COSHOCTON – It’s Week 10 already, but it seems like just yesterday local players were preparing for the Week 1 matchups and each team had a sense of optimism about where it would finish.
Now that optimism is being replaced with reality, as Week 10 brings two league title matches and playoff appearance chances for the three county teams.
With a win, River View can ruin rival Coshocton’s chances at the East Central Ohio League Gray division title, but with a win and some help, the Redskins can clinch their second playoff appearance in as many years.
With a win, the Ridgewood Generals can clinch sole possession of the Inter-Valley Conference League title and a home playoff game.
Coshocton vs. River View
Whenand where: 7 p.m. Friday at River View
Records: Coshocton 6-3; River View 1-8
Last week: Coshocton defeated Claymont 42-14; River View lost to Zanesville 69-0
With their playoff hopes on the line, Coshocton defeated Claymont behind two touchdowns from Spencer McCrea, Zach Michael and Jake Fortney. The win not only kept the team’s playoff hopes alive, but kept its ECOL title hopes alive as well.
In the latest official computer rankings, the Redskins have the final spot in the Region 17, but in no way have clinched it. Even a win at River View won’t cut it; they need some outside help as well.
That outside help needs to come from Bishop Rosecrans, West Holmes and Waverly. Each of those teams is playing a winnable game, but the Redskins need all of them to win to get in.
The Black Bears were totally outmatched by Zanesville, and while they don’t have any playoff hopes to play for, they do have the chance to ruin their rival’s playoff and ECOL hopes.
And no better night to do it on than on Senior Night, where the team will honor its 10 seniors.
Coach’s comments: “This game is huge. There are no guarantees and we want to send our seniors out winners. We want an ECOL championship, and in order to do that, we need to win,” Coshocton coach Jim Woodrum said.
“I think our chances are very good to make the postseason. Like I told the kids, more went against us last week than we need to go well for us this week,” he said. “Bob (Forgave) does a good job, and he will have those kids ready to play. Our kids are going to have to come out and take care of business.”
River View’s Forgrave said: “They are all big games, but this is probably a little more special because it means a lot to both communities. Kids give a little extra on these type of games. I think (the kids) are pretty excited; they are on their home field and it’s their last game. That will probably put a little pep in their step.”
“(Coshocton) runs the wing-t and they run all the same type of plays, but they execute well and are a good football team.
“(River View’s players) all stuck with it this year, and I’m proud of them. It’s hard to go through a building process like they are going through,” he said. “To go out there tomorrow and to play to the best of their abilities will be a good way to end it.”
Ridgewood vs. Newcomerstown
When and where: 7 p.m. Friday at Newcomerstown
Records: Ridgewood 8-1; Newcomerstown 3-6
Last Week: Ridgewood defeated Malvern 49-6; Newcomerstwon defeated East Canton 15-7
The Generals defeated Malvern, which not only gave them a share of the Inter-Valley Conference title but pushed them to fourth in Region 17, according to the latest computer polls.
While the Generals have already clinched a playoff spot, a win against their rival will clinch both a league title and home playoff game at the same time, something that Ridgewood has only seen once before, in 2004.
Coach’s comments: “It’s always a big game. Obviously there is a lot at stake because we could win the league outright and host a playoff game, which would be nice because our kids want to play here one more time. ” Slusser said. “Hosting a playoff game is exciting. I don’t think any of us thought we would be in this situation. We were trying to figure out if we would get in the playoffs at 7-3 or 6-4. It’s been a pleasant surprise.”
“Josh doesn’t have a lot of numbers, but (Newcomerstown) is extremely well coached.” he said.