Brock Netter, Staff Writer
For those who were fortunate enough to be at a game this past Friday, did you feel that in the air?
That calm, cool and crisp feeling? It made you feel like fall was officially here.
And then yesterday just completely ruined that vibe as temperatures were still in the mid-80’s. Ohio is such a tease, but at least it didn’t go from 94 degrees to a blizzard overnight like in Denver, Colo.
Nevertheless, we have arrived at Week 3 of football season already, and the competition is also beginning to really heat up.
Before we get to Friday, here’s this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Jackson (2-0)
Jackson lost four running backs from last year, including District Player of the Year Jayden Spires. But no one would have known that after watching the Ironmen rack up 337 rushing yards on just 19 carries in a lopsided win over McClain. Freshman Cade Wolford had 155 of those yards and two touchdowns … on five carries. That’s the offensive line putting in work to create those holes up front. Now the Ironmen have Washington, who surely will put up more resistance.
2. Waverly (2-0)
Waverly scored all 49 of its points in the first half. And had less than 50 rushing yards on the evening. That’s just unfair. But when Haydn’ Shanks throws for five touchdowns, a running game isn’t needed as much. Phoenix Wolf had a pair of scores, Penn Morrison caught a touchdown and Will Futhey caught two, including one from his brother, Wade. A pretty cool moment. Waverly’s running game could see more action against Valley, who just surrendered almost 600 rushing yards to Oak Hill.
3. Wheelersburg (2-0)
The Pirates were outgained, had fewer offensive plays and fewer first downs than Minford, but all that mattered was the scoreboard. Jake Gregg threw for three more touchdowns to three different receivers. How’s this for a stat? He has more touchdowns on the season (6) than he does incompletions (5; 24-of-29 passing). That’s efficiency at its finest. Now the Pirates have a hungry and motivated Oak Hill team who still remembers its ugly loss from last season.
4. Adena (2-0)
Two down, four to go as Adena’s chase for the Gold Ball is still alive and well. Nate Throckmorton found his mojo and came alive at the right time, rushing for 222 yards and a touchdown in a win over Unioto last week. Defensively, he had a huge interception that took away any steam Unioto had left. Preston Sykes ran for three more scores as the Warriors just gashed the Shermans on the ground. First place is up for grabs as Adena hosts Westfall this week.
5. Minford (1-1)
Despite the loss to Wheelersburg, Minford moves up one slot this week. Elijah Vogelsong continued to shoulder a huge offensive load, running for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns while throwing for 210 yards with another score. The Falcons battled tough but made a mistake in the third that proved costly. Still, they should bounce back this week against West before their showdown with Oak Hill.
6. Westfall (2-0)
Even though it’s a conference-only schedule in the SVC, the Mustangs are 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2013, which also happens to be the last time they won a share of the SVC. Marcus Whaley should be on everyone’s radar after throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for 125 yards with another score in a win over Huntington. Winning against Southeastern and Zane Trace is one thing, but now comes the big test as the Mustangs travel to play Adena.
7. Paint Valley (1-1)
It’s quite possible that we underestimated just how good Paint Valley really is. However, the Bearcats are probably used to it and just goes about their business as usual. Cavan Cooper threw for a pair of touchdowns, and had over 100 rushing yards with two more touchdowns as the Bearcats hung 56 points on Piketon. However, their defense was the story of the game, holding the ‘Streaks to just 19 points. It could be much of the same this week against Huntington.
8. Oak Hill (1-1)
There might not be a more physical team to play in the area than Oak Hill. There’s nothing flashy or sexy about the Oaks’ style of play. It’s straight up hard-nosed football. This team is going to run, run and run again while grinding teams down until there’s nothing left. The Oaks rushed for nearly 600 yards with Brandon Beam, Alex Firpo and Conor Dickens all rushing for over 100. Now, the same has to be done this week against Wheelersburg.
9. Unioto (1-1)
From winning at the buzzer to just getting buzzed. The Shermans couldn’t contain the running game of Adena and got ran off the field to the tune of 354 rushing yards. Isaac Little did throw a touchdown pass and Carson DeBord hauled in 109 receiving yards. But the team’s rushing attack was put on ice this week. They still have a chance to regain their form against Zane Trace.
10. Symmes Valley (2-0)
Way, way down in Lawrence County, the reigning SOC I champions are simply picking up where they left off last season. The Vikings had six guys who scored touchdowns in their shutout victory over Green as they out-gained the Bobcats 362 to -34. Impressive to say the least, no matter who the opponent is. Now the Vikings will get tested on Friday against Eastern.