PDT Sports Writer
After three weeks of getting on a bus to play a football game, Valley will play its first home game of the season Friday night as Chesapeake makes the drive to Lucasville for a third-straight season.
And while the Indians started the season with a 3-0 mark, Valley coach Darren Crabtree understands this 0-3 Panther squad is better than what their record indicates.
“It’s a game that concerns you because they’ve lost to Oak Hill (which) is undefeated, they’ve lost to Wayne (WV) (which) is a very good football team,” Crabtree said. “The biggest thing is… coming out here and playing to our potential.”
The Indians showcased what their potential could be in last week’s 56-21 win at Coal Grove. On its way to its 23rd-straight regular season victory, Valley scored the game’s first 42 points.
Highlighting the offensive production was senior running back Nate Arnett, who ran for 177 yards on 12 carries and scored four times. Crabtree admitted a few of the runs Arnett made were pretty special.
The strong rushing attack by the Indians took the pressure off sophomore quarterback Bryan Rolfe, who was 3-of-4 passing for 100 yards with one passing touchdown and an interception. Crabtree was pleased with his offense overall as they made sure a team that was in desperation mode could not muster enough momentum to threaten.
“It was impressive because we got them down and we didn’t make mistakes,” Crabtree said. “…We took it to them and we took care of business.”
This week’s theme in practice for Valley was centered more around fundamentals and less around schemes.
Turning attention to this week’s opponent, the key will be to slow down a Chesapeake offense that’s led by senior running back Chad Meadows. Despite falling 21-14 last week at Symmes Valley, Meadows accounted for a season-high 81 yards on 19 carries and accounted for both of his team’s scores.
He enters the game with 209 yards on the ground on 55 attempts and three trips to pay dirt. Crabtree feels Meadows, who also plays linebacker, can play for anyone in the area.
“A very hard-nosed player that in their three losses, has been the bright spot for them,” Crabtree said.
The Indians, who check into the first Associated Press poll of the season as one of the teams receiving consideration for the Top 10 spots in Division VI, will be as healthy as they have been throughout the early part of the campaign.
A Valley win would be the eighth in nine years over the Panthers. The Indians claimed last season’s encounter 46-13 on a night where the two teams played in Lucasville but Chesapeake was deemed the home team because of season-long renovations being made to the stadium forced the Panthers to play all of its games, home or away, on the road.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.