Tri-Village coach Robert Burk's young daughter runs to great her father following the Patriots' upset football playoff win over New Bremen. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

 ACTION, MACTION, AND REACTION 

 SHOTS IN THE DARKE 

How about a Monday Medley of topics to start your week? Way too many items of interest in the sports world to spend a lot of time on any one area so let’s get rolling! 

The college football playoff picture remains as jumbled as ever after this past weekend’s games. Georgia seems firmly entrenched at number one while Alabama and Oregon were winners in close contests with LSU and Washington. Michigan State quickly departed the scene with a road loss to the Purdue Spoilermakers (an NCAA best 16 wins over Top Ten teams over the years) although the Spartans still control their own destiny as they have a chance to win the Big Ten East by beating THE later this month.

Speaking of the Buckeyes, a closer outcome than the odds makers predicted over Nebraska (remember when the ‘Huskers  were dominating college football?) makes this weekend’s game with the Boilermakers that  much more important.

UC’s Bearcats had their third consecutive narrow win over a team they  were heavily favored to beat—not sure if the ‘Cats will pass the “eye test” with the selection  committee and make the playoffs. Also, what do you do with the undefeated Oklahoma Sooners? The next 3 or 4 weeks are going to be very interesting! 

How about the Big Ten West standings? Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Purdue all have  4-2 records as we enter the homestretch as they bid for the right to play in the conference  championship against the winner of the East—a pressure packed game every week for each of  them! 

Tri-Village and Versailles advanced to Saturday’s regional semi-finals with wins a few days ago. The Patriots rallied from a 21-point deficit to overtake New Bremen while the Tigers cruised to victory over Carlisle. T-V faces another MAC foe in St. Henry in D-VII play at Lima Bath Stadium, while Versailles takes on Cincinnati Taft at Bellbrook in D-V action. Both games start at 7:00; let’s get out and support the boys!! 

The OHSAA computer rankings for the football playoffs were right on as 8 of the 28 regionals in the 7 divisions find the top 4 seeds matching up this weekend! 

Congratulations to the Versailles Tigers volleyball team for a great run through the tournament. The Lady Tigers came up short in the regional final, losing to a strong CHCA squad from the Cincinnati area. Nonetheless, for a team that entered tournament play with a losing regular season record it was quite an accomplishment! 

MACTION!! Each November the Mid-American Conference plays most of its games on weekday nights on the various ESPN channels. As a Miami alum I’ve always felt that the league sold its soul to the network in exchange for national exposure but have to admit that the games have been exciting to watch. How about games of 52-47, 42-30, 52-49, 35-33, 31-25, and 56-44 this past week! Evidently defense is a second thought but it does attract fans who like to watch high scoring contests! The Huskies of Northern Illinois lead the MAC West while the Kent State Golden Flashes pace the East, both with 4-1 marks. 

Atlanta’s Braves, with a losing record as of the All-Star break in July, came basically out of nowhere to win the World Series over the Astros. With only 88 regular season wins and an outfield of players who were acquired the second half of the campaign the Braves got hot at the right time and “Chopped” their way to the title, once again denying former Reds skipper Dusty Baker a World Series ring.

The Browns took it to the Bengals Sunday 41-16 and tightened up the competitive AFC North race. Baltimore holds a one-game lead over the Steelers, who have to deal with former Buckeye QB Justin Fields and Da’ Bears tonight, while the two Ohio teams both sit at 5-4. As Colonel Klink of “Hogan’s Heroes” fame would say about the rest of the season, “verrrry interesting”! 

Do you like the change back to Standard Time? After returning from Arizona and a three hour difference it was nice to only have to make up two of those hours starting yesterday!  

 Finally, how about Josh Allen, the linebacker for the Urban Meyer Jaguars, recovering a fumble, making an interception, and recording a sack, all at the expense of Josh Allen, the emerging superstar QB of the Bills? When people ask me what to make of the NFL this year I  refer back to Sergeant Schultz, again of “Hogan’s Heroes” fame—“I know nothing, nothing”!!  Have a good week!!

Dr. Alex Warner | Correspondent for Darke County Now

Dr. Alex Warner / Correspondent

Alex Warner is a retired Greenville chiropractor as well as a former educator and high school coach. He has over 30 years experience in broadcasting high school sports on both radio and public access television in addition to producing over 50 episodes of the local television series “Our Town”. A man of many interests, he is naturally curious with a “gift of gab”. He currently writes the weekly sports column “Shots in the Darke” and hosts “Talk of the Town” featuring people, places, and events that make Darke County the place we choose to reside.

Previous Lady Tigers fall short in Regional Finals

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