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Friday Night Lights Week 11

November 6, 2010 - Michael Palmer
The first night of playoff football is over and it will be Shadyside and Bridgeport moving on in Division VI. Win or lose, we had four local teams hosting a playoff game and I say all the teams should be proud of that accomplishment.

Martins Ferry held a good team to just one touchdown on defense but could not put together a scoring drive. Both teams may have bowed out in D IV but can boast a home game in the playoffs and will no doubt build on that success next season.

St. Clairsville saw their season come to a close as the first flakes of snow began to fall in the Ohio Valley. Lakeview has a QB that is hard to bring down and a sophomore wide out that is a solid DI prospect. Thanks to all of the coaches, players and other staff members for making us feel so welcome all season.

Thanks to St. Clairsville AD Kelly Rine for making his chili and hosting a great playoff game, it is a fantastic venue for the playoffs and hopefully the Shadyside game will end up at the St. C field and not at Death Valley in Steubenville. No disrespect to Reno and Harding but if it would just be a few minutes longer drive for Malvern fans, but it would be well worth the trip for just the parking near the stadium and ease of access for fans.

This year Shadyside will be the local team to face off against Malvern in the second round of the playoffs. The Hornets did not seem as impressive this season when I saw them at Conotton Valley, but they handled their opponent in the first round and it will be a battle next week when the two meet.

Bridgeport fans must be wondering if there is some sort of curse on their team as they continue to be haunted by post-season injuries. Bulldog senior speedster Garrett Price made a twisting move to gain an extra yard and got his hand broken during the tackle.

It would have been a treat to see how far a healthy Bridgeport squad could have gone in the playoffs. They have played very well as a team this season and it is frustrating that we will never know. The Dawgs have a challenge in facing Newark Catholic. As a graduate of Heath I can attest to the Green Wave consistently fielding playoff caliber teams.

Ranking second on the OHSAA list of Most State Championships with 8. The Green Wave hold first place in both Most State Playoff Wins with 62 and Most State Playoff Appearances making the trip to at least week 11 in 30 seasons. My alma mater Heath Bulldogs beat Newark Catholic 40-7, so maybe the old saying, “Once bitten, twice shy.” applies. (Note to the Bridgeport band director; Heath’s fight song is the Washington and Lee Swing.)

On a personal note; Congratulations to the Heath BULLDOGS on making the 2009 state playoffs in Division 4, Region 15 and defeating Zane Trace in the first ever Home playoff game at Swank Field in Heath, 48-9. “We wear a B for being brave and bold….” Good Luck in your game against Columbus Bishop Hartley next week.

I will be watching the scores tonight to se how the Seminoles do in their game up in Mount Vernon’s neighboring community. The drive to Fredericktown will be a long one and Monroe Central fans should consider an taking 36 from I-77 at Newcomerstown, then you could stop in Mt. Vernon at La Paloma Mexican Restaurant located at 200 South Main Street. It is the best Mexican food, they have a beef, bean and cheese sophapilla that you should not miss. Tell ‘em Ray and Wilma sent you.

It was also the last week for Friday Night Lights, our back page salute to the local football culture and all of the people who make Friday night special in the Ohio Valley. It is a labor of love and I enjoy the opportunity to feature all of the bands, flags, majorettes, mascots, ball boys, assistants, chain gangs, concession workers, ticket takers, fans, homecoming royalty and all of the many others we feature over the ten, no eleven weeks of the high school football season.

Thanks for letting us put your photos in the paper.


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