Game of the Week Preview: Tri-Valley Scotties Vs. Crooksville Ceramics

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The Gridiron Glory Game of the Week matches up two MVL rivals coming off battles against tough opponents in Week 4. For Tri-Valley, they used a second-half surge to upend the high-octane offense of Dover, winning 28-21. Unfortunately for Crooksville, their fortunes were just the opposite.  After holding the lead for most of the first half, the Ceramics were not able to hold down the powerful running attack of Sheridan, losing 29-16.

The Ceramics (2-2, 0-2 MVL) are still looking for their first win inside the conference.  Despite their winless record inside the conference, head coach Brent Gorby saw something special in his team against Sheridan a few days ago.

“We learned we can play with anyone,” Gorby said. “We’re not going to be shoved around by anyone.”

Crooksville can prove their coach right in Week 5.  The Scotties come into Village Park Stadium as one of the hottest teams in the state.  At 4-0, and 2-0 in the MVL, Tri-Valley is looking to take one more step to make school history, becoming the first undefeated team in school history.

If the Scotties are to come out of Crooksville with a win, their first job will be shutting down the Ceramic offense that averages 30 points-per-game.  They are led by three-year starter Lake Channel. The explosive Quarterback is on Tri-Valley Head Coach Justin Buttermore’s mind.

“(Channel) is tough to tackle,” Buttermore said.  “He seems to be dead in the water, and the next thing you know, he’s running 75 yards down the field. All 11 players will have to rally to the football.”

This game has a very good chance to become a shootout.  Tri-Valley, led by Nathan Strock and Austin Jones, are shredding defenses to a tune of 41.5 points a game.  The Ceramics will need some of that big play magic to pull off the upset.

This week, the OHSAA released the first computer rankings for the playoffs.  Tri-Valley is ranked third in their region, as Crooksville is currently ranked outside the Top 8 at No. 14.  Both coaches won’t deny that they look at the rankings, but they know the easiest way to improve their respective rankings.

“Our No. 1 goal is to win the league,” Buttermore says. “I’ve learned that if we win the league, we will have a good playoff spot.”

As for Gorby, he sees that an upset over Tri-Valley would be a huge lift, but not the “be all, end all” of his team.

The ever-confident Ceramic coach gave his two cents on the rankings, stating: “A lot of computer points can be won on Friday, but winning will take care of all of that.”