Tri-Valley Earns Trip to First State Championship Game

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The Tri-Valley Scotties and the Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Fighting Irish are foils of one another in many ways. The Scotties, a rural public school and the Fighting Irish a city parochial school. The Fighting Irish have won six state titles in football alone. The Scotties were playing in their first ever state semifinals. None of that mattered Friday night as Tri-Valley won the game in convincing fashion, 24-6.

This was the second meeting of the two schools this season. The Fighting Irish won a nail-biter 21-13 in week one. This time around the Scotties set a different tone and played the game at their pace.

Chase Dinan set the tone on the first play for the Scotties as he took the opening kick 45-yards into Fighting Irish territory. He ended that drive by hitting a field goal. That would be the only score of the first quarter.

Tri-Valley’s defense was shutting down the run-heavy STVM offense all game as they could not get the ball into Tri-Valley territory once in the first quarter.

The second quarter would see another Scottie score as Andrew Newsom connected with Spencer Littick for a 23-yard score to put the Scotties up 10-0.

That would be the last score of the half as Tri-Valley and STVM exchanged turnovers and punts before the half came to a close. The Scottie defense sacked Irish quarterback Luke Lindsay on the final play of the half. A theme that was all too familiar.

Dinan would be back at it again on special teams to start the second half. He hit a pooch kick into no-mans-land that no STVM player could fall on in time before the Scotties recovered.

The ensuing drive would lead to no points but the Scotties would get the ball right back. Caleb Craig took a sweep to the outside and scampered into the endzone to put the Scotties up 17-0.

On the ensuing kick, Dinan was at it again as he hit a nearly identical pooch kick that the Scotties fell on. Dinan would catch two passes from Newsom on the ensuing drive, including one for a 15 yard score on a pass that was nearly intercepted.

On the touchdown, an Irish defense back looked to have the play read. If he picked the pass off he had nothing but green in front of him. However he overran the play. Rather than the score being 17-7 it was 24-0 with little time left in the third quarter.

The Irish are in a state semi-final for a reason. They proved that when Lindsay connected with Zachary Olson for a 67-yard touchdown on a post route. A two point attempt failed and Tri-Valley would enter the fourth quarter with three score lead.

That would be the last score the game would see. The Irish offense truly had nothing going against a dominant Scottie defense. Aside from the touchdown, Tri-Valley never allowed the Fighting Irish in the red zone.

Andrew Newsom threw for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns while adding 100 more on the ground. Zachary Olson was the only offensive threat for STVM as he finished the game with 4 catches for 103 yards and his teams lone touchdown.

Tri-Valley will be playing in week 15. The Scotties will travel to Tom Benson Memorial Stadium in Canton to take on the Trotwood-Madison Rams on Saturday night.

Trotwood-Madison is the No. 1 ranked team in Division III and will give the Scotties all they can handle for one final week.