Week 1 Recap
Edler, Stauffer, Snyder, McCloskey, Stanforth & Tesi all shine in wins
Back-to-back nights of football leave us plenty to think about in SVC
Shayne Combs, admin1@svcsportszone.com
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After a long wait filled with questions and guesses, we finally had the opportunity this week to make some sense of
it with our eyes. My football weekend got started Thursday night with a trip to Cincinnati to watch the Paint Valley
Bearcats take on an athletic Hughes team. It continued the next night with a trip to Berne Union to watch Huntington.

I watched the SVC go 2-0 as the entire conference posted a 4-4 record. The fun thing about Week 1 is we finally
get to answer some of those preseason questions, but ironically, it can sometimes leave us choosing from two
choices:

(1) Is Week 1 telling the truth?
(2) Is Week 1 just messing with our minds to confuse us more than when we started the process?

Paint Valley was the better football team Thursday night, but the Bearcats were in serious trouble early in the
second half. Hughes had cut the PV lead to 7-6 while dominating the time of possession in the third quarter. All the
headlines in the preseason of replacing last year’s senior class and playing young kids didn’t’ matter at that point,
and it was at that point when Paint Valley’s “program” showed up. With several of the PV starters dealing with
fatigue, cramping, and other injuries, Tygr Tesi stepped to the front.

Who?

That is the question many people in the SVC have been asking me this weekend. People at PV are certainly aware
of Tesi and his important role on the team, but many people throughout the area are just now getting to know him.
This is a perfect example of what I was talking about on
The Chillicothe Gazette Roundtable Wednesday night. I
know it is easy to think back to Anthony and Teagan McFadden. I know it is easy to talk about the incoming
freshmen (and they are good – QB Bryce Newland threw a first half TD to classmate Cruz McFadden), but it is still
going to be about the upperclassmen in terms of how far PV can go in 2016. Drake Stanforth, who was a constant
in the Hughes backfield on defense and scored the eventual winning TD on offense, is an elite athlete. Austin
Blevins, who put the game on ice with a punt return for a TD, is a dynamic athlete, and he can impact the game in
all three phases. There is also Jacob Ott, another senior who offers great line play and an improved kicking game.

The list goes far longer than that as so many PV juniors and seniors have been waiting their turn. Tesi is a great
example of this concept. He has been in the program from start to finish. He was never – and still won’t be – a
featured back that was going to get his number called 25 times per night, but he is a great teammate and is always
ready to go. Tesi had his number called only three or four times Thursday night, but it was his spark on two fourth-
quarter carries that setup Stanforth’s TD and lifted his team when the Cats needed it the most.

Twenty-four hours later, I was watching a program on the opposite end of tradition. Huntington had not won a
season-opener in over a decade, and the program has rarely flirted with the five-hundred mark in what seems like
forever. All of this negative past combined with a bad start immediately had this Huntington team facing adversity,
but what was different than before was how Gavin Snyder, Elijah McCloskey, and this group of Huntsmen handled
the situation.

Even in a tough first half, McCloskey was able to hit senior Jesse Lewis and Snyder for TDs, and Jordan Sharp was
able to run for a score. This improved talent allowed Huntington to weather-the-storm and go to the half down just
21-19. Even at that point, I found myself thinking that the second half would tell us a lot about Huntington’s growth
as a team.

In the second half we saw that growth. McCloskey, who we always knew could throw it, started making plays with his
feet, and he recorded an INT on defense. Snyder, who we knew from last year as one of the league’s top
defenders, proved to be just as valuable on the offensive side of the ball. Snyder finished with 151 yards on 21
carries (to go with the first half receiving TD) as he ran behind a good offensive line to take the game over in the
fourth quarter.

I am not saying Berne Union is a great football team, but for me it was more about how Huntington responded to the
circumstances.

While watching the Huntington game, I was also trying to make sense of the entire Twitter bonanza that was
describing the action from around the league.

I was totally surprised and am still trying to sort out what happened over in Greenfield.

I was not surprised to see Clay Edler (involved in over 300 yards of offense and four total TDs) and the Unioto
Shermans get things going on offense and put up huge numbers.  

Entering the night, I thought the ZT/LE game would be a coin flip – then a few hours later thought well maybe ZT is
going to win by two or three scores – then they lost?

A young Piketon squad had a tough draw against a good Waverly team, so I expected I would need to wait well past
Week 1 to evaluate exactly where the Redstreaks are at in terms of the SVC in 2016.

Speaking of losing, I know WF did, but that performance was impressive.  I think it forces all of us to step back and
perhaps take a little closer look at Matt Jude, Tyler Armentrout, and the overall WF roster.  I saw on Twitter
Thursday night, senior Corey Wyman (one of our league’s top basketball stars) was preparing to play his first
football game since eighth grade. Wyman, who caught a touchdown, shows the importance of programs just getting
great character kids and great athletes out for football if you want to be successful.

One team that did not lose was Southeastern. I am more than happy to be wrong on this game, and I hope it is a
sign of things to come for the Panthers. Carson Stauffer had a monster night (over 200 total yards and three total
TDs). Dakota Houser, Lane Ruby, Michael Detty, and Greg Rager were all involved in the scoring as well. With
some nice experience back on the offensive line, I knew SE would be better, but I had no idea they were ready to
go on the road and dominate a game in Week 1. I was very impressed with this performance.

I am trying to figure out the true and false from Week 1, so I can start making sense of Week 2. It is so fun to have
opinions in the preseason, watch the first week, see some things to be true, and have some things leaving you
completely confused. Coaches always talk about the key improvement needed between the first two weeks. Maybe
this mean that this time next week, I will know a little more of the truth.