SIDNEY — Sidney offense’s gained over 80 more yards than New Richmond’s did in a nonconference game on Friday, but four turnovers and three turnovers on downs were too much to overcome in a 21-7 loss.
Sidney coach Adam Doenges said it was a simple lesson for the squad: capitalize on your own opportunities; don’t turn them into opportunities for your opponent.
“We had some opportunities; there’s no doubt about it,” Doenges said. “We’ll look back at this game film just like we did (after a two-point Week 2 loss) against Stebbins, and we’ll find four or five or six plays that cost us.
“We’ll have to learn from this. I think most of the rest of our games this year are going to be like this, very evenly played. We’ve got to figure out some way of coming out ahead on those six plays that are going to be the game difference. We’re not there right now.”
Sidney turned the ball over on downs three times in the second quarter in or near the red zone.
A Sidney fumble in the third quarter started a drive for New Richmond that led to a short TD run to give the squad a 14-7 lead. An interception in the fourth was returned 75 yards by New Richmond’s Isiah Bowman, which sealed the loss.
The extra opportunities created by the turnovers helped the Lions overcome struggles against Sidney’s defense.
New Richmond racked up 551 yards of offense in a 77-61 Week 2 win over Western Brown without committing a turnover. The Lions managed just 261 yards of offense against the Yellow Jackets, and quarterback Luke Lytle had passes intercepted by Sidney seniors Damon Dobbs and Cam Vordemark.
Sidney was particularly effective at containing New Richmond’s rushing attack. The Lions gained 284 yards on 46 carries against Western Brown but had 95 yards on 46 carries against Sidney.
Doenges credited the squad’s defensive line for helping contain New Richmond’s running attack.
“We rotate a lot of those guys on the D-line because a lot of them play on the offensive side of the ball as well,” Doenges said. “We tried to get some fresh legs in there throughout the night. We did deal with some cramping this week, which wasn’t an issue the last two weeks. It reared its ugly head today, but we fought through it.”
Half of area conferences races shaping up
Though all area teams are playing just conference games this year, only local Northwest Central Conference and Cross County Conference teams are thinking of league titles after three weeks of play.
Conference scrambled to redo their schedules after the OHSAA announced in early August regular-season play would be shortened to six weeks and postseason play would be extended to seven weeks and start on Oct. 9.
Due to the COVID-19 caused reshuffling, the Midwest Athletic Conference is not crowning a conference champion this year.
Anna (1-2) and Minster (0-3) would already be two and three games behind in MAC standings, respectively. New Bremen (2-1) and Versailles (2-1) would be in title contention along with St. Henry (2-1), though all would already be a game behind undefeated Marion Local and Coldwater.
Sidney’s Miami Valley League divisional hopes are on hold. While the MVL is not awarding an overall champion this year, Miami Division and Valley Division champions were planned to be crowned.
Sidney (1-2) plays in the Valley Division, and its teams’ schedules are in disarray after a positive COVID-19 test by a West Carrollton player. West Carrollton cancelled two Valley Division contests as a result and Fairborn, which played the Pirates on Sept. 4, canceled one.
The Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play West Carrollton last Friday and Fairborn this week, but both those contests have been cancelled. They added a game at Xenia this Friday to replace Fairborn and have kept the originally scheduled Week 5 home contest with Xenia.
A Valley Division title could still be crowned, but teams would have to make up the cancelled games in late October. The OHSAA is allowing squads to schedule additional regular season games after they’re eliminated from the playoffs.
Fort Loramie, which was ranked No. 8 in Division VII in the first Associated Press poll of the season, is eyeing a CCC title. Riverside and Lehman Catholic are in contention for NWCC divisional titles.
The Redskins (3-0) travel to undefeated Covington this Thursday for a key CCC contest. The two squads have been far better than the rest of the CCC squads in recent seasons, and Thursday’s winner will likely cruise to a conference title.
The NWCC split its teams into two five-team divisions this year. Riverside (3-0) will host Lima Perry (3-0) on Friday in a game that will likely decide the Lane Division title.
Lehman (2-1) is in contention with both Waynesfield-Goshen (3-0) and Hardin Northern (2-1) for the Dennis Division title and will face both the next two weeks. The Cavaliers’ two wins have come against winless opponents, while their loss was a 39-7 defeat by Riverside in an NWCC crossover game in Week 2.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.