1A Game of the Week 10/4 - It's Special

  1. #1
    by Voice of Reason is offline Premium Member
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    I thought about including this in this week's 1A notebook, but this game deserves its own thread. If you read the 1A Notebook this week (if not, here's the link 1A Notebook 10/3 - Getting Tighter), then you know there are a couple big games on tap tonight featuring highly ranked 1A teams. But neither one of those are my pick for this week's 1A Game of the Week (GOTW). I've got you wondering now, don't I? In fact, this week's GOTW doesn't even include a team ranked in the 1A top ten. Nevertheless, I think this game of the week is fantastic.

    Let me set the stage for you. One of the three remaining undefeated teams in 1A puts their unblemished record on the line tonight against a 4-1 opponent. The game will feature the #4 running back in 1A against the #7 running back in 1A. These two teams are in the top 6 in 1A in points allowed and in the top 10 in team scoring margin. None of this would have been believable if I had told you last year that all that was going to happen this year for these two teams. Tonight's GOTW is the Berea Pirates (5-0) traveling to play the Dayton Greendevils (4-1).

    What truly makes this game fantastic is the back story on these two programs. In the past 4 seasons, undefeated Berea won exactly one football game. That win came in the last game of the season last year and broke a 43 game losing streak. Now, heading into tonight Berea is undefeated at 5-0. They have won more games this year than they won in total in the previous 5 years. Unbelieveable. What Coach Aaron Stepp and his players are doing this year is nothing short of unbelievable.

    As if that isn't enough to get your interest in this game, how about the Pirates opponent? In the past 4 years, Dayton has won a total of only 4 games. Dayton has 4 wins already. The last time Dayton won 4 games in a season was in 2007. First year coach Jesse Herbst has returned to his Dayton roots and injected life into a program that most people didn't even know existed.

    Berea features dual threat QB Jaylen Whitaker and RB Jaiden Cunningham. Both players are also big contributors on defense. Berea is a run first team rushing for 1,158 yards (#3 in 1A) while holding their opponents to a total of just 281 yards rushing (#4 in 1A). In addition to Whitaker and Cunningham, the defense is led in tackles by Tanner Hayden, who also has 5 tackles for loss and a sack.

    Dayton also likes to run the ball. As a team they have rushed for 1,096 yards (#9 on average in 1A). RB Jordan Marksberry is the rushing leader averaging an outstanding 15 yards per carry. Marksberry is #4 in 1A in scoring. As mentioned above, the Dayton defense is in the 1A top ten in several categories.

    If you want to have some high school football fun tonight, head to Dayton's historic stadium and watch the young men from these two teams put on display all the hard work and effort that has turned around two football programs and brought great pride to their communities. Congratulations to everyone associated with these two programs for what they have already accomplished this year.

    Think about what it has taken for the players in this game tonight to overcome years of losses and adversity to get to where they are now. How does a coach get his players to believe and commit? How do the players find that belief? How do they all overcome the doubters and the naysayers? The question that is asked often when sizing up a game is - who is going to win? That question has already been answered for this game. The final score tonight doesn't tell the story here. You want to see some winners? Travel to Dayton tonight. There will be nothing but winners on display.
    Last edited by Voice of Reason; Oct 4, 19 at 12:30 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 15
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    61

    Great Job! When I saw Dayton over the summer I was impressed by the staff. It’s not easy to turn programs around with numbers dwindling like they have been, but these schools are doing a great job!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 17
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    11

    Nice article! It's always nice to see programs turn things around.

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