Defense key in rematch for Scotties

Defense key in rematch for Scotties

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Defense key in rematch for Scotties

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DRESDEN

Adjusting to the New Carlisle Tecumseh’s wing-T offense proved to be a challenge in 2011 for Tri-Valley.

The Scotties found themselves in a 16-7 deficit before rallying for a 48-30 victory against the Arrows in a Division II, Region 7 quarterfinal game at Jack Anderson Stadium.

That familiarity should help top-seeded Tri-Valley, as the two are set to meet again at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“They gave us major problems last year,” Tri-Valley coach Justin Buttermore said. “Their offense is deceptive. They’re not super big, but they are quick. They don’t wow you on film, but they do their jobs efficiently.”

Tecumseh has a stable of runners. Quarterback Tony Evans, and running backs Christian Evans, Chuck Buchanan, and Jimmy Rowland — all four are seniors — each had rushing touchdowns in last week’s 54-7 win against Springfield Kenton Ridge. The Arrows ran for 330 yards on 20 carries in the first half.

Senior guard and defensive end Tyler Edwards-Frick understands the challenge, but knows a strong start is crucial for the Scotties.

“We have to perform better than last year,” he said. “We have to fit into our gaps and read our keys. Everyone has to do their job.”

The experience of playing the Arrows in 2011, as well as seeing the wing-T offenses of Maysville and John Glenn will help the Scotties. The goal is making the Arrows work for yards, especially in early downs.

It was something with which Tri-Valley struggled in the 2011 game.

“We gave up a ton of yardage on first down,” Buttermore said. “They had second-and-4s and third-and-shorts. You can’t do that or you’re playing into their hands.”

Tri-Valley will try to control the trenches to slow the Arrows. Senior defensive tackle and offensive guard Daniel Sensabaugh said physical play is a must to meet that objective.

“It starts with getting a push up front,” he said. “The defense will have to slow them down. They will go for it on fourth-and-1s so we have to be physical.”

The Tri-Valley offense also needs to start well. Getting on the board early and setting the tone was another aspect missing from the 2011 win. However, if the Scotties can jump out to a big lead, the Arrows will be at a disadvantage.

“In one of (Tecumseh’s) losses, they were down 21-0 and had to throw it 31 times,” Buttermore said. “Wing-T teams want to focus on the run. If you can get them down, you can make them do things they don’t want to.”

The 2011 run has the Scotties hungry. They want more than a 10-0 season.

“Every team is going to give us their best shot,” senior receiver Trevor Krouskoupf said. “We have to play just as hard because we know what’s on the line.”

Buttermore has seen his team perform well in this situation. He expects them to step up.

“There are no pushovers in the playoffs,” he said. “Our guys have been on the other side, knocking off New Albany a couple years ago as a seventh seed. Everyone is gunning for us as the No. 1 seed. Hopefully, we are ready to handle it.”

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