Scotties Upset The Magics In Defensive Battle

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Coming into Friday night, the Barberton Magics were undefeated while averaging over 38 points per game and a margin of victory upwards of 24 points. Holding home field advantage as the second seed in the region, they were the odds-on favorites over the Tri-Valley Scotties.

Apparently, no one told the Scotties.

Tri-Valley defeated Barberton 10-0 Friday night to advance to the second round of the OHSAA playoffs behind an energetic defense that put forward its fifth shutout effort of the year. The game could not be played at Barberton due to bad field conditions, so the event was moved 15 minutes away to Green High School’s Green Memorial Stadium.

Coming into the contest, the Scotties primary mission was containing Kyree Young, the Magics’ runner who piled up nearly 2000 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns during the regular season.

Mission accomplished.

The Tri-Valley defensive line of Gyle Bradshaw, Garrette Miller, and Tom Reiss went all-out all night, and the Scotties reached deep into their bag of tricks to keep Young and Barberton’s offense in check. Whether it was putting linebackers Blake Kendrick or Sam Slaboden on the line, disguising their blitzes, or showing blitz to manipulate the offensive line, Tri-Valley executed their game plan and was able to keep an electric half back from sparking the Magics offense.

While the Scotties did not light up the scoreboard themselves, they were able to muster enough offense to secure the victory. Luke Fargas and Aiden Fritter made the most of each of their opportunities in Tri-Valley’s two quarterback strategy, and they were able to march down the field with a short passing game that wore down Barberton’s defense. Both quarterbacks suffered from injuries of unknown severity by the time the game was over, something the Scotties will keep an eye on heading into next week.

Tri-Valley’s west-coast schemes was complimented by the two-headed rushing attack of Blake Sands and Jordan Pantaleo. The pair made decisive cuts and always fell forward, a valuable trait in such a low scoring game where every yard mattered.

The Scotties won despite not having an offensive touchdown on the night. A pick-six and 32-yard field goal from Kaden Bay were the entirety of the points scored.

There were, as to be expected in a defensive game, more than a few turnovers. For Tri-Valley, Cade Sterling hauled in two interceptions, one of which was the aforementioned pick-six. Garrette Miller was also able to recover a fumbled snap in the third quarter to stop a Magic’s drive that had reached the red zone. Barberton also forced two interceptions, but the final score was indicative of the fact that neither team made the most of their extra opportunities.

In the end, Friday was a sloppy contest where both offenses didn’t play their best games. Barberton will look to next season where much of their team, including Kyree Young, will return, while Tri-Valley will look towards a matchup against the Wadsworth Grizzlies in the next round.