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October 26, 2011 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
Hindsight is 20/20, but I can say that I was one of the believers in the Martins Ferry football team in its Week 9 assignment. The Purple Riders were given little respect by the general sports public in their matchup with rival St. Clairsville. Granted, the state-rated Red Devils boasted a perfect 8-0 record, tons of explosiveness and a dynamic head coach in Brett McLean. What many didn't factor is is that the Purple Riders are far from chopped liver. The Purple Riders of legendary Coach Dave Bruney were 6-2 and just a few snaps away from equaling St. C.'s perfection. A last second-loss to powerful Ridgewood and a close setback at Indian Creek were the lone blemishes. No disgrace there. In football, matchups mean a lot. Ferry matches up very well with the Red Devils. The Purple has the physicality, size and toughness that present problems to any team, including St. C. That was borne out by the final 99-yard drive in the waning minutes -- nary a pass -- which resulted in the Riders pulling out the win. The two foes may meet again in the postseason and the outcome may prove different. But Ferry's win over St. C. was an upset only in the realm of the Red Devils' fans feelings after the contest.
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