Brock Netter, Staff Writer
Aside from the opening week of pure excitement, this is the week where the slate of games is at its peak.
At the height of all the matchups, the bottom line is that a lot of things are going to be decided and driver’s seats will be established.
For those who are watching from home, you’ll need multiple screens to watch what will undoubtedly be a loaded football Friday night.
But before then, here are this week’s SOSA’s Power Rankings:
1. Jackson (3-0)
Week 2 ranking: 1 —
Week 2 result: 40-7 win over Washington
It’s unfair what the Ironmen continue to do to their opponents week after week. They played their worst game on Friday, and still hung 40 on Washington. Offensively, it wasn’t a crisp performance, but maybe that was just first home game nerves. Either way, this young group of Ironmen are getting comfortable and building chemistry. Yet, they’re still hungry. It’s a first-place battle in the FAC on Friday with Miami Trace.
2. Waverly (3-0)
Week 2 ranking: 2 —
Week 2 result: 56-10 win over Valley
Friday was the second time that Haydn’ Shanks and Will Futhey have connected for five touchdowns in a game. You’d think teams know to guard No. 6 on the outside. Nonetheless, he continues to score and the Tigers continue to win, pretty easily at that. While it’s been smooth sailing up to this point, the waves will get rougher over these final three weeks, starting with a showdown against Wheelersburg.
3. Wheelersburg (3-0)
Week 2 ranking: 3 —
Week 2 result: 52-7 win over Oak Hill
I have to admit, I wasn’t sure how this team was going to be this season, just based off the losses it had and the number of unknowns. But as always, Wheelersburg is legit and playing at a much different level now than it was at its peak last season. Jake Gregg continues to throw touchdowns and completions at a high rate while avoiding turnovers as well. The Pirates passed one test with Minford. Now comes the big test against Waverly.
4. Adena (3-0)
Week 2 ranking: 4 —
Week 2 result: 43-0 win over Westfall
So, Adena is not messing around this year. The Warriors are handling their business, and leaving a trail of destruction wherever they go. Nothing quite says domination like putting up 30 points in one quarter, and that’s after being held scoreless through the first 12 minutes. The Warriors are a runaway freight train, led by its conductor Preston Sykes who totaled four more touchdowns. Now comes a pass-happy Piketon team who look to pull off an upset.
5. Minford (2-1)
Week 2 ranking: 5 —
Week 2 result: 35-14 win over West
In most other conferences in Southeast Ohio, Minford would probably be the favorite to be a conference champion. It has that much talent as a team, and one of the best playmakers in the state in QB1 Elijah Vogelsong, who threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns to get back in the win column last week. Now revenge on the mind as the Falcons square off with Oak Hill, who shocked the Falcons in 2019 with a game-winning field goal at the buzzer.
6. Paint Valley (2-1)
Week 2 ranking: 7 … +1
Week 2 result: 47-6 win over Huntington
The ground game for the Bearcats continues to pick up where the last couple of years have left off. In total, the Bearcats piled on five rushing touchdowns between Cavan Cooper, Eli Manion and Cordell Grubb last week. While that part of the game took center stage, the passing game will surely get more work on Friday as the Bearcats face Unioto for a chance to stay in the SVC title race.
7. Unioto (1-1)
Week 2 ranking: 9 … +2
Week 2 result: 23-18 win over Zane Trace
The rivalry will always exist between Unioto and Zane Trace, but for the fourth straight season, it was the Shermans who prevailed. Although the Pioneers put up a good fight, they made two mistakes. One was giving Unioto the ball last and the other was letting Maddox Fox get loose for a game-winner, for the second time this season. A game-winner could be needed again as the Shermans take on a tough Paint Valley team.
8. Miami Trace (3-0)
Week 2 ranking: N/A
Week 2 result: 42-7 win over McClain
Say what you will, but the old saying in sports will always remain true. “You are what your record says you are.” Well, the Panthers are 3-0 and using a balanced attack to get there. Weston Melvin finished 10-of-15 passing for 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both to Josh Gilmore, who had seven catches for 191 yards last week. But Jayden Lebeau is the focal point of their offense, carrying the ball 17 times for 125 yards and three scores. Now we’ll find out who the Panthers really are on Friday at Jackson.
9. Eastern (3-0)
Week 2 ranking: N/A
Week 2 result: 50-22 win over Symmes Valley
The Eagles made a loud statement in the SOC I by knocking off defending champion Symmes Valley in a 28-point blowout. Logan Clemmons played like a man possessed, or someone who just knew he was the best player on the field. He finished with three rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns and an interception. Now the Eagles sit in first place as they square off with Notre Dame.
10. Chillicothe (2-1)
Week 2 ranking: N/A
Week 2 result: 41-14 win over Hillsboro
Don’t look now, but the Cavaliers are beginning to click snap by snap. Granted, victories over Washington and Hillsboro doesn’t exactly blow anyone away, but it’s how the Cavaliers have looked in those games that standout. Kam Smith in the last two games has gone 18-for-28 passing for 298 yards and four touchdowns with no turnovers. The defense has also held teams scoreless in six of its last eight quarters. Could be more of the same Friday against McClain.