Updated Wed, Nov 6, 2013 9:02 pm
After dropping two of their first three games at the start of the season, many fans doubted that the Tri-Valley Scotties would be able to run the table and win the MVL title, as they have so often in recent years. But on Friday night the Scotties put an end to all doubts and made a statement in their 35-3 rout of the Philo Electrics, winning the 2013 MVL title outright.
The Scotties completed their sweep of the MVL behind a bolstering defense that kept Gridiron Glory Player of the Year candidate Zak Sheridan and the rest of the Philo offense in check, allowing the Electrics to gain only 207 total yards on the night.
“We really struggled with giving up the big plays earlier in the year,” Tri-Valley head coach Justin Buttermore said. “We’ve really started to buckle down and have gotten a lot better in third down situations. We’ve started to play solid defense overall.”
The two teams’ defenses kept the offensive play quiet in the first quarter, but it was Philo that moved deep into Tri-Valley territory and threatened to score first.
Tri-Valley bent, but they didn’t break.
After Philo reached Tri-Valley’s 1-yard line, the Electrics were halted on three consecutive plays to force fourth down. Philo went for the touchdown, but the Scotties stepped up once again, denying the Electrics access to the end zone and swinging all momentum in their favor.
The Scotties’ offense found its rhythm, using just six plays and under three minutes of clock to go 99 yards to find the end zone. Quarterback Brock Fargus found receiver Hunter Mohler on a 31-yard strike, putting the Scotties ahead, 7-0, early in the second quarter.
The Fargus-Mohler tandem was the source of every Scottie score in the first half, as the duo connected seven times for 170 yards and three touchdowns in the first 24 minutes of play.
Fargus finished the night with one of his most efficient performances of the season, completing on 15-of-16 attempts for 292 yards and three touchdowns.
“Five of the last six weeks [Fargus] has been lights out,” Buttermore said. “He has really matured down the stretch. He’s one of the kids that has really grown up and proved himself.”
With the win, the Scotties secured the MVL title for the third straight year and earned a playoff berth for the fifth straight season. While the feeling is familiar, Buttermore said that it still tastes just as sweet.
“A lot of other people thought that this was going to be a down year,” Buttermore said. “We battled through some adversity and found a way to win a third title.”
The Scotties advance to the regional quarterfinals next week, but their opponent is still yet to be decided. Tri-Valley will not host the first round contest, but a destination will be named by the end of the weekend. Even with the loss, the Electrics also advance to the regional quarterfinals, as they draw a matchup with MVL foe John Glenn in the first round.