Nelsonville-York Falls in Week One

Down 15 points with just more 11 minutes to play in the game, Nelsonville-York faced a third-and-two from the Minford 12 yard line. Buckeye quarterback Nathan Dean dropped back to pass and surveyed his receivers, but as he let the ball go, Minford defensive lineman Brett Taylor jumped up and intercepted Dean’s pass, essentially ending the game.

That play told the story of a frustrating game for the Buckeyes, as they lost 27-6 and were eliminated from the playoffs. Every time it appeared Nelsonville-York had a chance to make a move, Minford asserted itself.

Minford running back Mark Slone led the team, as he ran 38 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns.

Nelsonville-York’s defense had no answer for Slone and was dominated up front all night long.

“He is a nice running back,” Nelsonville-York coach David Boston said. “But we did not come out and play typical Nelsonville-York football.”

The Buckeyes had some success running the ball in the first half, and jumped out to 6-0 lead on a three-yard touchdown run by Dustin Young in the first quarter.

But after going into halftime trailing only 7-6, the Buckeyes abandoned the run in the second half.

Fullback Justin Cunningham was sidelined with an injury, which forced Nelsonville-York to put the ball on the air more than it would have liked.

“Whenever you lose a 215-pound fullback, you have to adjust,” Boston said. “They made some adjustments at the half and did a good job shutting down our run.”

Dean completed 15 of 27 passing attempts for only 93 yards and two interceptions.

“We were banged up and we lost a couple of players,” Boston said. “We have to take our hats off to Minford, they came out inspired and their kids played a great football game. They brought it to us.”

Young managed only 60 yards on 18 carries, as Minford’s defensive line dominated most of the game.

“We did not come after it tonight and it showed on the field. But we had a great group of seniors and a great group of young men and I’m extremely proud of their effort this season’” Boston said.


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High School Playoffs: Week One Predictions

#7 Alexander (8-2) at #2 Heath (9-1) The Spartans come in as 27-point underdogs against the second-seeded Bulldogs, but don’t expect Sean Arno’s squad to go down without a fight. A strong rushing attack led by senior Cody Lawson keeps Alexander close, but in the end the speed of the Bulldogs wins out and Heath advances to round two. Heath 28, Alexander 14.

#8 Trimble (7-3) at #1 Shadyside (9-1) The Tomcats have had their backs against the wall for the last six weeks, but have been able to pull through. This time they will have to face one of the top rated defenses in all of Division VI. The Tigers are 23 point favorites, and will be looking to advance to the second round for the fifth time in the last six years. Shadyside 31, Trimble 13.

#5 Nelsonville-York (8-2) at #4 Minford (8-2) The Buckeyes will rely heavily on the running game as they try score against a tough Falcon defense. Minford is a six point favorite, but was held to only seven points against Valley last weekend. Whoever wins the battle upfront should have the advantage at the end of the night. Nelsonville-York 14, Minford 13.

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Buckeyes, Spartans, Tomcats Clinch Playoff Spots

With wins on Friday night, Nelsonville-York, Alexander and Trimble all clinched a spot in the regional playoffs.

Nelsonville-York secured the five seed in Division V, Region 19, and will travel to Minford to take on the 8-2 Falcons.

Alexander took the No. 7 seed in Division IV, Region 15 and will play the No. 2 seed Heath Bulldogs, who are 9-1.

Trimble earned the eighth and final seed in Division VI, Region 23. The Tomcats will play No. 1 Shadyside (9-1)

Alexander and Trimble play Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Nelsonville-York takes the field Saturday night at 7 p.m.

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Week Ten High School Predictions

Athens (5-4) at Nelsonville-York (7-2) – The Bulldogs will not go down without a fight, especially with a TVC title on the line, but the Buckeyes’ rushing duo of Dustin Young and Justin Cunningham should be able to wear down Athens’ defense as the game goes on. Nelsonville-York 28, Athens 21.

Meigs (3-6) at Alexander (7-2) – Alexander coach Sean Arno said his team was angry after their loss to Nelsonville-York last Friday. Expect the Spartans to come out firing in week 10. Cody Lawson hasn’t scored since week seven, that should change this weekend. Alexander 35, Meigs 13.

Federal Hocking (1-8) at Trimble (6-3) – In the last five weeks, Trimble has scored 220 points. It has allowed 40. That margin should only grow this weekend against the Lancers. The Tomcats will get the win they need to stay in the playoff race. Trimble 49, Federal Hocking 7.

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Buckeyes Run Past Spartans

Down 14-3 with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Alexander’s defense needed a stop. But as Nelsonville-York receiver Dillon Knippa slipped past a Spartan defender and into the end zone for 24-yard touchdown reception, the game slipped out of Alexander’s reach.

The Buckeyes used a strong rushing attack to beat Alecander, 30-3, Friday night at Boston Field.

It was supposed to be a showcase of two of the best offenses in the league, but only one showed up as Nelsonville-York defeated Alexander 30-3 and claimed at least a share of the TVC crown.

Nelsonville-York running back Dustin Young led the way for the Buckeyes as he rushed for 164 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.

“Dustin is a competitor and a very intelligent football player,” Nelsonville-York coach David Boston said. “He has shown that week in and week out, and he got it done again for us tonight.”

After being bottled up for the majority of the first half, Young broke loose for a 29-yard touchdown scamper with just under two minutes remaining in the half to give his team a 6-0 lead.

Another 29-yard touchdown run from Young at the end of the third quarter gave the Buckeyes a 14-3 lead.

Boston credited his offensive line for creating holes and giving Young room to run.

“They have a big group of young men up front, but we put that challenge on our guys. We told our guys if we control the line of scrimmage we’ll win the ball game, and we did that,” Boston said.

After scoring no less than 17 points in each of their first eight games, the Spartans offense could not get anything going against Nelsonville-York’s defense.

“We’ve faced great offenses all year long and our kids stood up and played tonight,” Boston said. “It was a great defensive performance.”

Alexander running back Cody Lawson was the lone bright spot for the Spartans as the senior rushed for 106 yards on 24 carries, but was held scoreless for the second straight week.

“We never got into our flow and we had some costly mistakes and penalties,” Alexander coach Sean Arno said. Hats off to them though, they did a great job.”

The victory secured the Buckeyes a share of the TVC championship for the eighth time in the last nine years, but a win over Athens next week would give Nelsonville-York the title outright.

“Our kids expect to win it and they got it done again this year,” Boston said. “But we still have Athens in front of us and we don’t want to share the title with anybody so we’ll be ready to play next week.”


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Week Nine High School Football Predictions

Alexander (7-1) at Nelsonville-York (6-2): The Spartans showed they were for real last week against Athens, but this time they have to go on the road and try to take the crown from the defending champs. Alexander beat the Buckeyes last year, can they make it two years in a row? It will be close, but home-field advantage could put the Buckeyes over the top. Nelsonville-York 28, Alexander 24.

Trimble (5-3) at Southern (2-6): The Tomcats need a win in order to keep pace with Wahama in the TVC-Hocking, and Southern doesn’t pose much of a threat to stop them. Trimble 42, Southern, 6.

Wellston (3-5) at Athens (4-4): After a disappointing loss to Alexander last weekend, the Bulldogs must win out if there is to be any possibility of defending their TVC title. Coach Adams will have his team ready and Athens will roll. Athens 35, Wellston 14

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5 Bold predictions for the NLCS

The Phillies are back in the NLCS for the third straight year and are looking for their third straight National League Pennant. The Giants are back in the Championship Series for the first time since 2002 and will look to finish the job this time.

Will pitching rule again or will the bats finally break out? Here are five bold predictions for the NLCS.

1. San Francisco Pitching Shuts Down Philadelphia Hitting

The Phillies managed only seven earned runs in three games against the Reds and did most of their damage as a result of defensive errors. Now they will be going up against an even tougher pitching staff led by Tim Lincecum. Even with their lineup, they better hope for good pitching because runs will be few and far between.

Neither Team Scores Above 5 Runs in a Single Game

As I previously mentioned, runs will be at a premium with these two pitching staffs toeing the rubber, and it goes both ways. Outside of Buster Posey, no Giants hitter even sniffed .300 during the Divisional Series. Dominate pitching performances from both sides should keep all the games low scoring.

Buster Posey Leads the Giants in All Three Triple Crown Categories

Posey hit .375 against Atlanta, but didn’t hit a home run or drive in any runs. That will change against Philadelphia. The rookie hit 19 home runs and drove in 67 runs in only four months of play this season, and in 12 plate appearance against the Phillies this year, Posey batted .417.

Charlie Manuel Goes to a Four-Man Rotation

Time and time again we have seen that starting pitchers on three days rest does not normally end well. No matter where the series stands, expect Manuel to go to Joe Blanton in game four. Blanton has pitched well against the Giants. In his only start, he pitched six and third innings giving up only two earned runs.

Roy Halladay Gives Up a Hit

The Doc was nearly perfect in his last outing against Cincinnati, but he’s going to have to come back to earth eventually, right?

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