Eight weeks of high school football action are in the books, but things are just heating up in the MVL. With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, seven of the nine teams in this powerful league are still in contention for playoff spots. Find out which teams are for real and which teams are hanging on by a thread for a spot in the postseason.
1. Tri-Valley Scotties (8-0, 6-0 MVL) [No Change]
The only thing that was different about Tri-Valley’s latest win was that it came on a Thursday night. The Scotties dominated their competition again, defeating the John Glenn Little Muskies by a final score of 32-0. John Glenn’s defense proved to be a bit of a challenge for the Scotties, who only scored 13 points in the first half. But Tri-Valley running back Austin Jones wore out John Glenn, running for more second half yards than the output of the Muskie offense for the entire game. Jones also upped his average to a video-game-like 9.2 yards per carry. Quarterback Nathan Strock is still without an interception. There is no reason to think the Scotties won’t be able to handle the rival Sheridan Generals, who haven’t won in a month, at home in Week 9.
2. Philo Electrics (7-1, 5-1 MVL) [+1]
Philo takes the No. 2 spot on the list this week primarily because they are the hottest team in the MVL. After stumbling out of the gates, the Electrics have taken stride after stride to get back into the playoff race. Their win streak has now reached five after a 51-20 win against non-league opponent River View in Week 8. The biggest tests of Philo’s season will come in these last two weeks when the Electrics face Maysville and Tri-Valley in consecutive matchups. Philo’s Week 9 contest against Maysville may determine the Electrics’ postseason fate. While Philo will be the visiting team, the Electrics have passed the Panthers in total offense and defense and trail only Tri-Valley in each of these categories. With a win, Philo will be in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot. A loss will force Philo to upset the unbeaten Scotties if they want to make the postseason.
3. Maysville Panthers (7-1, 5-1 MVL) [-1]
Maysville falls one spot as a result of the quality play of the Philo Electrics, but the Panthers are certainly capable of beating Electrics in their pivotal Week 9 matchup. Maysville hosted Sheridan in Week 8, defeating the Generals handily by a final score of 34-14. It was the first time since 1984 that Maysville was able to defeat Sheridan in football. The seniors on that team are 46 now, but the 18-year-olds playing for this group of Panthers are looking to do something that has never been done in school history: make the playoffs. The last true test for Maysville will be their contest against Philo before visiting Morgan in the season finale. A win against Philo will all but secure the Panthers’ first postseason birth, but it will be tough to beat the white-hot Electrics, even if the game is at home.
4. John Glenn Little Muskies (5-3, 4-3 MVL) [No Change]
John Glenn’s 32-0 loss against Tri-Valley in Week 8 dropped the Little Muskies to 15th place in the Division III, Region 11 playoff standings. At this point it will be difficult for John Glenn to ride a season of surprising success into the postseason, but there is still a chance. The Muskies will travel to face off against the New Philadelphia Quakers, a Division II program that just suffered its first loss of the year. An upset win in will certainly catapult John Glenn up the standings and into contention before their last game of the season against Crooksville.
5. New Lexington Panthers (5-3, 3-3 MVL) [No Change]
After an impressive first half against Tri-Valley in Week 7, the New Lexington Panthers had trouble getting past the Crooksville Ceramics in Week 8. The Panthers won, but just by the score of 21-14. New Lexington is still in the playoff race, ranking 12th in Division III, Region 11 and has two manageable final games against West Muskingum in Week 9 and a sinking Sheridan squad in the final game of the season. The Panthers are looking better and better to the computers because of their Week 3 win against Philo. If Philo would happen to ride the wave they are on to beast Maysville and upset Tri-Valley, and New Lexington is able to defeat its final two opponents, the Panthers could wind up sneaking into the playoffs.
6. Sheridan Generals (4-4, 3-3 MVL) [No Change]
Sheridan lost their fourth game in a row by at least 20 points in Week 8. The road for the Generals only gets rougher in Week 9 as they face the perfect Tri-Valley Scotties. At the beginning of the season, this game was pegged to be the Game of the Year. At this point, it would be tough to conceive Sheridan challenging the Scotties on the road, but the Generals are still clinging to life in the playoff race. A win against Tri-Valley and a lot of help in Week 9 might keep the Generals alive going into the last week of the year. Expect an inspired effort from Sheridan; the last five winners in this rivalry have been the visiting team
7. Crooksville Ceramics (3-5, 1-5 MVL) [No Change]
The Ceramics played another competitive match, this time against the New Lexington Panthers. Although Crooksville would go on to lose by a final score of 21-14, the Ceramics looked tough against a team that gave Tri-Valley fits in Week 7. With just two weeks left, Crooksville will have to win both of their final games to finish with a .500 record. The Ceramics will look for their second league win of the year when they host Morgan in Week 9, a game Crooksville should win.
8. Morgan Raiders (2-6, 1-5 MVL) [No Change]
Morgan finally won a league game for the first time in two years in Week 8 when the Raiders defeated West Muskingum by a score of 34-13. Riding high after their victory, the Raiders bring momentum to their Week 9 contest against Crooksville. With a win, Morgan will jump the Ceramics for seventh place in the MVL heading into their last game of the year against Maysville.
9. West Muskingum Tornadoes (0-8, 0-7 MVL) [No Change]
Unfortunately for West Muskingum, they were not able to beat Morgan in what was their easiest matchup of the season to date. The Tornadoes only have two chances left to salvage a win from the 2012 football season. West Muskingum will travel to New Lexington in Week 9 before hosting non-league foe Claymont in the final game of the year.