Updated Wed, Oct 24, 2012 4:14 pm
Going into the final week of games in the regular season, three Muskingum Valley League teams are still looking for playoff spots, but every team in this competitive league still has something to play for in their season finale. See where the teams rank and what their motivations are for their Week 10 matchups.
1. Tri-Valley Scotties (9-0, 7-0 MVL) [No Change]
Tri-Valley routed the rival Sheridan Generals in Week 9 by a score of 63-13. The Scotties were able to run away with the game early, scoring 21 points in a span of just 4:45 late in the first quarter. Tri-Valley dominated, outgaining Sheridan by 462 yards and eclipsing the 60-point mark in a game for the fourth time this season. The Scotties are now 9-0 overall and are just one more win away from their sought-after perfect season. Tri-Valley’s final regular season game is on the road against the Philo Electrics, who are in third place in the league, rank second in both offense and defense in the MVL, and still have a shot at the playoffs. The game is important for the Scotties too, who will most likely be able to jump back into first place in Division II, Region 7 with a win.
2. Maysville Panthers (8-1, 6-1 MVL) [+1]
Maysville practically clinched its first ever playoff birth after a huge 14-12 win against the Philo Electrics in Week 9. The Panthers’ only loss of the season came against the unbeaten Scotties of Tri-Valley in Week 2. Maysville’s playoff resume is solid enough to put the Panthers in third place in Division III, Region 11. Maysville’s last game will be against the Morgan Raiders and while the Panthers should win the contest, they may not get a large number of points for a win against a 2-7 team. Maysville will have to hold on to a top-four spot in the region to clinch a home playoff game. Steubenville and Dover are two teams with legitimate chances to jump the Panthers, even with a Maysville win. The good news for the Panthers is that Dover has to play at a stingy, Division II, New Philadelphia team that is 8-1.
3. Philo Electrics (7-2, 5-2 MVL) [-1]
After Philo’s loss against Maysville, the Electrics drop to the third spot in the power rankings and, more importantly, the 11th spot in the Division III, Region 11 playoff race. The Electrics are the third and final MVL team with at least a chance to make the postseason going into Week 10, but a lot has to happen if Philo wants to jump three spots in one week. First, the Electrics will have to upset the undefeated Tri-Valley when the Scotties visit Duncan Falls. It’s a tall order, but a Philo win will mean big points for the Electrics. As for the teams ahead of Philo, tenth place West Branch has already been eliminated due to a weak matchup in Week 10. Ranked seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively are Granville, Struthers, and Poland Seminary. Two of these teams will have to lose in Week 10 to allow a chance for the Electrics to move into the top eight. Granville (8-1) hosts a tough Columbus Academy team (5-4). Struthers (6-3) hosts a very good team from Howland (7-2). Poland Seminary (6-3) visits Beaver (2-7) to play a game they should win. Things are complicated for Philo going into Week 10, but the Electrics have to be happy to still be alive after a tough loss last week.
4. New Lexington Panthers (6-3, 4-3 MVL) [+1]
After winning four of the last five games they’ve played, the New Lexington Panthers will finish the season by travelling to play against the Sheridan Generals. The Panthers will be looking to end their season with three straight wins and simultaneously push Sheridan to its sixth straight loss. The Panthers have improved into a solid team after a 21-point defeat in Week 2 at the hands of the Little Muskies. With a win this week, New Lexington will clinch their second consecutive seven-win season, which would be an impressive accomplishment after losing their starting quarterback from last year’s campaign.
5. John Glenn Little Muskies (5-4, 4-3 MVL) [-1]
The Little Muskies of John Glenn succumbed to a Division II opponent for the second consecutive week when they lost to New Philadelphia in Week 9, 49-7. The Muskies, playing in one of the hardest two-week stretches for any MVL team this season, had a chance to jump into the playoff race with a marquee win. Unfortunately for John Glenn however, losing in both of these games has officially eliminated the Muskies from playoff contention. Losing running back and Player Of The Year candidate Blake Atkins to injury did not help their cause. When John Glenn hosts the Crooksville Ceramics in Week 10, the Muskies will have a great shot to clinch their first winning record since 2008. The Muskies will have also doubled their win total from 2011 with a win.
6. Sheridan Generals (4-5, 3-4 MVL) [No Change]
Sheridan seems incapable of righting the ship at this point. After starting the season with four straight wins, the Generals have accumulated five straight losses. Their latest defeat came in a 63-13 thrashing by the Tri-Valley Scotties in Week 9. Sheridan will try to avoid a sixth straight loss when they host New Lexington in their season finale. The Generals can salvage a .500 season with a win, but a loss will clinch a losing record for Sheridan football for the first time since 1989.
7. Crooksville Ceramics (4-5, 2-5 MVL) [No Change]
The Ceramics were able to hang on against Morgan for their second MVL win of the year, defeating the Raiders 35-26 in an unexpectedly high-scoring tilt. Crooksville will have a chance to improve on their record from a season ago when they do battle against John Glenn. This game might be more competitive that people expect, while the Muskies have home-field advantage, they will be without star running back Blake Atkins. Also, John Glenn has lost two straight games while Crooksville has shown that it can make any matchup competitive.
8. Morgan Raiders (2-7, 1-6 MVL) [No Change]
After playing well in a game against the Crooksville Ceramics, the Morgan Raiders will have to step up even further if they want to be competitive in their Week 10 matchup against Maysville. The Panthers will be looking for a win to show that they not only deserve their first playoff birth, but a top-four seed and a home playoff game as well. While an upset this week may be unlikely, Morgan has shown throughout the year that it has improved since last season, when the Raiders finished 1-9.
9. West Muskingum Tornadoes (0-9, 0-8 MVL) [No Change]
West Muskingum has one chance left to pick up that elusive first win of the season. The Tornadoes host the Claymont Mustangs, who are 6-3 on the year and ranked between New Lexington and John Glenn in the Division III, Region 11 playoff standings. The Tornadoes need a win to avoid becoming the first winless MVL team since Morgan went 0-10 in 2009.