PDT Sports Writer
Fans should not be alarmed with the situation of Friday night’s Valley-Chesapeake contest.
Although the game will be played in Lucasville, the Indians (3-0) will be dressed in their road outfits and will be considered the visiting team when they hook up with the Panthers (1-2). Chesapeake’s stadium has been rendered unavailable all season as on-site construction continues to improve the site.
Valley coach Darren Crabtree understands this is a unique situation and feels his team has adjusted mentally to what they will encounter.
“The biggest thing is to realize it doesn’t really make a difference because for us it’s an advantage because we get to play a home game which should’ve been away,” Crabtree said. “The biggest thing of our concern is that we have to continue to improve, there’s still areas where we’ve got a long way to go.”
After last week’s 34-18 win over Coal Grove, the Indians’ regular season winning streak stands at 13. Valley picked up another big game out of Nate Arnett, who last week intercepted two Hornet passes and returned one for a touchdown.
“We came up with three interceptions in the second quarter,” Crabtree said. “It allowed us to continue to run the football effectively.”
Crabtree is starting to see his team play well against improved competition.
“It was a good win because I thought Coal Grove played Wheelersburg extremely well in Week 2,” Crabtree said. “I thought our kids responded and played their best game last week.”
But one thing the Indians cannot overlook is a Panthers ball club that is coming off a 29-21 win over Symmes Valley. Although the game was played in Willow Wood, Chesapeake was considered to be the home team.
“They’ve been on the road for three weeks now so playing a fourth road game to them is starting to feel probably a little bit more natural,” Crabtree said. “The confidence they gained last week with a good come-from-behind win over Symmes Valley.”
In the win, the Panthers gained 349 of their 371 yards on the ground with Jacob Collins’ 120 yards on 12 carries as the team leader. Forcing turnovers will be a difference if Crabtree’s team wants to maintain possession as they enter the contest plus-four in the turnover margin.
“We have to be ready to play, no matter if it’s our home game or Chesapeake’s home game,” Crabtree said.
Recent history is on the side of Valley. After last year’s 30-22 win, the Indians have four straight and six out of the last seven meetings between the two schools.
Fans will be directed to go their seats as if Valley was the home team, wearing the home purple uniforms and Chesapeake was the visiting team, wearing the road whites.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org.