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Dover Vs. Tri-Valley: By Colin Brown
Last season was historically successful for the Tri-Valley Scotties. Finishing with a 9-1 regular season record, the only blemish on their schedule came in Week 4 against the Dover Tornadoes when they were on the losing side of a 14-10 game. Friday night the Scotties will seek revenge from last season’s loss.
“I think our kids remember that game and remember how it played out,” Tri-Valley Head Coach Justin Buttermore said. “They flat out beat us.”
One of the reasons that Tri-Valley lost last year was because they didn’t capitalize and score when they were deep in Dover territory. The Scotties had five trips to the red zone, but only managed to score 10 points on the night.
“You can’t do that against Dover,” said Buttermore. “You have to score points to beat them and we didn’t do a good enough job last year.”
Dover comes into Friday night’s game averaging 32.7 points per game through their first three games. With a high scoring offense for the Tornadoes, this game could turn into a shootout as Tri-Valley is averaging 46.0 points per game this season. Coach Buttermore is hoping that his defense can step up to avoid a high-scoring battle.
“I don’t want it to be an offensive shootout,” Buttermore said. “The keys are going to be getting stops inside the red zone because they are going to move the ball—that’s just the way their offense works as much as they throw it and as well as they throw it.”
Passing the rock for the Tornadoes is Senior quarterback Mason Mamarella. Through Dover’s first three games, Mamarella has thrown for nearly 1,000 passing yards and has rushed for over 300 yards on the ground. Averaging over 400 yards of offense per game, Mamarella will have the attention of Tri-Valley’s defense as he spreads the ball around to his slew of receivers.
“They have three or four kids who have 19, 18, 16, 15 catches so he spreads the ball around,” said Buttermore. “He really throws it well, but he is able to hurt you in the run game so he’s the one guy offensively that the focus is around.”
Tri-Valley has a quarterback of their own who has the ability to put up video game numbers. This of course is Nathan Strock, but he’ll need some help if the Scotties plan on taking down the Tornadoes.
“To me the game comes down to our offensive line,” Buttermore said. “Last year we were unable to run the ball against (Dover) and we put ourselves in long yardage situations on second and third down because we could not run the ball well.”
Tri-Valley’s run game, led by running back Austin Jones, will have to step their game up Friday night.
“For us to have a chance to win, we have got to be able to control the ball and keep the ball away from their offense and that starts with running the football,” Buttermore said. “We have to be significantly better upfront this year.”
Entering the matchup with a 3-0 record, the game on Friday night should prove to be a pretty good report card for the Scotties.
“In my opinion it’s a huge game to see where we’re at as a program, see where we’re at as a team this year, and see what we need to work on,” Buttermore said. “Hopefully we come out and play well and I would think that the kids in a game like this will be ready to go because this is what it’s all about.”
West Muskingum Vs. John Glenn: By Brad Hawley
Week 3 is in the books, and for the West Muskingum Tornadoes and the John Glenn Little Muskies it is a week they would rather forget.
The Tornados took on the undefeated Tri-Valley Scotties (0-3, 0-2 MVL) and lost, 62-7. For the Muskies (2-1, 1-1 MVL) they suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands to the Maysville Panthers, 14-10.
For John Glenn, Week 4 brings an opportunity to break a four-team tie for third in the MVL. Philo, New Lexington, and Maysville are tied with the Little Muskies at (1-1) in the conference.
If West Muskingum is to pull off the upset, priority number one for the will be to stop the Muskie running game. John Glenn running back Blake Atkins has accumulated over 100 yards in each of his first three games, including last week’s 112 yards on 11 carries. Tornado head coach Jeremy Katchem realizes how important it will be to neutralize the running back.
“He is phenomenal when he gets into space,” Katchem said of Atkins. “All 11 guys on our defense will have to do their job to stop him.”
While the John Glenn running attack is explosive, their calling card may be on the defensive side of the ball. The Little Muskies are giving up only 7.7 points per game.
“We are more experienced and we have better speed this year,” John Glenn coach John Kelley said about his defense. “Those two factors have added to the strength of our team.”
Despite the disappointing loss in Week 3, the Muskies have an opportunity to match their win total from last season in just four weeks.
“It would be great,” Kelley said. “This team, in particular the seniors, have earned the right to expect wins on Friday nights.”