Brock Netter, Staff Writer
BAINBRIDGE — For those who don’t remember November 7, 2015, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.
It was a Division VI regional quarterfinal in Bainbridge that had everything from star players to late drama and, of course, an epic finish.
Tied 13-13 going into overtime, Newark Catholic used three plays to take a 20-13 lead. Paint Valley responded with a touchdown plunge from Caleb Johnson to cut the lead to 20-19.
With a decision to make, Bearcats coach Pete Hollon took a gamble by going for two and the win. Johnson’s number was called again and he eventually sprung into the end zone for the 21-20 postseason victory.
|NEWARK CATHOLIC||PAINT VALLEY|
|72-27||All-Time Postseason Record||8-11|
|0||Consecutive Playoff Appearances||1|
|21-13 loss to Columbus Academy||Last week’s results||43-21 loss to Pleasant|
Hollon called it “the biggest victory in Paint Valley history,” which says a lot considering he has seen it all in 24 years as a head coach.
If Friday’s game resembles anything like the 2015 matchup, bring your sunglasses. They’ll be fireworks.
Here a preview for SOSA’s Game of the Week:
PAINT VALLEY BEARCATS
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Bryce Newland (QB), Brayden Ison (RB), Lane Mettler (RB/LB)
The Bearcats had their 12-game regular season winning steak snapped last week in a 43-21 road loss to Marion Pleasant.
The game was tied 21-21 at halftime, but the Spartans switched into second gear and shutout the Bearcats in the second half. However, it wasn’t for lack of effort.
Newland finished 15-of-24 for 179 with an interception, but rushed for 51 yards and two scores. Meanwhile, Ison totaled 103 yards and a touchdown … on just six carries.
Ison is a home run threat every team he touches the ball. You can expect him to get more than six carries against the Green Wave, who gave up touchdown runs of 61 and 46 yards in a Week 2 loss to Columbus Academy.
Mettler is a returning All-Ohio linebacker who’s since switched to defensive end. You’ll also find him in the backfield, accompanying Newland, Ison and the third head of the Bearcats’ monster Iann Cockrell.
The Bercats have plenty of weapons to pick from.
PV’s last home loss came on Oct. 20, 2017 against Westfall … In last week’s loss, Paint Valley ran 59 plays for 362 yards … The Bearcats were 11-1 last season with a loss to Shadyside in Week 12 … PV’s opponents’ combined record in 2018 was 58-68 … Newland has thrown for 254 yards this season
NEWARK CATHOLIC GREEN WAVE
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Matt Carlisle (QB), Sam Muetzel (RB), Nick Williams (OL/DL)
This is the Green Wave’s chance to gain some confidence heading into a brutal schedule featuring Watkins Memorial, Licking Valley and Johnstown-Monroe.
NC is used to being the smaller team, so being on an even playing field could give them the boost it needs to rebound.
Carlisle is not a run-first quarterback like so many the Bearcats see. He likes to air the ball out and has four different skill guys in Griffin Helms, Derek Hawk, Chance Brooks and Ryan Polly who he’ll target. The Bearcats’ secondary will be tested.
Nick Williams is the anchor on the offensive and defensive lines and is gaining interest from multiple Division I schools. He also returned an interception for a touchdown last week.
Newark Catholic has won nine state championships, the last one coming in 2007 … The Green Wave has finished 3-7 over the last two seasons … The team’s three wins last season came over Maysville, Utica and Northridge
BOTTOM LINE …
Although no current players were in high school when the 2015 matchup happened, revenge and bragging rights are still something to play for.
However, the bigger factor is that neither team wants to start off 1-2. Whoever loses has a bit more of an uphill climb to get back into the playoffs.