fans have watched quarterback Josh Skinner evolve all season.
The senior rebounded from a sluggish start and has thrown for over a thousand yards and eight touchdowns.
Now, nursing a shoulder injury, the field general’s playing time on Friday could be slim-to-none.
However, the Bulldogs have their man in-toe in Michael Germano, who boasted an impressive first start last week against Wellston.
The sophomore completed 9 of 17 passes for 168 yards and one score.
The explosive Bulldog offense has overshadowed a dangerous defensive unit that’s given up 11 points per ball game.
That reputation, built up over nine weeks of success, will be put to the ultimate test with what’s to come.
Up Route 33, Nelsonville-York has, in large part, toyed with opponents throughout the year.
With no margin of victory under 22 points, Coach Dave Boston Jr.’s team has let up fewer than a staggering six points per contest.
On the offensive side, the Buckeyes have been led by their own tailback terror.
Senior Dustin Young has scampered for 1,574 yards and garnered 26 total touchdowns thus far.
He’s been aided by fellow senior Nathan Dean, who’s gone somewhat under the radar in his 1,500-yard, 14-score campaign through the air.
Both Sharp and Young ran wild in last year’s 28-27 Nelsonville-York victory between the two. It’s expected that this time will be no different.
While both schools are postseason-bound, Friday marks the declaration of the undisputed king of the TVC-Ohio.
Two teams that have puzzled coaches all year long only have a couple short days to figure each other out.
And for a season that could not have been scripted better, there is no more fitting climax than Athens and Nelsonville-York’s 48-minute final act.