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Redskins football team turned the corner

November 8, 2011
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

"This shouldn't be a reflection of the year."

Indian Creek football coach Andrew Connor said that after Friday's 68-13 loss to Steubenville Big Red at Harding Stadium in the Ohio Division III, Region 11 quarterfinals.

He's right.

The Redskins made the playoffs for the first time since 1996 and deserved to be there, regardless of that final score.

Indian Creek finished 8-3 and those three losses were to teams that are 31-1.

No slouches there.

Big Red (11-0) and St. Clairsville (10-1) are in the second round of the playoffs and Linsly (10-0) just finished whipping Wheeling Central and would have won the state title in Class AA or A this year in West Virginia (I'll still take Martinsburg in Class AAA).

The Redskins put together two impressive drives - one for a 7-0 lead and the other to close to gap to 21-13.

Big Red just has more athletes.

In addition, it doesn't help when your best player - Michael Furda - goes down with a knee injury in the first quarter and spends the rest of the game on crutches.

I know the Redskins are losing some talented seniors.

Now, it's time for the other three returning classes to amp up the intensity and cohesiveness of the offseason conditioning programs and look to finish in the top four next year to host one of those playoff games.

Since Connor turned around the offseason workout programs the Redskins are 20-10 and have finished No. 9, No. 12 and No. 8 in the Region 11 standings.

The five years before that, the Redskins were No. 23, No. 16 three years in a row and No. 21.

Seems to me the players are buying in to the program and, although the numbers in the program took a initial hit after players realized they weren't just going to be given a jersey to wear on Friday nights and they were going to have to earn it through blood, sweat, tears and more sacrifice than they had previously seen, the numbers are back up.

No one hands you a playoff spot.

There are 192 up for grabs out of around 720 teams.

Here's to another playoff appearance by the Redskins in 2012.

Again, I am of the opinion that the first two playoff games in Ohio should be played on the field of the higher seed.


Teams play 10 weeks to host a playoff game and there should be more than one.

But, heaven forbid that the OHSAA actually give up a chance at the almighty dollar.

And, speaking of the almighty dollar, schools are allowed to keep 20 percent of the ticket sales at the school. That is $1.40 on the $7 ticket.

Is there a reason, other than a last-minute decision, to allow the OHSAA a chance to keep all $9 of the ticket sales at the gate?

Big Red is selling its tickets from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to noon Friday at the high school ticket booth for Friday's 7:30 p.m. game with Cardinal Mooney at Fawcett Stadium in Canton.

There were 96 playoff games Friday and Saturday and 27 of the lower seeds (5-8) won.

One No. 1 seed was bounced - West Liberty Salem in Division V, Region 20 - as were six No. 2 seeds.

Congratulations to Oak Glen for its outstanding 9-1 season. I understand you didn't get much help and the nine teams you beat were a combined 15-75, but you did what you were supposed to do.

Now, all that doesn't matter as the second season begins.

Accept the challenge of going on the road, get a win and prepare for Week 13.

Same goes for Madonna. No one is expecting you, the battered team, to go down to Williamstown and get a win. Prove them all wrong.

Kudos, also to the Weir High Red Riders for finishing a long football season on a positive note.

Next year starts now and it's all on the junior class to be leaders and, underclassmen, when one of those guys gets on you because you aren't working hard enough, keep your mouth shut and work harder.

You see, no one is going to hand you wins next year.

Just curious as to how many WVU fans would have had roasted Bill Stewart for dinner Saturday night if that loss at home to Louisville would have happened under his watch?

Is there a reason why Peyton Manning isn't the NFL MVP?

The Penn State football program needs to be scrubbed with borax and a toothbrush.

In an Associated Press story, Penn State coach Joe Paterno said he was shocked, saddened and as surprised as everyone else to learn longtime assistant Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period, including four years when Sandusky still was a member of the Nittany Lions staff.

"If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families. They are in our prayers," Paterno in a statement issued Sunday evening by his son, Scott. Paterno, a Hall of Famer and the winningest coach in Division I history, is not implicated in the case.

"Joe Paterno was a witness who cooperated and testified before the grand jury," said Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office. "He's not a suspect."

Not one person should be immune to investigation and prosecution of this utterly disgusting alleged sex scandal that has just come out.

This isn't an NCAA thing. This is a federal penitentiary thing.

Any person who even had somewhat of a thought that something wrong was happening and did nothing should also spend time behind bars.

My problem with JoePa is that once he passed the buck to Curley, is there a reason why he did not follow up on the situation?

After all, this wasn't money and tattoos.

Can we please do away with the 7:30 p.m. high school football game starts?

7 p.m. starts please.

Why can't NFL players just play the game?

Finally, everyone who reads this column knows I am a Tim Tebow fan, more for what he does off the field than on the field.

He is deficient in a lot of ways as an NFL quarterback, but he wins and did so Sunday against Oakland on the road.

Tebow threw for 124 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 112 more on 17 carries and led the Broncos to a 31-7 advantage in the second half and a 38-24 win.

Is Norv Turner fired yet?

Anybody want to win the AFC West?

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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