Scotties Look To Defense To Continue Dominance In Sweet 16

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The Tri-Valley Scotties became a mainstay of the second round of the OHSAA Division 3 playoffs over the past decade.

10 playoff berths, 12 victories and a trip to the state championship game last year.

However, 2018 presented a host of challenges. A new head coach, Kevin Fell, took over from long-time coach Justin Buttermore and the Scotties were vaulted into Division 2.

That being said, Tri-Valley is right back where they’ve been eight of the last nine seasons: Week 12.  Coming off of their 10-0 road win over second-seeded Barberton last week, the No. 7 seed Scotties will travel to Crater Stadium in Dover to face the No. 3 seed Wadsworth.

The Grizzlies (11-0) rolled through their regular season on the way to a Suburban League championship in the national division.

During that run, they have only played two playoff teams. In those games, Wadsworth is 3-0 having played Wooster (8-3) in both week 2 and week 11.

Last week’s game between the Grizzlies and the Generals came down to the final possession. After scoring a touchdown late in the game to go up 42-38, Wooster drove down inside the Wadsworth 10 before being stopped by the Grizzly defense on four consecutive plays to put the game away. Adding to that, Wadworth was down 24-7 in this game with five minutes to play in the first quarter.

The Tri-Valley defense, a unit that has given up just 33 points in the last five games, needs to bring its A-game again this week. The Wadsworth ground game is the biggest test the Scotties have faced all season.

The Grizzlies have amassed nearly 600 rushing yards in just their last two games. Accounting for nearly two-thirds of that total is senior Brock Snowball with 395 yards.

The Scotties offense will need to do more this Friday night than they did in the first round last week. Despite the victory, the Tri-Valley offense only managed 264 total yards and three points.

Last season, the Scotties rode a hot streak all the way through Region 11 and to the D-3 championship game. The Dawgs will need some of that 2017 magic if the want to continue to power through Region 7.