What to Expect: Alder vs. Tri-Valley

Andrew Evans, Staff Writer

“Jonathan Alder against the world,” is the mindset that head coach Nathan Snedeker and the rest of the Pioneer football team takes as they prepare to face Dresden Tri-Valley in the OHSAA playoffs tonight. The Pioneers come into this game with a 6-4 overall record and a loss in their most recent game against Shawnee. The Scotties from Tri-Valley, who will host the Pioneers, come into Friday’s matchup with an 8-2 overall record. 

Jonathan Alder is led by junior Cameron Jewell on offense, who tallied 1,364 yards and 18 touchdowns behind a strong offensive line led by CBC first-team junior offensive lineman Andrew Heisler and second-team senior offensive lineman Aidan Burke. Defensively, the Pioneers are led by seniors Caleb Miller and Simon Fenik lead the defense with 113 tackles and 3 interceptions respectively, while other all-CBC contributors like junior defensive lineman Ty Moore and senior defensive back Hank Shoemaker. 

The Pioneers have struggled since a 4-1, playing with a 2-2 record since that point. Coach Snedeker believes that the Pioneers “Will have to play disciplined defense and establish the run,” to pull off the victory on Friday night as Tri-Valley will present a big challenge for the Pioneers.  

Tri-Valley, led by head coach Cameron West, is the 4th seed in Region 11, Division 3 bracket, as they have had a great season thus far. The Scotties will come into this matchup with an 8-2 record and a second-place finish in the Muskingum Valley League. The Scotties have averaged 25 points per game on offense, while allowing only 13 points per game on defense. 

Unlike the Pioneers, the Scotties will look to air the ball out with their sophomore quarterback in Max Lyall, who threw for 436 yards and 4 touchdowns in their last game against John Glenn. Snedeker says that the Scotties have  “serious weapons on both sides of the ball and are very good with what they do.”

Friday night’s matchup is poised to be a dogfight, as both teams look to survive and advance to the next round. “Business as usual,” is the phrase that Snedeker used to describe how the Pioneers plan to treat this game and effectively extend their season. The game will be at Dresden Tri-Valley with a 7 p.m. kickoff.