Conference, Playoff Position at Stake for Alexander, River Valley

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Alexander (5-1, 3-0) and River Valley (5-1, 2-1) find themselves unfamiliar territory: the top of the TVC-Ohio.

The Spartans, who are currently tied for the top spot with Meigs, find themselves in the midst of a four-game winning streak during which they are averaging 31.5 points per contest.

Alexander’s success has stemmed from its ability to move the chains and control games. According to head coach Alex Penrod, Alexander wants more of the same on Friday.

“We want to take care of what we can control,” Penrod said. “This is one of those games where you have to take care of the football. It will be a possession battle.”

That productive Alexander offense will have its work cut out for it against a River Valley defense which is holding opponents to under nine points per contest. The priority for the unit, according to head coach Jarod Sparling, will be swarming to the football, especially when Mason Chapman has it, and wrapping up on tackles.

“We have been tested before,” Sparling said. “We have to trust our guys and follow the game-plan.”

Dual-threat quarterback Dayton Hardaway will be tasked with orchestrating that game plan. Hardaway leads a versatile offense and while Penrod acknowledged River Valley’s versatility, Sparling wants to keep his counterpart guessing.

“I think we have to be very precise in how we want to attack,” Sparling said. “When we get some momentum, we have to ride it and try to put them on their heels.”

Now in week seven, the implications of this game are monumental. Between conference standings and playoff computer rankings, a win on Friday is crucial. Each coach is approaching it differently.

“Honestly, it is business as usual for us,” Sparling said.

On the other hand, Penrod is making no effort to downplay the pressure.

“It’s going to be electric,” Penrod said. “It would be foolish to tell these kids that it is just another game, but we have to keep our emotions in check.”