Updated Wed, Sep 5, 2012 11:49 am
Each week, the MVL staff at Gridiron Glory will rank the teams in one of the most competitive leagues that we cover. This week’s power rankings will introduce you to the teams and review their performances from the first two weeks of the 2012 season.
1. Tri-Valley Scotties (2-0, 1-0)
Tri-Valley, hailed by many to be a state-title-contending team, has used their first two weeks to prove why they deserve such high praise. The Scotties defeated a talented team from Licking Valley on the road in Week 1 and followed up the performance with a 40-point win against Maysville in their league opener this past Friday.
Tri-Valley has the roster to back up a number one ranking. The Scotties’ talented core of skill players includes running back Austin Jones, who has averaged 6.5 yards per carry and three touchdowns per game this season. Receivers Kris Michael and Trevor Krouskoupf have emerged as dynamic playmakers. And, of course, Tri-Valley’s quarterback Nathan Strock has already demonstrated his ability to tear apart defenses through the air and on the ground. As long as the Scotties stay healthy, they are the clear favorite to win the league and make a run in the postseason.
2. Sheridan Generals (2-0, 1-0)
While Tri-Valley is capable of running the table, Sheridan has the best chance to take a game from the Scotties. The Generals have showcased their big-play offense and their dominant defense in two huge wins early in the season, taking down the Lakewood Lancers in Week 1 by a score of 53-0 and defeating the West Muskingum Tornadoes in Week 2, 56-7. Not bad results for a team that lost 15 seniors from last year.
3. Philo Electrics (2-0, 1-0)
After a win against Warren in Week 1, the Philo Electrics won a thrilling home game in Week 2, defeating a rapidly improving Crooksville Ceramics team, 14-13. The Electrics’ schedule is very favorable early in the season. Do not be surprised if coach Dirk Lincicome’s squad is 6-0 when they travel to Thornville to take on heavyweight Sheridan.
4. John Glenn Little Muskies (2-0, 1-0)
The John Glenn Little Muskies are the fourth and final undefeated team remaining in the MVL and are a bit of a surprise at 2-0. John Glenn was only able to accrue three wins in all of 2011.
But after defeating the New Lexington Panthers in Week 2, the Little Muskies find themselves in the thick of the league title race. Coach John Kelley has his team firing on all cylinders early in the season. After a 2011 campaign where John Glenn never scored more than 28 points in a game, the Little Muskies have scored 30 points in each of their first two games of 2012. If John Glenn wants to contend, however, they will have to survive a brutal stretch, during which they play Philo, Sheridan, and Tri-Valley in a four-week span.
5. Crooksville Ceramics (1-1, 0-1)
Crooksville was just one score away from defeating Philo and claiming a spot at the top of the league race. As it stands now, the Ceramics will have to regroup if they want to make a run at the playoffs, and they will have to do so quickly. After this week’s contest against a weak Miller Falcons team, Crooksville matches up against the big dogs, Sheridan and Tri-Valley, in back-to-back weeks.
The good news for the Ceramics is that both of these tilts will take place in Crooksville. Head coach Brent Gorby has shown that his team can compete with an offensive attack or with a stout defense, and if the Ceramics could manage to trip up at least one of the big two in the MVL, they could make a run at the league title.
6. Maysville Panthers (1-1, 0-1)
Although Maysville fell to Tri-Valley by a score of 47-7 in Week 2, their play in the first half was a sign that the Panthers will be very competitive in 2012. Maysville scored a touchdown with just under three minutes remaining in the first half and pulled to within one score of the Scotties, before Nathan Strock threw two huge passes in the midst of a scoring drive just before the end of the half. The Scotties were able to run away with the game in the second half, but if Maysville can play at their highest capability for an entire game, the Panthers could be dangerous.
7. New Lexington Panthers (1-1, 0-1)
After getting by a Fairfield Union in Week 1, the New Lexington Panthers came up on the losing end at home against John Glenn in their second contest of the season, and their first in league play. The road for New Lexington does not slow down in the near future. The Panthers will compete at Philo and host Maysville in the next two weeks. Both games promise to be tough matchups for New Lexington, but one upset could be all the young Panthers need to gain some confidence for the second month of the season.
8. Morgan Raiders (1-1, 0-0)
The Morgan Raiders came up just short against the Marietta Tigers in a high-scoring matchup in Week 1. However, the Raiders were able to regroup for a shutout victory over the Union Local Jets in Week 2. The Raiders will be the last MVL team to play a league opponent when they square off against the Sheridan Generals in Thornville. The Raiders have already matched their win total from 2011 and will have the rest of the season to eclipse that mark.
9. West Muskingum Tornadoes (0-2, 0-1)
West Muskingum has suffered a rough start to their 2012 campaign, and things are not about to get any easier. After losses to the River View Black Bears and Sheridan Generals by an average margin of 42 points, the Tornadoes now take on the class of the MVL, Tri-Valley. The good news for West Muskingum is that the month of October is loaded with games against beatable opponents. Still, the Tornadoes will have to be in top form to compete against teams in one of the toughest leagues in the area.