Shots in the Darke


Hopefully everyone survived Thanksgiving with their digestive systems still intact and are looking forward to the nextfive weeks of holiday happenings. Many things both locally and nationally to discuss so let’s get down to it by dissecting the disastrous outcomes of the games of the Three B’s, the Buckeyes, the Bengals, and the Browns.

THE GAME was everything that knowledgeable people expected, a close contest decided
by control of the line of scrimmage, a few turnovers, and a few key plays (not to mention a
debatable officiating call or two). THE fans everywhere will be burning up social media for
weeks if not months to come with opinions, some justified, some not. Coach Ryan Day and
quarterback Kyle McCord will bear the brunt of the discontent (although I’m not sure that
defensive coordinator Jim Knowles shouldn’t be mentioned).

Day now has a four-year record of 56-7, 55-4 against teams not wearing Maize and Blue.
The three losses to the Wolverines however are the standard by which Buckeye coaches are
measured and Day is starting to enter John Cooper territory. Will Texas A&M come calling with a lucrative deal?

Meanwhile, the Bengals were unable to generate enough offensive punch in a defensive
struggle with the Steelers, falling by a 16-10 count. With Jake Browning making hisfirst NFL start in place of the injured Joe Burrow, the Stripes may have been dealt a serious blow to any playoff hopes, especially with a murderous schedule remaining.

The Browns were manhandled by the suddenly resurgent Broncos 29-12. With backup
quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson injured in the second half and receiver Amari Cooper going to the locker room in the fourth quarter, the offensive attack became nonexistent and the defense wore down as the club fell to 7-4, still in the hunt but hurting personnel-wise.

How about those Versailles Tigers, making it back to the D-VI state football championship
game! They’ll play in Canton Friday morning at 10:30, seeking their seventh state title. Their foe? Kirtland, who the Tigers defeated two years ago in the D-V championship tilt by a 20-16 score, ending a Hornet 55-game winning streak, at that time the nation’s longest active winning streak. Kirtland comes into the contest this time at 15-0 while the Tigers are 14-1. Should be  aflood of Darke County fans making the trip to Northeast Ohio!

Marion Local will seek to extend their state record championship mark, looking to take
home their 14th trophy in a D-VII matchup with Dalton Saturday morning at 10:30. The Flyers have another powerhouse this year and are favorites to return to Mercer County triumphantly.

While we’re talking football, here is today’s trivia question—John Riddell was a high school
athletic director in Evanston, Illinois when he founded a sports equipment company in 1929, later inventing the plastic football helmet in 1939, receiving a patent in 1942. His helmet became synonymous with football headgear and made him a household name in the sports world. However what invention made him a multi-millionaire? Answer to follow!

A few quick hitters –

Greenville’s Lady Wave opened the season with an impressive second half effort in downing
the Lady Eagles of Eaton 72-42. Rachel Kern’s young team travels to Indian Lake Monday
night followed by a home contest with a strong Sidney ballclub Wednesday.

Girls teams around the area continue to swing into action this week and boys squads open
play Friday. MVL teams start right into conference play with Greenville traveling to Tipp, Troy visiting Sidney, and Piqua hosting Xenia. WOAC games feature Eaton at National Trail Friday night with Saturday contests featuring Arcanum at Greenville, Twin Valley South at Cedarville, and Preble Shawnee at Kings. Ansonia and Tri-Village don’t start roundball action until the following week after making deep runs in the football playoffs along with several other area schools.

How does Alabama always win when you think they’ve lost? The Tide pulled out a miracle
victory over Auburn in the Iron Bowl in the last minute, actually making Nick Saban smile for about 15 seconds.
The coaching carousel started spinning this weekend as Indiana fired seven-year head coach Tom Allen with Michigan State (the other Big Ten school up north) signing Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith. There will be many others as the annual bloodletting takes place in the next week or so—the saying “hired to be fired” always holds true! Did I mention Texas A&M earlier?

Hey, hockey fans! Looking for a great time within an hour? Drive down to Oxford and watch
the Miami RedHawks take to the ice in big time Division One collegiate hockey against some of the nation’s best teams—Cady Arena is a beautiful 4,000 seat venue in which to feel the rattling of the boards and hear the thuds of the pucks!

Finally, Riddell’s football helmets caught the eyes of Major General George Patton who was
looking for headgear for his tank crews. The resulting M1 helmet became the standard for the US Army in WWII, with over 22 MILLION produced! The three pound multipurpose helmets were used by the military until 1985, with an estimated 70,000 people being saved from death or injury! Have a great week, stay active and healthy!