Preview: Tri-Valley Ready For Playoff Repeat With New Philadelphia

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Year after year, history attempts to repeat itself. In OHSAA Division III, Region 9, that is just the case as the No. 1 seed Tri-Valley has been paired up with the No. 8 seed New Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Last year’s match ended in Tri-Valley’s favor with a 47-21 victory. This year could likely have the same outcome, as Tri-Valley (10-0) has excelled on both sides of the ball all year long, outscoring opponents 463-34.

But as it is the playoffs, anything can happen and Tri-Valley head coach, Justin Buttermore, has made sure to drill that into his players’ heads coming into this week.

“Like I told the kids, there’s nothing guaranteed in the playoffs,” he said. “You gotta come out and play well and you gotta try to limit your mistakes and take care of the football in order to win.”

Lucky for Tri-Valley, the New Philadelphia Quakers (7-3) are a run based team, just as most the MVL. The only difference is that the Quakers utilize a tight end that the Scotties are not used to. Buttermore isn’t worried, however, and plans on running the same defensive scheme his kids are used to.

“We’ve been pretty simple defensively all year and I think that is why our kids have been able to play well,” he said. “They understand where they are supposed to line up, the understand what they’re supposed to do and they’ve been able to do that and just play fast.”

Speed is only one of Tri-Valley’s many advantages. With guys like Hunter Mohler and Colin Slaboden as targets for quarterback Brock Fargus behind the protective offensive line and with Bubby Scott and Logan Bash, the Tri-Valley offense is almost unstoppable.

Fargus has connected with at least 10 receivers consistently week in and week out. He has racked up nearly 2,500 yards through 10 games of play. Compare that to the entire New Philadelphia offense that has gained a total of 2,535 yards. That is just how dominant Fargus has been this year for the Scotties.

However, one of the concerning factors with the Scotties towards the end of the regular season was starting slow. When facing Maysville and Sheridan, the other top tier teams in the MVL, the Scotties struggled on their first offensive possessions as Sheridan intercepted the ball and Maysville forced a 3-and-out. The Scotties will need to correct this in post-season play when facing tougher opponents.

They will get a chance to do that this Friday night as they host the Quakers at 7:30 p.m. in Dresden. 

'Gridiron Glory' airs every Friday night at 11:30 p.m. on WOUB. You can follow the show on Twitter @gridironglory, like the Gridiron Glory page on Facebook, and follow along on Instagram @woubsports. You can also join the conversation throughout the season by using the hashtag #GridGlory!