By Chris Slone
It only took three years to build the Southern Ohio Spartans into a contender, and Saturday was another milestone in the team’s short existence. The Spartans achieved their first postseason victory in franchise history after beating the West Virginia Lighting, 34-6, at West Complex.
“It was a big win, big confidence booster,” Spartans defensive coordinator Troy Adams said. “Our first-ever playoff win was great for the organization. For (owner) Dusti (Mogan) and (head coach) Jo (Parker), they put a lot of work into the program over the last three years and to finally see things heading in the right direction, it’s great.”
Southern Ohio (7-4, 6-3) has been dealing with an attendance issue the last half of the season, but that problem didn’t manifest itself Saturday. The Spartans dressed approximately 20 guys for the playoff victory, which is considered a good night.
“When we get numbers like that, we do alright,” Adams said. “When we get 12 or 13, it makes it a little more difficult.”
This Saturday, the Spartans travel to Charleston to face the West Virginia Lighting, who finished the season with a 9-1 record and secured a two-seed with and a first-round bye.
Adams is hopeful the Spartans will have a full compliment of players available to make the long trek to West Virginia.
“Our biggest challenge is going to be traveling,” Adams said. “If we travel with 13 guys, we are going to have our work really cut out. If we travel with 20, which I’m hoping for, I think we can compete. We’ve got a good gameplan. We’ll go down and definitely give them a good ball game.”
With momentum being a major factor is sports, the Spartans are hopeful they can ride that wave winning their first postseason game.
“It’s awesome, we’re riding the high right now,” Adams said. “The win was tremendous for all of us. We want to continue it. Hopefully we can go down there with good numbers and give them a heck of a game.”
Now that the Spartans have turned a corner this season, Adams believes the team’s numbers should rise in future years as they continue to build on the success of this season. Adams also believes fans are beginning to realize that Portsmouth has two successful semi-pro teams.
“We’re 6-3, rolling into the second round of the playoffs, that speaks a lot,” Adams said. “The Warriors of course are a great organization in Portsmouth, but I think we are showing everybody that there are two teams down here now. We can compete too.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.