Arcanum, Tri-Village to face off in Touchdown 7′s Game of the Week

NEW MADISON — Arcanum and New Madison are separated by less than 10 miles. That proximity plays a big role when Arcanum and Tri-Village play in any sport. This year’s football matchup may be the most anticipated to this point.

Tri-Village started a football program in 2015, so this is a relatively new rivalry for the gridiron. However, both teams come in ranked in the state and with a combined record of 11-1.

“When I was hired I was told I had to play well against these guys,” Robert Burk, Tri-Village’s head coach, said. “They’re going to make it hard this year, they’ve got a heck of a football team and when both of these teams are good like this I think it’s great for our conference.”

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“Means a lot to everyone here and it means a lot to everyone over there,” Justin Finkbine, Tri-Village junior wide receiver and safety, said. “It’s a big rivalry in all sports.”

The two schools have met four times in football. Arcanum won the first two and Tri-Village has won the last two.

“Means a lot from beating them just barely my freshman year and then losing back to back seasons,” Chase Werling, Arcanum senior offensive and defensive lineman, said. “Especially last year getting kind of dominated I guess. I think this is the year with a great team we’ll be to flip that around and be able to make a change.”

“[I] feel like when we play Arcanum there’s just a different level of energy and everyone just seems like they want to focus in more and you just want to get that edge so you can win,” Josh Scantland, Tri-Village senior wide receiver and outside linebacker, said. “It’s just really fun to be a player and be a part of that.”

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Arcanum is led by junior quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer. He’s thrown for 1,778 yards, more than any other QB in the Miami Valley. The Trojans run a high powered passing attack spreading the ball to multiple receivers. Tri-Village has a much more balanced attack, passing and rushing for almost the same number of total yards. The Patriots, however, are without 1st team All-State QB Layne Sarver. Sophomore Braden Keating has filled in well though in his absence, throwing for 937 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The top two passers and top four receivers in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference are on these two teams.

While there are pivotal sophomores and juniors for each team it’s the senior class for both teams that will play the most important roles in who wins on Friday night.

“Somebody asked how I would describe them and I really stole it from the Chicago Bears use ago,” Jason Schondelmyer, Arcanum head coach, said. “I really believe we have a bunch of characters who have a tremendous amount of character and that’s the way I would sum it up with these guys.”

“When I first got the job I knew that this senior class was very talented so I thought that by the time they were seniors we might have a chance to be pretty good,” Burk said. “Last year was ahead of schedule. I didn’t expect to be that good last year.”

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At Arcanum some said this is the biggest game at the school in about 10 years. For Tri-Village it’s one of the biggest in its short history. The Patriots played Fort Loramie in the final week of the regular season, both teams were undefeated and state ranked. However with the rivalry, both teams with a chance at the conference title, and both state ranked you could argue this is even bigger. Schondelmyer said all the kids know one another from each community and both teams reiterated the importance of the rivalry.

“You hear it everywhere, you hear at school, you hear it on the news, you hear it on social media,” Tyler Huber, Arcanum senior wide receiver and outside linebacker, said. “Everyone’s talking about it. Everyone’s giving their opinions about who’s going win, who’s the better team. I’m ready.”

Tri-Village hosts Arcanum in the Arby’s Game of the Week. You can see it on Touchdown 7 starting at 11:13 p.m. on Friday night.

James Rider

James Rider

I was born in Virginia and have moved several times in my life as a member of an Air Force family. I've lived in Virginia, California, Germany, England, and Ohio. I graduated from Centerville High School and then went on to attend Ball State University where I graduated with a bachelor's degree.