Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
BAINBRIDGE — Throw records out the window, forget statistics and pay no attention to what has already been done … playoff football is officially here and the slate has been wiped clean.
At 7 p.m. Friday night, the Paint Valley Bearcats host the Grandview Heights Bobcats in a Division VI, Region 24 Quarterfinal … a rematch of last year’s postseason contest.
Both programs have fought to get to Week 11, both still have plenty to prove and both are hungry for a postseason win. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Here’s everything you need to know about Friday’s game.
|GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS||PAINT VALLEY|
|Mid-State Ohio||CONFERENCE||Scioto Valley|
|Jason Peters||HEAD COACH||Pete Hollon|
|2 (2018)||CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF BERTHS (LAST PLAYOFF BERTH)||2 (2018)|
|5-6||OVERALL PLAYOFF RECORD||8-11|
FOUR THINGS TO KNOW
- Last season, Paint Valley beat Grandview Heights in Week 11 by a 39-36 final. However, two of their main weapons in that game won’t suit up Friday in quarterback Bryce Newland and running back Brayden Ison. In that win last season, the Bearcats had 467 yards of total offense and scored on five of their first six possessions.
- This season, the Bobcats have beaten just one team with a winning record, coming in a 21-20 victory over Centennial in Week 1. Grandview Heights’ five other wins have come against Africentric, Bucyrus, Bexley, Liberty Union and Buckeye Valley … five teams with a combined record of 11-41. The teams the Bobcats have lost to have a combined record of 27-13.
- Grandview Heights posted a 3-4 mark inside the MSL-Ohio with losses to Whitehall-Yearling (60-13), Harvest Prep (42-7), Columbus Academy (28-7) and Bishop Ready (27-14). The Bobcats enter the season on a two-game skid.
- The Bobcats have also caught the injury bug as starting quarterback Kyle Casey will be sidelined with an injured elbow. The team played its regular season finale without running back Darreion Davis, who could make a return this week.
Cruz McFadden, WR/DB, Paint Valley: Put simply, for the Bearcats to win, McFadden has to be involved in the offense as much as possible. Some players just know how to make big plays and McFadden is certainly in that category. This season, McFadden has 28 receptions for 521 yards and has picked off four passes on the defensive end as well. He’s a factor in all three phases of the game and, arguably, the key to the Bearcats advancing into Week 12.
Cavan Cooper, QB, Paint Valley: Two weeks ago, Cooper made his first career start in a 46-34 loss to Southeastern, taking over for then-quarterback Iann Cockrell. And while he showed his youth at times, he also commanded the offense with a touch you can’t teach. After a 35-0 win over Westfall last week, Cooper has now completed 18-of-31 pass attempts for 288 yards and three scores. He can already make throws most high school quarterbacks can’t and, with the weapons he has around him, he’s set up for success. So far, his poise has been magnificent. That needs to continue.
Luke Lachey, WR, Grandview Heights: The numbers alone make Lachey’s name jump off the Bobcats’ roster. So far this year, the senior has caught 56 passes for 532 yards and seven touchdowns. Lachey has committed to Iowa as a tight end, which fits his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame. Before committing to Iowa, he had offers from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc. Needless to say, the Bearcats will have to keep him quiet and put pressure on the passer to phase him out of the ballgame.
Charlie James, QB, Grandview Heights: As mentioned, the Bobcats’ starting quarterback for much of the regular season won’t play Friday. So James is who will be under center. James has completed 32-of-51 pass attempts for 408 yards and four touchdowns this fall. However, he’s also thrown three interceptions. He’ll call audibles behind a more-than-capable offensive line that includes All-Ohioan Joey Bertani.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
One team will face a lengthy offseason and the other will face the winner of Adena (8-2) and Mechanicsburg (8-2) in Week 12.
You can listen to the game live at SVCSportsZone.com or you can follow live Twitter updates at @CoconutWallpapa on Friday night. Then, after the game, be sure to visit sohiosa.com for details, photos and video from the contest.