Philo Adds Its Name To MVL-Title Hopes< < Back to
It is uncommon that the turnover-ratio of the two teams is larger than the victory margin, but the Philo and Sheridan matchup was just that: uncommon.
The Electrics forced Sheridan into six turnovers as Philo stays in contention for an MVL title, beating the Generals, 10-7. Sheridan’s six turnovers included two interceptions, two fumbles, and two turnover-on-downs. Despite having good field position after the takeaways, Philo was unable to turn any of the opportunities into points.
In a game that featured two of the best quarterbacks in the Muskingum-Valley League, Nathan Baker for Philo and Dylan Dupler of Sheridan, it was the defenses that proved to be the difference.
The General defense played outstanding for three and a half quarters. But on Philo’s first drive, the Electrics progressed down the field in seven plays.
The drive was highlighted by a 17-yard catch by Jacob Moehler on a crossing route and a nine-yard hitch the play after. On the scoring play, Baker kept the handoff on the read-option and took it in himself for the rushing touchdown from the 5-yard line.
Both offenses struggled to get any momentum after that drive.
Sheridan did not struggle with three-and-outs nor did they struggle moving the ball. The area on offense where they struggled was their inability to finish off drives. The Generals found themselves in Philo-territory throughout the first half but due to turnovers, these trips did not translate into points.
There were three instances in which Sheridan’s special teams almost had costly mistakes.
The last play of the first quarter, the snap goes over the Generals punter’s head and as he is turning around to chase the ball, it bounces perfectly into his possession and he is able to punt it away.
Another almost-mistake happened after the following Philo possession. Philo punts it and the General’s punt returner fields the ball and slides forward. The ball bounces right between the returner’s arms and legs and rolls safely behind him.
The final averted crisis happened late in the second quarter. Sheridan was lining up to punt and the punter decides to forgo the typical rugby punt and tries to run
it. He is tackled well-short of the first down, giving the Electrics terrific field position on Sheridan’s 19-yard line with a little over a minute left in the half.
But the theme of the day was defense. And Sheridan’s defense held strong, forced a three-and-out and the Electrics kicker missed the 33-yard field goal.
With four turnovers in the first half, the Generals were more than lucky to only be trailing 7-0 at the end of the first half.
Missed opportunities continued to plague the Generals in the third quarter.
After a short punt by Philo, Sheridan would start the drive on their own 49-yard line. Runs by Dupler and Luke Ridenour put Sheridan into the redzone.
Then it happened, again.
A miscommunication between Justyn Bobo and Dupler led to a muffed handoff, which is recovered by Philo.
The Generals finally broke through, however, on their next possession.
Dupler completes all three passes on the drive including a 32-yard completion to Mike Gittings. Sheridan mixed in runs with Bobo, Dupler, and Ridenour to get on the goal line. The next play, Dupler keeps the handoff from the read-option and walks in for the touchdown.
Dupler finished the game 8-of-22 passing for 101 yards and 23 rushing attempts for 95 yards and a score.
A defensive struggle that was headlined by fumbles, interceptions, and hard hits, was of course going to be decided by…a kicker.
With less than six minutes remaining in the game, the Electrics called on kicker Chris Rinehart to attempt a 32-yard field goal. He missed a 33-yarder in the first half.
He would not miss this time as he drills the kick and seals the game.
Philo’s win keeps them in the running for the a league title which, if they win out, will be decided week 10 against Tri-Valley.
First, the Electrics will need to get by New Lexington next week.
Sheridan’s loss does not mathematically eliminate them from the MVL title but they will need a lot of piece to fall in front of them to win it.
The Generals will face Tri-Valley next week as every game becomes a must-win if they want to keep their MVL hopes alive.