Orrville Red Riders

Red Riders rope the Mustangs during PAC-7 playoff rematch

The Orrville Red Riders hosted the Tuslaw Mustangs, who made the short bus ride west to Heartland Field at Red Rider Stadium for a Div. V Region 17 quarterfinal football playoff pairing between two familiar Principal Athletic Conference foes on Saturday, Nov. 3. The Red Riders were led by another sensational effort from their high-octane offense paired with a stifling defensive effort to earn the 47-20 victory.

Orrville (9-2), the 2018 PAC-7 regular-season champion, handed Tuslaw a 35-0 loss during the regular season in week five, and the Mustangs (6-5) were hoping to turn the tables in this rematch, but Marquael Parks found the end zone four times in the first quarter, and Logan Domer threw three scores for the game, making Orrville’s offense too much to handle. Everything went right for the Red Riders in the opening quarter, and everything went wrong for Tuslaw.

The Red Riders wasted little time to light up the score board when Domer found Parks on the second play from scrimmage for a 26-yard touchdown pass (Cain Duskey extra-point kick was good) to give the Riders the early 7-0 lead.

On Tuslaw’s opening possession of the game, the Mustangs were forced to punt after Dustin Pumphrey sacked junior quarterback Austin Cordeiro on third and long, which set up Orrville’s Jacob Bailey crashing the Mustang backfield, where he blocked the punt.

Orrville’s offense was back in business with a short field, and Domer zipped a pass out to senior Nathen Dombroski on the next play from scrimmage. Dombroski made a defender miss after getting a nice block from fellow receiver Jason Suppan to earn the 8-yard TD (Duskey XP was good). In the blink of an eye, Orrville’s offense had the ball for three plays and scored, twice giving them a 14-0 lead with 9:12 left in the opening quarter.

Orrville’s defense forced Tuslaw into another quick series on the following possession. The Mustangs didn’t help themselves after getting hit with a personal foul and were forced to punt. Domer went back to work and connected with senior Donoven Hall for 29 yards, setting up Parks second score of the quarter when he took a pitch from Domer, ran untouched around the right end behind an unselfish block by Hall and into the end zone (Duskey XP was good), extending the Rider lead to 21-0 with 5:42 left in the first quarter.

Orrville’s defensive dogs, Burl Pumphrey, Dustin Pumphrey, Logan Hogie, Ben Amstutz and Ben Summers, continued to snuff Tuslaw junior tailback Brier Marthey, and the Mustangs found themselves trotting Noah Arkwright back onto the field for another punt attempt. Parks received the ball after it bounced to the Riders’ 14-yard line and then carried it 86 yards for his second punt return TD this season and his third score of the quarter (Duskey XP was no good).

Orrville’s shock-and-awe scoring binge had Tuslaw on the ropes. At this point in the game, the Red Rider offense had only conducted seven plays from scrimmage but held a commanding 27-0 lead with 3:47 still remaining in the first quarter. The Rider defense dug in for another defensive series when Parks jumped an out route passing attempt from Cordeiro to Kyle Ryder and hit the jets for a 66-yard pick-six that gave him his fourth different score for the quarter (catch, run, punt return and interception return). The route was on, and Orrville led at the end of the first quarter 34-0.

Hall snagged his own interception for the Red Rider defense early in the second quarter. Domer and senior wide-out Jason Suppan finished the next scoring drive on back-to-back passing plays that pushed the Rider lead to 41-0 and gave Domer his third passing TD of the night with 6:00 left in the half.

Two minutes later it looked like Orrville’s defensive pressure stopped the Mustangs dead in their tracks. However. Tuslaw pulled off a 55-yard pass completion on a fake punt from Thane Saunders to Anthony Fraelich, and it looked like the Mustang offense would finally get the ball with some breathing room and a chance to ride some momentum possibly leading into some points. The enthusiasm lasted until the next play when Orrville sophomore linebacker Jake Phillips stretched out and cuffed a ridiculous left-handed circus catch for an interception to end the Mustang drive. Halftime mercifully appeared, and Orrville led 41-0.

The second half wasn’t any easier for the visiting Mustangs, who opened with the ball first, but Suppan broke up a potentially big passing play to end the drive. Tuslaw continued to have some chances early in the second half against Orrville’s starting defensive unit, but the Mustangs just couldn’t capitalize to give themselves any sort of positive momentum to build off of.

Parks extended the hosts lead to 47-0 after he scored his fifth and final TD of the game with 7:54 remaining in the third quarter when he unleashed one of his signature spin moves and broke free 71 yards for the score (Duskey XP was not good). Not only was it Parks’ eighth carry of the night for 154 yards, but the TD added to his school and Wayne County’s all-time records for most touchdowns (40) and points scored in a single season (240).

Much of the headlines this season have focused on the fireworks launched by Orrville’s offense, but the Red Rider defense has been flat out nasty the last three games with the starting unit blanking opposing offenses for 11 straight quarters. On this night the Rider defense was out to prove their regular-season shutout of the Mustangs wasn’t a fluke.

The Mustangs finally got on the scoreboard just before the third quarter ended when Cordeiro and Fraelich connected on a 26-yard TD scoring strike (Kaden Lau extra-point kick was good) to make it a 47-7 Orrville lead. Cordeiro and Fraelich continued to put another quick scoring drive together on their next series, which was capped off successfully when Marthey scampered through the line 22 yards for his only score and longest run of the game.

Tuslaw’s Cordeiro and Fraelich connected once again for their second passing TD of the night when Cordeiro floated a perfect 5 yard pass to the corner of the end zone with 4:20 left in the game, but it was too little too late for the blue and white. Orrville earned the 47-20 playoff victory, and Tuslaw’s successful season came to an end.

Coaches Corner

Coach Doug Davault knew his squad needed to be ready and not content with the result of the regular-season game between the two schools. “I was concerned coming into tonight. Tuslaw has been on a roll, and they were running the ball on anybody. They’ve been handling the line of scrimmage the last four games, so it wasn’t going to be the same team we played five weeks ago.”

The Riders were certainly ready on both sides of the ball. “For us to score 34 points in the first quarter, and doing it every possible way from passing, running, punt return and an interception, it makes our team really difficult to deal with. We stunned a good team and took them completely out of their game plan. We were able to get them off the field, and we were able to score quickly, which allowed us to keep all of the momentum.”

Davault summed up the night. “Defensively we played well. Tuslaw eventually scored, but it was the third shutout in a row for our ones. Our kids were disciplined, and they executed offensively and defensively tonight. I like where we are at overall, but there is still room for improvement. We can get better on both sides of the ball and execute better. There were a couple of penalties that need to be cleaned up, but we are trending in the right direction.”

The numbers for Orrville

Parks finished the game with 160 rushing yards on eight attempts with two rushing TDs to go along with two receptions for 61 yards and one TD. His punt return and interception return for touchdowns rounded out his five-TD night.

Domer commanded the offense from under center in another turnover-free performance. He finished completing eight of 11 passing attempts for 122 yards and three TDs. For the season Domer has 91 completions for 1,538 yards with only three interceptions thrown.

Orrville’s defense forced three turnovers, holding Tuslaw’s offense to 219 total yards on 49 plays for the game with just 99 yards allowed in the first half. For the season the Orrville D has secured 29 turnovers and 26 sacks.

The numbers for Tuslaw

For Tuslaw, Austin Cordeiro completed eight of 17 passing attempts for 77 yards and two TDs. Anthony Fraelich led the Mustangs with five receptions for 105 yards and two TDs to finish a fine career at THS. Brier Marthey finished with 22 rushing attempts for 88 yards and one TD on the ground. Tuslaw will miss Fraelich’s production next season, but with Cordeiro and Marthey both returning for their senior campaigns, the future looks bright in Mustang Country after tasting this season’s success and working together to get better.

The Red Rider and Wayne County record books are being rewritten

Parks finished the regular season last week as Orrville’s all-time leader with 35 total TDs in a single season and 210 total points scored, breaking Dru Robinson’s single-season school records of 31 total TDs (thru 13 games in ’98) and 198 single-season points (thru 13 games in ’98).

Parks added to those gaudy totals against Tuslaw and now has scored 40 total TDs, replacing Norwayne legend Jon Zimmerly (37 TDs in ’12) as Wayne County’s all-time single-season leader. Parks’ total points scored this season now stands at 240, also a new Wayne County record.

The records keep piling up as Parks has now moved into the top spot on Orrville’s all-time list for single-season all-purpose yards with 2,956, passing Robinson’s former record of 2,827 yards (thru 13 games in ’98).

Parks still sits in second place on Orrville’s all-time list for rushing yards in a season after passing Mark Griggs (1,605 yards set in ’77) during the ninth week of the regular season. Parks now has 1,959 rushing yards this season on 151 carries for 13.0 yards per carry. Robinson is still hanging on to Orrville’s top spot for rushing yards in a single season with 2,096 (thru 13 games in ’98).

Davault is amazed at the numbers Parks has produced this season. “Marquael is still not getting that many touches. For a kid to put up the kind of numbers he has this season when he is only averaging 17 touches per game, it’s pretty remarkable.”

Next week

Orrville will travel to play the regional semifinal at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium, 10270 Ravenna Road, Twinsburg, on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. against four-seed Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (11-0), who defeated fifth-ranked Columbiana Crestview (6-4) 43-21 in their regional quarterfinal match-up.

Davault knows his team will need to be ready once again from the opening kick against the undefeated Lancers. “They have a stud tailback with some other nice players. They are undefeated and pretty good. It looks like they run a pro-style offense and will throw the ball around a bit, but ultimately they want to get the ball in the hands of their tailback.”

This is Orrville’s first playoff victory since 2011 and 23rd playoff appearance overall, which ranks first in Wayne County history and 12th all-time in Ohio since the OHSAA adopted the playoffs in 1972.

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