Updated Thu, Sep 13, 2012 1:56 pm
The MVL Power Rankings are back for Week 4. Nathan Takitch takes a look at what teams made strides in Week 3, and who slipped.
1. Tri-Valley Scotties (3-0, 2-0) [No Change]
The Scotties did what they do in Week 3, demolished the competition. West Muskingum put up little resistance as Nathan Strock threw for three touchdowns and 120 yards and Austin Jones ran for four touchdowns and 129 yards on seven carries before the end of the first half. The Scotties would end up winning the contest by a final score of 62-7. If nothing else, Tri-Valley flexed its large muscles on both sides of the ball. This week, the Scotties face one of their toughest opponents of the season when they host the Dover Tornadoes. Dover handed Tri-Valley their only regular-season loss last year and could have the best chance to spoil a perfect season for the Scotties.
2. Sheridan Generals (3-0, 2-0) [No Change]
A 35-13 victory would be considered a blowout in most scenarios. That is not the case when you consider that the powerful Sheridan Generals only defeated Morgan, a team that won only one game last season, by three scores at home in Week 3. Still, Sheridan is the second and final undefeated team in the Muskingum Valley League after losses by Philo and John Glenn. Sheridan is undoubtedly the team best suited to challenge Tri-Valley for the league title, but if the Generals are not careful, they could trip up before their Week 9 clash in Dresden.
3. Maysville Panthers (2-1, 1-1) [+3]
Maysville defeated John Glenn in an exhilarating defensive matchup in Week 3. Eli Chambers scored the game-winning points for the Panthers on a 90-yard kickoff return with just over two minutes remaining. The win against a talented Little Muskies squad proves the legitimacy of a Maysville team that lost to Tri-Valley by 40 points in Week 2. Lost in that blowout was the fact that the Panthers kept within one score of the Scotties until a backbreaking two-minute drill, resulting in a touchdown, ended the first half and crushed Maysville’s upset hopes. The Panthers have proven they can win on any given Friday and the Sheridan Generals should watch out when they travel to Zanesville in Week 8.
4. John Glenn Little Muskies (2-1, 1-1) [No Change]
Even in an excruciating loss against Maysville, John Glenn continued to prove that they belong in the discussion for the MVL championship. The Little Muskies struggled offensively against one of the better defenses in the league, but have shown they have the ability to score. Quarterback Zach Swingle and skill player Blake Atkins have been electric for a Little Muskies offense that tallied 30 points in each of their first two games. The defense has been equally as impressive, surrendering an average of less than eight points per contest. They will host the Philo Electrics in what is sure to be an exciting Week 5 matchup.
5. New Lexington Panthers (2-1, 1-1) [+2]
After a 21-point loss in Week 2 against John Glenn, New Lexington looked to be a favorable matchup for the Philo Electrics in Week 3. However, the Panthers were able to put the sting of their first league loss behind them, jump out to a 15-point lead against the Electrics, and hold on for a thrilling 15-13 victory. The win pulls New Lexington into the four-team log jam for third place in the MVL; not a bad spot for a team trying to replace their star quarterback from a season ago. New Lexington’s roller coaster results have accentuated the competitiveness of the league in which they play.
6. Philo Electrics (2-1, 1-1) [-3]
An argument can be made that the Philo Electrics lost their game against New Lexington more than the Panthers won the contest. An unsuccessful fake punt and a high snap on another punt that wound up being booted out of the back of the end zone for a safety led to the Panthers’ final eight points. Philo has shown that their team has resiliency. After mounting a comeback from a 13-0 hole against Crooksville for a win in Week 2, the Electrics almost erased a 15-point deficit against New Lexington, before a failed two-point conversion and an intercepted desperation heave by quarterback Zak Sheridan sealed the upset. If Philo can limit the miscues and avoid the slow starts, they can challenge any team in the MVL. But if the Electrics want to win against Tri-Valley or Sheridan, they will have to be sharper by kickoff.
7. Crooksville Ceramics (2-1, 0-1) [-2]
The Crooksville Ceramics won their matchup against a weak Miller Falcons squad by a score of 49-13 in Week 3, but fell down our MVL Power Rankings as a result of the game being a non-league contest. While the Ceramics have been impressive, and are just one score away from being undefeated, they have yet to win a MVL tilt. However, Crooksville has a shot to jettison up the standings in Week 4 as they take on heavyweight Sheridan at home. The Ceramics will have a golden opportunity to show what their team is made of this coming Friday.
8. Morgan Raiders (1-2, 0-1) [No Change]
The Morgan Raiders were surprisingly competitive against Sheridan in Week 3. Their aforementioned 22-point defeat at the hands of the Generals was not as bad as expected; the Raiders held a high-octane offense that was averaging 54.5 points per game to nearly 20 less than their average. Additionally, Morgan scored 13 points against Sheridan, nearly tripling the total that the Generals defense has given up on the year. Morgan will try to get their first league win since October 15, 2010 next week, when they host a shaky Philo Electrics team in Week 4.
9. West Muskingum Tornadoes (0-3, 0-2) [No Change]
West Muskingum continued their rough start, falling victim to Tri-Valley in Week 3 by a final score of 62-7. However, there is a bright side for the Tornadoes. West Muskingum has already played what are sure to be their two toughest games of the season. After losses to Sheridan and Tri-Valley, this team will be hardened for the rest of their campaign. West Muskingum travels to New Concord to take on John Glenn in Week 4 and the matchup is sure to be difficult, but John Glenn has not played the type of competition that the Tornadoes have faced early in the season. The Little Muskies may be in the path of a bullied team that is ready to hit back.