It is either a great opportunity for a second chance or just really bad luck. The answer will come for the Valley View Spartans on Friday night. Jay Niswonger's football team is 9-1 and headed into the Division III playoffs after walking all over most of the regular season competition.
The Spartans outscored their opponents 449-69 in their nine victories. They have recorded four shutouts and until week eight, had not allowed more than 12 points to any opponent. Those overwhelming stats are nothing new for Valley View. That's the good news. The bad news could be that of all the possible first round opponents for Valley View to draw in this week's playoff opener, they got the only team to beat them.
The Bellbrook Eagles got the attention of many when they slammed Valley View with a 21-0 shutout in Week 9. Now the teams will square off again this Friday night in Bellbrook. Bellbrook enters the playoffs at 9-1, with their only loss coming to Miamisburg (6-4) back in the season opener in August. The Eagles earned a home game in the opening round by rattling off nine straight wins including a 37-20 win over Preble Shawnee (1-9) last week.
As for Valley View, the final three weeks of the regular season schedule were by far the toughest. The Spartans allowed 27, 21, and 21 points respectively against Eaton (7-3), Bellbrook, and Oakwood (7-3). While Valley View's first seven opponents combined for a record of 24-46 this year.
The Spartans recovered nicely from the loss to Bellbrook by impressively beating Oakwood 42-21 last week, but as far as the Valley View players are concerned, the determining factor on the success of this season is still ahead.
REGION 12 - DIVISION III
#7 Germantown Valley View (9-1) at #2 Bellbrook (9-1)
#6 Cincinnati Wyoming (9-1) at #3 St. Mary's Memorial (9-1)
#5 Chaminade-Julienne (8-2) at #4 Newark Licking Valley (9-1)
It's a region that is filled with traditional playoff powers and state champions. Chaminade-Julienne is the defending Division II state champ and they are forced to go on the road with only two losses (one of them being to Alter this past Saturday). Even the final team to get in, St. Paris Graham had to win nine straight to qualify. The Falcons lost to Urbana, the top team in Division IV Region 14, and have not lost since. In any other region, Graham would not have been sweating it out at the end. One thing is for sure, the winner of this region will have undoubtedly earned their trip to state.