Tri-Valley has been the class of Muskingum Valley League boys soccer for more than a decade.
It was fitting host John Glenn had to face the Scotties for a chance at its first league title with a win or a tie Tuesday.
Both had chances at victory, but neither found the back of the net as the teams settled for a 0-0 draw.
The Muskies earned a share of the league title, improving to 7-0-2 in the MVL and 8-3-2 overall. Tri-Valley is 6-1-2 in the MVL and 6-5-2 overall.
John Glenn will claim the league outright with a win or tie at Philo, and the Scotties must beat visiting West Muskingum and hope for a Muskies’ loss to share the title. Both games are next Tuesday.
Muskies coach Kyle Porter was pleased to see his team’s season-long dedication rewarded.
“When I played here in 1998, I played in the district final and the regional. This means the world to me,” Porter said. “This is a testament to our kids. I’m here to guide them, and they have worked their tails off to be here.
The best opportunity for the John Glenn came in the first half when Ross Mathews’ penalty kick hit off the post at the 26:09 mark.
The Muskies, who held a 12-6 shot advantage, had a few other shots go above the crossbar. However, John Glenn couldn’t score despite keeping the ball on its offensive end most of the game.
The Muskies suffered their biggest loss with 20:49 remaining in the second half. Mathews, the league’s leading scorer, received his second yellow card of the game after running into Tri-Valley goalkeeper Evan Whyde. Whyde was taken to the hospital as a precaution for a back injury.
The Scotties went on the attack as Drew Rector and Nick Hernandez each had shots turned away by John Glenn goalkeeper Zak Harper in the next 10 minutes.
Porter credited his defense for stepping up without his team’s best player. Harper had four saves in net.
“Tri-Valley’s a very good team, but when we lost Ross and went down a player, the defense played well,” Porter said. “(Harper) has not played a lot of goalie even in junior high. He has stepped in and done everything we asked.”
Scottie coach Brad Elliott said the game epitomized his team’s season as Rector had three of his team’s six shots on goal.
“I preach defense first, and they didn’t score. We did well in that aspect,” he noted. “I thought we did well with the flow of play, but we struggled hitting the net. That’s been the story of our season.”
Elliott said his team needs to do their part next week and hope for some help.
“We have to take care of business with West Muskingum and hope for a little bit of luck,” he said.