Published Wed, Sep 19, 2012 4:29 pm
Updated Thu, Sep 20, 2012 2:23 pm
As the season nears the halfway point, the picture in the MVL is becoming clearer. MVL online reporter Nathan Takitch returns with the conference power rankings heading in to Week 5.
1. Tri-Valley Scotties (4-0, 2-0 MVL) [No Change]
While the Scotties’ Week 4 win against the Dover Tornadoes may not have improved their league record, it showed that Tri-Valley is, without a doubt, the team to beat in the MVL. In their first contest against another team capable of challenging for a state title, the Scotties came out on top. Furthermore, it was the first time this season that Tri-Valley’s clutch ability was tested. Down by one point with just over four minutes remaining, quarterback Nathan Strock ran the ball into the endzone from 11 yards out. After a two-point conversion and a turnover on defense, the Scotties had clinched a victory against the only team that had defeated them last season. While they have yet to reach the halfway point of the season, an undefeated regular season is beginning to take shape.
2. Sheridan Generals (4-0, 3-0 MVL) [No Change]
After a win on the road against a stingy Crooksville squad in Week 4, the Sheridan Generals remained undefeated. Additionally, Sheridan moved into sole possession of first place in the MVL standings, a half-game ahead of Tri-Valley. Week 5 might present itself as the Generals’ first real challenge of the season. They will have their week off from MVL action as they travel to Cambridge to take on the Bobcats. Cambridge may look like a pedestrian team at 2-2 overall, but their losses came at the hands of two state-contending opponents. Sheridan will have to fend off a high-scoring Bobcats team looking for its first home win if they want to avoid their first loss.
3. Maysville Panthers (3-1, 2-1 MVL) [No Change]
In Week 4, Maysville proved that they were another team able to win a close game. Up by eight points with just minutes remaining in their contest against New Lexington, Maysville allowed a touchdown. However, the defense held their ground on the two-point conversion attempt and Maysville won the battle of the Panthers over New Lexington, 28-26. After defeating John Glenn in Week 3 and the team that beat Philo this week, Maysville’s Panthers have separated themselves as the third best team in the league. Their only loss is against undefeated powerhouse Tri-Valley, and the Panthers also have a win against a tough Columbus Academy team. In the next two weeks, Maysville plays against West Muskingum and Crooksville, so do not expect the Panthers to slow down.
4. John Glenn Little Muskies (3-1, 2-1 MVL) [No Change]
John Glenn routed the West Muskingum Tornadoes in Week 4, winning by a final score of 61-7. During the contest, the Muskies showed that they are solid in all three facets of the game. Offensively, John Glenn was extremely effective, scoring touchdowns with ease on each of their first four drives. Defensively the Muskies were even more impressive, not allowing a first down until there was 3:25 remaining in the first half. The defense even added two touchdown scores. As for special teams, John Glenn bocked each of West Muskingum’s first two punt attempts while also going 7-for-7 on extra points. John Glenn has proved it is capable of challenging for the league title; the Muskies now just have to win against the big boys. They have an excellent opportunity to separate themselves from the pack when they host the Philo Electrics in Week 5.
5. Philo Electrics (3-1, 2-1 MVL) [+1]
The Electrics finally played a complete game in Week 5, winning handily as the visitors in Morgan by a final score of 35-0. The question is, will they be able to avoid getting off to a slow start against good competition? Next week they have a tough test as they travel to New Concord to take on the Little Muskies of John Glenn. With a win, Philo will establish itself as another legitimate league-title contender. But do not expect a victory to come easy. John Glenn is 2-0 in home contests this season, winning by a combined score of 91-7. Philo will have to be at the top of their game from start to finish if they want to knock off the Muskies, but they certainly have the talent to pull the upset.
6. New Lexington Panthers (2-2, 1-2 MVL) [-1]
New Lexington’s loss against Maysville in Week 4 was nothing to be ashamed of. New Lexington made their home fans proud, coming up just two yards of tying the game in the final minutes. As it stands, the Panthers are just 2-2 on the season. However, New Lexington has looked like a much better squad than the one that got thrashed by John Glenn in Week 2. The Panthers should have the upper hand in their next two games as they take on the Morgan Raiders and the Meadowbrook Colts before traveling to Dresden to take on Tri-Valley.
7. Crooksville Ceramics (2-2, 0-2 MVL) [No Change]
Crooksville is one of many teams lost in the shuffle of this powerful league that would have much success elsewhere. When your team holds the mighty Sheridan Generals to under 30 points and within two scores, your team is comprised of a talented group of athletes. Unfortunately for the Ceramics, their schedule gets more difficult in the upcoming weeks. After hosting Tri-Valley in Week 5, Crooksville will visit the Maysville Panthers. However, you never want to overlook any team in the MVL, and the Ceramics will not be any other team’s doormat. Do not be surprised if Crooksville shocks one of its next two opponents and the Ceramics set themselves up for a fantastic finish to the season.
8. Morgan Raiders (1-3, 0-2 MVL) [No Change]
The Morgan Raiders fell at the hands of a motivated Philo Electrics team in Week 4. Morgan is still looking for their first league win in two seasons, but will have another chance to get that elusive victory when New Lexington comes to town this week. While the Raiders will be considered the underdogs by most people, be warned: Morgan has done a great job being competitive against great competition.
9. West Muskingum Tornadoes (0-4, 0-3) [No Change]
The Tornadoes have scored exactly seven points in each of their first four games of the season. Unfortunately for West Muskingum, they have allowed an average of 55 points per game over the same span. The rest of the schedule does not look like fun for the Tornadoes either. The Tornadoes are the only team to have played both Tri-Valley and Sheridan already. There are winnable games out there for West Muskingum, but if the Tornadoes want to hang around in such a competitive league, they will have to dig deep.