The Division III Region 11 regional final is a matchup of power football in Marlington and Cinderella in Dover. The Tornadoes (10-2) are coming off a 34-28 win over Thornville Sheridan in overtime in the regional ssemifinal after stunning Steubenville in the quarterfinals 31-28.
The great year Marlington has had into football in reflected in some post season honors already.
Alden Hill, the 6-2 220-pound junior, was named offensive player of the year Associated Press Northeast All-Inland team and Ed Miley was voted coach of the year. Fellow running back Dymonte Thomas was First Team as a defensive back, as was junior linebacker Clayton Staib and big junior offensive lineman Zach Higgins (6-5 295). Fellow senior O-lineman Nate Manos (6-4 285) made Second Team and did senior linebacker Tyler Siefke .
Thomas (200+ yards in the regional semifinal) and Hill (2000 yards this season) are a dynamite duo that rarely does one team possess.
Dover is a diverse offense with QB Derik Swinderman has eye-popping numbers with 3,467 yards in the air (213-of-342) with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a top flight receiver in Colton Zahner with 1,503 yards and 21 TDs. Keith Johnson is a good runner, totaling 1,015 yards and 21 TDs.
Some numbers to consider - This is the fourth time the Dukes (12-0) reached the playoffs and first two wins are both this year. Dover is in its 14th trip to the post season and the Tornadoes are 10-13 and the two last met in 1992 when both were in the NBC, where Dover had a 3-1 advantage in the series.