Football and Finales

Shots in the Darke

Are you ready for some football, NFL style? The pros (with apologies to the college players  receiving NIL money) kick things off Thursday night with a great matchup between the  defending Super Bowl champion Rams and the highly regarded Bills. Meanwhile, on Sunday  the Bengals host the Roethlisberger-less Steelers as they open defense of last year’s AFC  crown and the Browns travel to Carolina and a meeting with former QB Baker Mayfield. Think  the Panthers’ new signal-caller is pumped to meet the team that threw him out with the trash? 

The first full weekend of college football is over with some outstanding games and wild  fourth quarter action to whet fans’ appetites for the rest of the fall. THE struggled offensively  against Notre Dame but came through when it counted in the final period with a grinding drive  for the clinching touchdown. New defensive coordinator Jim Knowles justified his salary as his  group basically shut down the Irish offense for most of the night, giving Buckeye fans reason to  hope for a stout defense throughout the year. 

Alabama rolled on while defending national champion Georgia humbled a good Oregon  team by 46 points. Miami (the other one in Florida!) upset Utah with a last minute interception  in the end zone while the original Miami (established in 1809, well before Florida even became  a state!) fell in the second half to a strong Kentucky Wildcat squad.  

What in the world was going on in North Carolina? The Tar Heels barely hung on to defeat  host Appalachian State 63-61 in Boone, a game which saw the two teams combine for 62  points in the FOURTH QUARTER! Over in Greenville, East Carolina’s all-conference kicker  somehow managed to miss an extra point kick and a short field goal in the last few minutes as  the Pirates fell to the highly ranked Wolfpack of North Carolina State. Lots of shattered nerves  and angst among fans of those four schools today! 

I see the college football playoffs will most likely expand to twelve teams from the current  four within the next few years. After waiting for their own squabbling conference  commissioners to expand the playoffs, the college presidents and chancellors on the national  committee took matters in their own hands and in an hour decided what the other group  couldn’t agree on over the past few seasons. 

As currently proposed the six highest rated conference champions and six at-large  selections with compose the field with the four highest ranked teams receiving first-round  byes. There are quite a few logistical hurdles to handle but the possibility exists that 2026, if  not earlier, will see the implementation of the post-season tournament! 

The Treaty City Cross Country Invitational was held Saturday in the City Park with the  Versailles girls placing second and the Lady Wave tenth in girls’ varsity action. The Lady  Tigers’ Meredith Barga and Keira Rahm finished third and fourth respectively while Tessa Fine  of GHS placed eighth out of 223 runners. In the varsity boys’ race Versailles was third with  Greenville seventh. Trey Rammel led the Wave finishing a strong twelfth while Dylan Riffel and  Landry Knore paced a tight pack of Versailles harriers in the 255 runner field. Counting the  junior high events almost 800 runners participated in the annual gathering!

 What a tremendous comeback Friday night by the Wave in a double overtime loss to Sidney  by a 49-48 count! Down 35-14 with only eight minutes left in regulation Bart Schmitz’s squad  caught fire, tying the game only to come up inches short on a two-point conversion attempt  that would have won the game. The Wave should break into the win column this week as they  travel to Fairborn to take on the winless Skyhawks. 

Around the county, Ansonia and Versailles remain undefeated at 3-0 while Tri-Village  bounced back from the previous week’s loss with a big win over Twin Valley South to go to 2-1.  Arcanum garnered its first win of the season, heading into this week’s contest at Ansonia.  Another key game sees Tri-Village on the road at Mississinawa Valley in WOAC play. 

Finally, Serena Williams bowed out of the US Open Tennis Championship with a third round  loss to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic (try spelling her name without looking it up!). The GOAT  enjoyed the almost embarrassing support of the crowd and constant media coverage in what  most likely was her final appearance at a major tourney. She leaves behind an amazing record  as well as impact on women’s tennis like no other individual. And to think that Greenville native  Ric Macci was her and her sister Venus’ first coach!! 

A last shoutout to JR Price and the Greenville City Park Band as they finished their concert  season at the Marling Bandshell. A tradition that has brought enjoyment to countless citizens  over the years, the band once again presented excellent programs. Well played!! 


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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