Updated Wed, Nov 9, 2011 7:55 pm
The saying goes, “The third time’s a charm,” and the Tri-Valley Scotties (10-1) hope that holds true Friday night. Their matchup with New Albany (9-2) marks the third time the Scotties have played in the regional semifinals, but they have never advanced to the finals. To do so, Tri-Valley must defeat a familiar opponent in the Eagles.
Last season saw the Scotties travel to New Albany in the first round and upset the Eagles 30-27 in a double overtime thriller. Matt Amicone provided the game-winning 21 yard field goal while Austin Jones ran for 122 yards and Nathan Strock threw for an addition 126.
Those three playmakers are back for the Dawgs and, especially in the case of Jones, have momentum on their side. Jones led Tri-Valley with 308 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the 48-30 defeat of Tecumseh in the first round.
While the Scottie offense was impressive they must improve upon last week’s performance. The Arrows gained 357 yards and tighten up against New Albany who average 37 points per game and defeated Ashland 51-37. The Eagles had numerous big plays as Kevin Collins ran in scores of 41 and 35 yards plus a 97-yard kickoff return. Darron Lee sealed the game with a 103-yard pick-six late in the fourth quarter.
New Albany must be able to minimize their mistakes, they had five turnovers against Ashland, when they face the Scotties. The Eagles allow 24 points per game and turning the ball over will not make it easier to stop a Tri-Valley offense that averages 39 per contest.
When these two teams face off at Gahanna Lincoln Stadium, New Albany will be seeking revenge, but the Scotties will have motivation of their own. A victory will give Tri-Valley the most wins in a season and it will send them farther in the postseason than a team from Dresden has ever been. With so much on the line, expect a fight to the end.