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GAME OF THE WEEK: Minford hosts Waverly with upset on the mind

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

MINFORD — Waverly is currently in the driver’s seat in the SOC II, with Oak Hill sitting in the passenger seat.

But that’s next Friday.

This Friday, the Tigers travel to Minford for a matchup with the Falcons.

History says that Waverly should win, considering the Tigers have won the last five games against the Falcons. But there’s a little intrigue to this one.

Considering that both offenses are nearly mirror images of one another, the scoreboard could see a lot of action.

Here’s a preview of SOSA’s Game of the Week:

WAVERLYMINFORD
9-32019 Record7-4
8Playoff Appearances9
4-8All-Time Postseason Record3-9
36-35 OT win over WheelersburgLast week’s result27-21 loss to Oak Hill
38Last year’s score22

WAVERLY TIGERS (4-0)

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Haydn’ Shanks (QB), Jaxon Poe (RB), Will Futhey (WR)

Well Waverly, how’s the view from the mountain top? It’s been seven years since a team not named Wheelersburg has reigned atop the SOC II, but here we are.

The next two games are a mental test to see how the Tigers will respond to being a top dog.

We saw last week that Minford struggles with teams that can be physical up front and commit to the running game. While Waverly is known for its athleticism on the outside, the running game and how physical the Tigers could get will be the difference.

If this game becomes a track meet, it will end up in Waverly’s favor as its more conditioned for higher scoring games and has shown it remains calm in the biggest of situations.

MINFORD FALCONS (2-2)

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Elijah Vogelsong (QB), Matthew Risner (WR), Drew Skaggs (WR)

Minford showed guts last week in its loss to Oak Hill, scoring all 21 points in the second half. But this week, like last week, 21 points total and a scoreless first half aren’t going to get it done.

For as dynamic of an athlete as Elijah Vogelsong is, its his efficiency, not athleticism, that has to be at an all-time high this week. No doubt he’ll throw the ball 40 times or more, so the magic number for completions is 30.

The short, out routes to Drew Skaggs and Matthew Risner will only work so much before adjustments are made by Waverly’s defensive backs. So finding a running game outside of Vogelsong is critical this week.

Also, converting third downs is key. There were too many times last week where the Falcons saw fourth down and either punted or gambled unsuccessfully. Make the simple plays and be in control of the clock.

BOTTOM LINE …

Minford is playing with house money since Waverly is in a position it hasn’t seen in a long time, at the top of the SOC II.

All the pressure is on the Tigers to finish undefeated. Meanwhile, the Falcons can play loose and possibly pull off an upset. You never know how teams respond the week after their biggest win in over 10 years. 

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