Playoff Veterans in Trimble, Shadyside to Clash

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After a long, hard-fought regular season, the Trimble Tomcats (8-2, 8-0) once again find themselves in the playoffs as they prepare host the Shadyside Tigers (4-6, 1-0).

Without knowing anything about Shadyside, it’d be difficult to understand why a sub-.500 team made the playoffs. The Tigers won their final four just to qualify for the postseason.

However, Shadyside’s schedule has been downright punishing.

The Tigers faced only two losing teams in addition to four playoff-bound teams. Of their eight contests against Ohio teams, only four came against other division VII opponents. When the Tigers played division II Logan in week six, which barely missed the playoffs, they held the Chieftains to 28 points, a pedestrian performance by Logan’s lofty standards.

In addition to this season’s accomplishments, Shadyside boasts some playoff pedigree. Through its 16 previous playoff appearances, the Tigers have accumulated 29 wins, a state record for a team which has not captured a state title. The Tigers have been state runners-up twice.

Shadyside and Trimble are the only teams in region 25 to have made it to a state final.

Back to this season, Trimble cruised its way through TVC-Hocking play, winning its eight games by an average of 36.1 points, but ran into some trouble out of conference.

The Tomcats fell 26-17 to a 1-9 Nelsonville-York squad in week one and were run over 42-13 by a playoff-bound Alexander team in week nine, adding an intriguing element to Trimble’s third non-conference game.

To get over the non-conference hump, Justice Jenkins will be expected to shine. The player of the year candidate piled up over 2,000 all-purpose yards and 32 touchdowns during the regular season, representing a healthy majority of Trimble’s offensive output.

With Shadyside likely to key in on him, Trimble will need a balanced effort to move past a battle-tested Shadyside team.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM Friday in Glouster.