Blitzkrieg, “The Game”, and Basketball

Shots in the Darke

Blitzkrieg is German for “lightning war”, a tactic calculated to create psychological shock  and resultant disorganization in enemy forces through the employment of surprise, speed, and  superiority in materiel or firepower. Now you know what Ryan Day’s game plan was against Michigan State Saturday as THE blew out the Spartans by a 56-7 count, leading 49-0 at the half. The only things missing from the rout were the Messerschmitts and Panzers!! 

The win sets up the 117th annual renewal of “The Game” with The School Up North this  weekend, a rivalry which took a hiatus last year either as a result of the pandemic or Jim  Harbaugh’s paranoia of losing once again to THE! As a result of beating the Wolverines eight straight, the Buckeyes have narrowed the all-time record in the series to 58-52-6 in favor of the Maize and Blue.  

State’s offensive firepower continues to dominate opponents and has pushed THE into second place in the AP poll this week, trailing only the Bulldogs of Georgia. With a passing game and ground attack among the best in the nation, the Scarlet and Gray have been installed as 7.5 point favorites according to the oddsmakers. Kickoff is at noon in Ann Arbor; the partying will begin much earlier! 

Three schools from the MAC have reached the state semifinals in football this weekend.  The Tigers of Versailles hope to follow up on their regional final win over previously undefeated Preble Shawnee, facing Canal Winchester Harvest Prep in D-V action Saturday night. Harvest Prep is a private school near Columbus which has, rightfully or not, a somewhat tarnished image when it comes to high school athletic competition. All of Darke County will be rooting for the Tigers! 

Meanwhile Coldwater tries to defend last year’s state championship tangling with West  Jefferson in D-VI while Marion Local matches up with Hopewell-London in D-VII play. The MAC boasts of over 140 state titles in various sports over the years, the latest being Minster in  girls cross country this fall. Talk about a powerhouse small school league!! 

The Bengals and Browns both won this Sunday, the Stripes impressively over the Raiders while the Brownies eked out a win over the winless Lions. Both teams remain in the AFC North title chase, just behind the Ravens and just ahead of the Steelers. With the Bills staggering and the Titans suffering a huge upset at the hands of Houston, all of a sudden the two-time  defending AFC champion Chiefs are looking like the best team around but also beware of  those Indianapolis Colts who after a shaky start to the season are playing as well as anyone. 

Girls basketball has gotten underway in the county with play this past weekend. Bradford, Arcanum, and Mississinawa Valley all posted wins while Greenville, Franklin-Monroe, Versailles  (with most players coming off a long volleyball tournament run), and Tri-Village all lost, although  the Patriots had a narrow two-point loss to a strong Cincinnati Country Day team.  

The boys tipoff this Friday although Versailles will be delayed several weeks due to the success of the football team. GHS opens with three straight home games in a week, hosting Arcanum, Troy, and Fairborn. Nothing warms this writer’s winter evenings like high school roundball action!

Swimming, wrestling, and bowling also get started in the next week or two and we’ll try to keep current with those activities as they occur. It’s a great time for fans of local high school teams, especially this season after last year’s Covid restrictions on attendance.


Finally, how about a well-deserved round of applause for the committee members who put together a great Horse Parade in downtown Greenville over the weekend!! Until next time, stay healthy and active! 

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.

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