Updated Fri, Oct 25, 2013 8:04 am
With both league title and playoff implications on the line, the 6-2 (6-0 MVL) Tri-Valley Scotties take on Maysville (6-2, 5-2) in Zanesville Friday night.
Tri-Valley has all the momentum with 24 straight MVL wins going into Friday’s matchup, but this week a win is even more crucial.
“We’ve told our kids from the start that really this is the league title game,” Tri-Valley head coach Justin Buttermore said. “This game guarantees a least a share of the league title.”
For the Panthers, a win means something a little different.
“For us a league title isn’t really attainable with two losses, but we’re still in the playoff hunt,” Maysville head coach Craig Clarke said. “I think a win this week would solidify that and put us in a position to maybe even host a game, which has never been done here.”
Maysville fell to John Glenn last week in a tough 35-13 loss, but Clarke says his team has to be able to look at the reasons why it didn’t succeed and try not to repeat those things.
John Glenn and its determined defense forced five turnovers against the Panthers and held them to just 260 total yards, well below their season average. Maysville will have to contend with yet another tough defense Friday night.
“Nobody really talks about their defense, but their defense has been one of the most solid in our league for the last several years,” Clarke said of the Tri-Valley unit. “You’re going to have to score points on them to beat them and their defense doesn’t allow you to do that too often.”
The Panthers should not look past Scotties quarterback Brock Fargus though.
Fargus has improved in past weeks, proving to be a leader on the field and in the clubhouse. In last week’s win at Sheridan, he ran for 264 yards on eight carries and went 8-of-12 passing with 146 yards and two touchdowns.
The Panthers have a tough game ahead of them, but Friday’s MVL contest will not be a walk in the park for the Scotties either.
“They have tremendous skill players and their quarterback can be a very dangerous passer,” Buttermore said. “I think trying to eliminate their big play capability and try to neutralize their athletes is going to be our biggest concern.”
Stakes are high in the week 9 matchup. For the Scotties, a win could mean three straight MVL titles. For Maysville, it could determine a second straight playoff birth for the first time in school history.