Updated Wed, Oct 10, 2012 2:48 pm
While things in the MVL stayed the same for the most part, Week 7 showed us a little more about these nine teams. With just three weeks left in the season, the playoff race is fully underway. See which teams took a step towards the postseason and which teams are fading fast.
1. Tri-Valley Scotties (7-0, 5-0 MVL) [No Change]
Another week, another blowout for Tri-Valley. Their 43-7 thumping of the New Lexington Panthers moved the Scotties one step closer to their sought-after perfect season. However, the blowout was not indicative of how close the contest actually was. New Lexington led 7-6 after the first quarter and an impressive defensive performance kept the Panthers within two points going into halftime. For the second time this season, Tri-Valley was on upset alert at the half. For the second time this season, the Scotties responded, scoring 28 in an explosive third quarter and putting the game out of reach. Austin Jones scored all three of his touchdowns in the third frame and upped his season average to 8.8 yards per carry. After weathering this threat, the Scotties will have a short week to prepare for their next game. Tri-Valley travels to take on John Glenn for a Thursday night showdown between playoff-capable teams.
2. Maysville Panthers (6-1, 4-1 MVL) [No Change]
Teams with a history of losing often go into seasons claiming, “This is our year.” 2012 is that year for Maysville. After winning their sixth game of the season against Coshocton, the Panthers have equaled their win total from 2004 to 2008. Maysville has clinched their first season above .500 since 2009. The Panthers’ 14-0 victory in Coshocton was Maysville’s first win in its five-season rivalry with the Redskins. But perhaps the most important first is yet to come for the Panthers. Maysville is looking to make the playoffs for the first time in program history. The Panthers are currently in fourth place in Division III, Region 11 and with games remaining against Morgan and a quickly sinking Sheridan squad; Maysville is in excellent position to make 2012 special.
3. Philo Electrics (6-1, 5-1 MVL) [No Change]
Philo extended their win streak to four games after blanking the Sheridan Generals in Week 7. The Electrics may be the hottest team in the MVL right now. Philo had used the last month to climb back into the playoff race. For the first time since the OHSAA began releasing their weekly computer playoff rankings in Week 4, Philo is ranked in the top eight of their region. If the season ended today, the Electrics would be in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Electrics, they still have to play the two teams ranked ahead of them in the MVL in Weeks 9 and 10. Additionally, the Electrics will have their hands full with non-league for River View this week. But if Philo plays at the level they have been of late, expect another win.
4. John Glenn Little Muskies (5-2, 4-2 MVL) [No Change]
After a week in seventh place in their region, John Glenn is on the outside of the playoff race looking in, but not because of a loss. After a 41-18 victory over the Morgan Raiders in Week 7, the Little Muskies actually dropped three spots in the standings. Regardless, John Glenn will have a chance to make the postseason. Their next two matchups are against two unbeaten Division II teams, Tri-Valley and New Philadelphia. While the Muskies will surely take on an underdog role they have embraced all season, one upset against either of these highly ranked teams will spring John Glenn into the top tier of the playoff rankings. This week is the Little Muskies’ first chance for a marquee win when the formidable Scotties come to town. John Glenn’s defense has allowed the second least points in the MVL this season, but will have to turn in an exceptional performance against the highest-scoring offense in the league to hand Tri-Valley its first loss.
5. New Lexington Panthers (4-3, 2-3 MVL) [+1]
Last week, New Lexington was referred to as the “Jekyll and Hyde" team of the MVL this season. The Panthers proved this assessment correct in their game against Tri-Valley in Week 7. In the first half, New Lexington held the Scotties to just nine points, trailing by only two points at the break. In the second half, Austin Jones, Nathan Strock and the rest of Tri-Valley’s offense figured out the Panthers, putting up 34-second-half points on their way to a dominating win. New Lexington showed that it is a competitive football team, but not quite capable of running with the best teams in the league. The Panthers finish the season with games against Crooksville, West Muskingum, and Sheridan and are capable of winning out. They will have to do so and get a lot of help if they hope to jump from 15th place in the region to eighth by season’s end.
6. Sheridan Generals (4-3, 3-2 MVL) [-1]
Sheridan’s second consecutive shutout loss was devastating to their playoff chances. After falling to Philo, 31-0 in Week 7, the Generals remain in 21st place in Division III, Region 11. Things do not get any easier for Sheridan as their next two opponents are the top two teams in the league. Upsets against Maysville and Tri-Valley would go a long way toward giving the Generals a chance to make the postseason by Week 10, but the way Sheridan is playing at this point, they ought to be hoping to continue their streak of seasons with a record of at least .500. The Generals have not had a losing record since 1989, but will have to win at least one more game to avoid that fate.
7. Crooksville Ceramics (3-4, 1-4 MVL) [No Change]
Crooksville finally got its first league win of the year after defeating West Muskingum in Week 7 by a final score of 36-0. The Ceramics are still going to have a difficult time eclipsing their win total of four from last season. Crooksville still has to play at New Lexington and John Glenn by season’s end. The Ceramics will play the New Lexington Panthers this week in what might prove to be a very interesting tilt. The contest will be a battle between two teams looking to prove that they belong with the top dogs in the MVL.
8. Morgan Raiders (1-6, 0-5 MVL) [No Change]
Morgan had another rough week against John Glenn in Week 7, losing their fifth straight game by at least three touchdowns. The good news for the Raiders is that they play West Muskingum in Week 8 and will have a legitimate chance to win their first league game in just under two years. The bad news is that Morgan will be the visitors for the contest. Expect a competitive game between two teams looking to end long streaks of losing in league play.
9. West Muskingum Tornadoes (0-7, 0-6 MVL) [No Change]
West Muskingum was shut out for the first time this season in their game against the Crooksville Ceramics last week. The Tornadoes will hope to get their offense rolling by the time that the Morgan Raiders visit for this week’s matchup. Like Morgan, this is likely to be West Muskingum’s best chance to win an MVL game in 2012. This matchup of teams desperate for a league win might actually turn out to be one of the better games in the MVL this season.