XENIA — One win from history.
Xenia travels to Sidney to close out the regular season Friday with a chance to go unbeaten in the Miami Valley League. A chance to go unbeaten in the regular season. A chance to be 10-0.
Xenia’s athletic records list a 10-win football season in 1902, but there is a small amount of questions regarding the validity, according to some Xenia HS officials, with the thoughts being that season having several more games played than others during the time period. Ultimately, the record book stands as the mark. In no other season since 1899 has a Buccaneers team reached double-digit wins.
Four times the Buccaneers finished 9-1 (1964, ‘68, ‘69, ‘19), but none of those teams had the opportunity to go 10-0 at the end.
There is one meaning to it all which Xenia head coach Maurice Harden wanted his team to focus on this week.
“It means that you get another opportunity to get ready for next week,” he said after the team’s win against West Carrollton. “Don’t mistake that we’re not proud of what we’ve done, because we are very proud of what we’ve done. But we also know the job’s not done.”
The local excitement around the Buccaneers’ undefeated record is growing each week, but there’s another game to be played to reach the milestone.
Sidney is heading to the postseason and has been competitive in almost every game despite the team’s 4-5 record. Several Yellow Jacket players rank near the top of individual stats on both sides of the ball.
Tucker Herron is the only player ahead of Xenia’s Gavin McManus in the MVL for passing yardage. Sam Reynolds is nipping at the back of Tremell Wright’s receiving yards lead and both are the only two players averaging more than 100 yards per game in the MVL.
The Xenia offense will likely get used to seeing Myles Vordemark in the middle of many plays. The Sidney senior has made 140 total tackles, already a record since the league’s reformation in 2019 with one game remaining, and 11 of them have gone for a loss.
Sidney also doesn’t let the opposition relax on special teams having returned four kickoffs to the endzone this season.
“We still got to go play a very good Sidney team, a Sidney team that beat us last year on our field and stuck a flag in our logo,” Harden said. “We took that personal and we still got some work to do.”
Xenia has come away from nine challenges with nine wins. Now they have a chance at No. 10.
Bellbrook at Valley View
The final two undefeated teams in SWBL play face-off.
Valley View will likely finish the year with the only 1,000-yard passing-rushing duo in the league between Caden Henson at quarterback and Jacob Clark running the ball.
The Spartans also have a defense matching the Golden Eagles production. The Bellbrook run game will be tested against a defensive unit which has 89.5 tackles for loss, more than double any other SWBL team, and have allowed the fewest points per game as well. Both sides have seen the opposition score more than 20 points on them just once all year.
Bellbrook likely needs a win not only to clinch an overall league title, but to have a chance at potentially earning two home games in the postseason.
Greeneview at Greenon
Greeneview and Greenon have combined to win the last five OHC South Division titles and they once again meet with this year’s on the line. The two teams will tie at 4-1 if Greenon wins.
The 2022 stakes are a bit unexpected, as Greenon has won three straight to move into second place after a 1-5 start. A week ago with the help of sacks they held the opposition to negative rushing yardage. Greeneview meanwhile has averaged 312 yards on the ground during its six-game winning streak.
The Rams also can finish in the Region 20 rankings as high as sixth with a win and as a low as seventh win or lose.
Madison Plains at Cedarville
Jackson Pyles trails the OHC leader in passing yardage by 70 heading into the final week.
Madison Plains has struggled to score points, but has ably moved the ball through the air in averaging 14.3 reception yards on 10 completions per game.
Cedarville is still mathematically able to move into position to earn a home game in the postseason.
Beavercreek at Fairmont
Beavercreek is still alive for a postseason berth, but needs a lot of help. Specifically, the Beavers require the following to happen across the greater area:
Defeat Fairmont, while Franklin beats Brookville and Ponitz CTC beats Meadowdale. On top of that, Springboro must beat Miamisburg, Olentangy Orange must lose to Olentangy Liberty, Dublin Jerome must beat Hilliard Darby, Marysville must beat Olentangy, and Lancaster must beat Newark. Finally, two of the following three must occur: Fairborn beats West Carrollton, Edgewood beats Harrison, and Springfield beats Northmont.
To quote Lloyd Christmas: So you’re saying there’s a chance?
Fenwick at Carroll
Fenwick has allowed three scoring plays against its defense just twice this season. All of its losses have been by 10 or fewer, and two came versus some of the best squads in the region against Edgewood and Badin.
Carroll must win to have a chance at the postseason.
West Carrollton at Fairborn
Caelan Bush has 576 yards receiving this season, which puts him in the top-five individual totals in the last 15 years for Fairborn. He needs 159 more to move to the top of the list.
Fairborn’s offense has continued to improve as the season reaches its end and is looking to eclipse 20 points in four straight games for the second time in the last five seasons.
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