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Are you ready for week 2 Playoff Football?
November 8, 2011 - Michael Palmer
The St. Clairsville game last Saturday was a classic. The field goal as time expired that won the game was a Hollywood ending to a battle between polar opposite offenses.
Defying any objections that may be legislated against it, the sidelines were filled with prayer as the sophomore placekicker Zach Musilli made his try at the 34-yard field goal.
The young man had missed on an extra-point try just a few minutes prior to the big kick and there was a collective inhaling and holding of breath on both sides of the field as Matt Kinnick called for the snap. None was more relieved and more excited than coach Gary Hull. IF you check the CU gallery you will see exactly what I mean.
The Red Devils celebrated and the Chesapeake players just crumbled to the ground where they had stood moments earlier as both officials at the goal posts raised their hands to signal that the kick was indeed good.
Senior Anthony Kuhn pounced on a loose ball to give his team the chance to make one more run at the end zone, a fumble I believe that his classmate Chase Garen had peeled free during the tackle.
Running back Michael Ferns had an amazing performance against a very big and strong Chesapeake defense. In the season preview St. Clairsville coach Brett McLean stated that his team has been lacking a straight-ahead power running back, in my estimation that can no longer be said. The sophomore Ferns impressed me with his gutsy performance as he shook off tackles and powered through defensive hits like he had been the starting running back all season.
I would like to be on the sidelines for their test against a tough Coshocton team this Saturday, but it makes more sense for me to travel the short trip to New Philadelphia and shoot the Tigers.
Shadyside just continues to win games. No one had them picked for much of a season again this year and Saturday they face a tough Youngstown Christian program.
I actually was on the sidelines for Youngstown Christian’s first OHSAA game against Conotton Valley; obviously the Eagles have come a long way since that game. The Eagles defeated Garaway this season by a convincing 41-6 score, and the Pirates had just two losses on the season, the other coming from Malvern.
Garaway defeated Ridgewood 13-8, and the Generals in turn defeated Martins Ferry 15-13. But the comparing common opponents game is not a sound tool to judge the outcome of games.
For example, Malvern defeated Garaway 26-22, but not Ridgewood losing 41-20.
St. Clairsville thumped Indian Creek, the Redskins in turn beat Ferry - and then Ferry gets a win over St. Clairsville, so logically this system is flawed.
The Tigers are playing much better than in week 2 when they lost to Monroe Central, good enough to survive this weeks’ game, you know I will be on the sidelines rooting for the Tigers.
Once again Dave Caldwell and his Blue Devils have a long road trip. This time Hoot Gibson will be on the trail and covering the game. It is another coincidence that their opponent Symmes Valley’s only loss on the season came from Chesapeake, (20-3) the team St, C just defeated.
The Vikings also defeated Sciotoville Community in their regular season by a 42-12 score. Beallsville won by a slightly less lopsided 27-14 score. I have already taken my first team photos for basketball; will this be the last weekend for football? If you ask our sports staff all of them say we get one more week from Shadyside, two are saying St. C bows out and one picks Symmes Valley over Beallsville.
The preview tab will be in Thursday’s paper for anyone wishing to do some advanced scouting before the games this weekend. We will all know Saturday night if there is any team still standing for finals week.
Once again…. Good Luck to all the teams!
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