A preview of the Division VI regional final

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• West Jefferson (12-1) to date: Def. Urban 48-13; def. Bainbridge Paint Valley 41-6; def. Enon Greenon 24-7; def. Cédarville 57-0; def. Springfield Catholic Center 47-27; def. Springfield Northeast 35-0; def. West Liberty-Salem 42-28; def. Lewisburg North Triad 51-7; def. Fairbanks 19-0; lost to Mechanicsburg 30-13; def. Lucasville Valley 43-14; def. Northmor Galleon 63-13; def. Proctorville Fairland 33-8

• Fort Frye (11-1) to date: Def. Reigning Sports Academy 49-6; def. Saint-Henri 16-12; def. Waterford 39-14; def. Zanesville 26-13; def. Vincent Warren 33-7; def. Glouster Trimble 45-13; lost to Lima Catholic Central 30-23; def. Logan 49-14; def. Williamstown (W.Va.) 41-9; def. Northridge 54-6; def. Nelsonville-York 36-6; def. Barnesville 42-7

Qualifying for a regional final has become almost a tradition for West Jefferson since Shawn Buescher took over as coach in 2002.

The Roughriders have made the playoffs in 13 of their 20 seasons, with 10 of those appearances leading them to a regional championship game.

The only times they’ve qualified for a state semi-final under Buescher were in 2013 and 19, but they’re determined to add to that total.

On November 20 in Logan, the third-seeded Roughriders will face reigning and reigning regional champion Beverly Fort Frye for the Division VI, Region 23 title.

The winner will play on November 27 in a state semi-final. The other regional finals that night will feature third seed New Middletown Springfield (12-1) against fourth seed Mogadore (10-3) in Region 21, third seed Carey (12- 1) against fifth seed Liberty Center (11-2) in Region 22 and second seed Harrod Allen East (10-3) against fourth seed Coldwater (11-2) in Region 24.

If West Jefferson defeats Fort Frye, he will face the winner Allen East-Coldwater.

Last season, Fort Frye lost to Springfield 16-13 in the state semifinals and Coldwater defeated Springfield 38-35 for the state title.

“It’s very exciting,” Buescher said. “We’ve been here for 20 years and it’s the 10th regional championship game, so we’ve been here before. Our children have won the right to be on this stage. They have great parents and it was a joy to continue to train them. We’re just saying keep fighting so we can be back on Monday.

On November 13 in the regional semi-finals, Fort Frye improved to 11-1 with a 42-7 victory over fourth seed Barnesville at Zanesville and West Jefferson moved up to 12-1 with a 33 win. -8 on the second seeded Proctorville Fairland at Chillicothe.

The Roughriders took a 19-8 lead over Fairland on a 7-yard run from senior running back Hayden Salyer, who finished with 153 yards and two touchdowns in 26 carries to give him 1,220 yards and 18 touchdowns over the course of the season.

Senior quarterback Tyler Buescher, the coach’s son and 2019 starter when West Jefferson ended his season with a 49-21 loss to Ironton in the State Semifinals, threw for 131 yards and two affected. He completed 264 of 370 passes for 3,532 yards with 36 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season.

Senior wide receiver MJ Book had six catches for 116 yards and one touchdown against Fairland, bringing his season tally to 69 catches for 1,200 yards and 21 touchdowns.

West Jefferson limited Fairland to 75 rushing yards on 27 carries and 193 total yards as a defensive front with seniors Jacob Collins, Jared Dye, Korbin Jeffers, Ethan Miller, Canyon Schneider and Jarrett Simmons and sophomore Asher Wilson opened the way.

Fort Frye includes senior running back Maeson Long and senior lineman Casey Brooker, who were the East District’s offensive co-players of the year, as well as senior quarterback Ian Ellis.

Defensively, Fort Frye has allowed more than 14 points just once this season, in a 30-23 loss to Division VII regional finalist Lima Central Catholic on October 1.

“I felt like we were extremely physical (against Fairland),” said coach Buescher. “Our defensive line has done a great job and they are a very good football team. I was really happy with the way we played.

“(Fort Frye is) really good, big, physical and quick on both sides of the ball. It’s a wing-T attack but they do a lot of good things with it like doing a lot of throwing moves. Defensively, they are a multifront and they abandon their four defensive backs. They are great at leading the game offensively.

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