River Valley Looks For Third Straight Win Against Eastern

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It is still early in the season and there is still a lot of football to be played, but after the first two weeks of the season, the once predictable TVC-Ohio has now become unpredictable.

With the Athens Bulldogs yet to win a game this season and the Buckeyes falling in overtime last weekend, that has made room at the top for the River Valley Raiders.

“Right now, we are handling ourselves in a mature manner,” Coach Jerrod Sparling said. “Through the day-to-day activities we are very mature and the mood and attitude on Friday, and in our case, Saturday night, is very good.”

Through the first two weeks, Sparling and his Raiders have two wins and are outscoring their opponents 53-13.

The Raiders wins haven’t come against difficult teams in Rock Hill and Gallia, but the way their defense has been playing is similar to the 1970s Oakland Raiders.

“Our defense is playing very good assignment team football right now,” Sparling said. “We are not having any communication issues and we are filling the right gaps. We are playing very sound defense.”

On the other side of the ball, the Raiders offense has looked very smooth and improved from a year ago.

“Dayton [Hardaway] looks more comfortable than ever,” Sparling said. “I think that’s because our running game has been working. We are more balanced than we were last season and there is not as much pressure on him.”

The Raiders will travel to Reedsville Friday night to take on the Eastern Eagles and will look to start the season 3-0 for the second straight season.

Pat Newland and his team have struggled on offense and defense so far this season. Through the first two games, the Eagles have allowed 88 points, while only scoring six points.

“They [Eastern] gave us a great effort last season,” Sparling said. “There were chances from them to win the game last season. They will come in very confident and will give us a good game.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.