Zane Trace, Alexander Seek to Make More History

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Two historic seasons – one of which will continue.

Both No. 3 Alexander (10-1) and No. 2 Zane Trace (11-0) earned their first ever playoff wins in round one, and both won by large margins. Those big wins set up what will surely be a close game between two similar teams.

Alexander coach Alex Penrod said the Spartans will have to come out with a winning attitude and heightened sense of intensity when they face the Pioneers at Waverly High School Friday night.

The Spartans need to bring that intensity on defense, especially. Alexander won’t be able to focus on one Zane Trace player. Four different Pioneers, including Scioto Valley Conference player of the year Truman Love, have totaled over 600 all-purpose yards and 10 have reached the end zone.

“We know they have playmakers,” Penrod said. “But if they get into the red zone, we have to make a stand and hold them to three points.”

Mason Chapman, a Gridiron Glory Player of the Year finalist, will hold much of that weight when he lines up at middle linebacker. Chapman didn’t play on defense last week, though, due to an injury. His improved condition will tighten up the Spartan defense.

Even without Chapman on defense last week, Alexander held Rock Hill to just seven points. The 37-7 victory marked the fourth time this season the Spartans held an opponent to fewer than 10 points.

Holding opponents to single digits four times is an impressive feat. Even more impressive, though, is doing that nine times.

And that’s what Zane Trace has done this season.

“They have so much strength on defense,” Penrod said. “We are going to have to do a great job of mixing it up and changing formations, but that’s what makes it fun.”

Zane Trace forces teams to mix it up, and that often leads to takeaways for the Pioneers. They forced 24 turnovers in the regular season.

Two stout defenses and explosive offenses will collide at 7:30 Friday night, and one continue to the Division 5, Region 17 final.