Brock Netter, Staff Writer
Once again, and this is probably the final time I’ll do this, I have to thank Ohio Governor Mike DeWine for giving the go ahead for football season to happen.
Although it’s a six-game season, it’s better than nothing. And lo and behold, here we are, arriving at Week 6.
Four Gold Balls can be clinched in the SOC I, SOC II, SVC and FAC this week, just before some teams hit the road while others host playoff games next week.
But before we look too far ahead, here are this week’s SOSA’s Power Rankings:
1. Waverly (5-0)
Week 5 ranking: 1 … —
Week 5 result: 42-6 win over Minford
For my money, this is the best and most talented team in Waverly’s history. Maybe that’s a mouth full considering a couple of the great teams in the past, but I’ll take my chances. There’s no let up, no taking its foot off the gas or any letdowns with this group. Now it’s all about finishing as the Tigers aim to clinch the SOC II outright and a perfect season against Oak Hill.
2. Jackson (5-0)
Week 5 ranking: 2 … —
Week 5 result: 48-7 win over Hillsboro
There’s an old saying in football that goes, “The most important position behind the quarterback is the backup quarterback.” Look no further than Jackson for further proof. When you can plug and place at QB1 without missing a beat, you have to give the players their flowers. The-now Evan Spires led Ironmen rolled right now over Hillsboro, fine-tuning a couple things in the process. Now it’s a showdown with Chillicothe for the outright FAC title.
3. Adena (5-0)
Week 5 ranking: 2 … +1
Week 5 result: 51-8 win over Huntington
I had to bump Adena up a spot this week. Maybe I should have done it last week. But hey, hindsight is 20-20, right? Anyways, the focus this week is on the defensive side of the ball where the Warriors have now intercepted 12 passes on the season. Pretty much, don’t throw on them and you might have a chance to win. Although, with the running game they have in Preston Sykes, Nate Throckmorton, Kole Williams and others, maybe not.
4. Wheelersburg (4-1)
Week 5 ranking: 3 … -1
Week 5 result: 63-14 win over Valley
The Pirates kept things very simple last week, sticking to a ground attack that averaged 13.1 yards per carry. Seven different Pirates found the end zone, including lineman Blake Richardson, who scored twice. It was just the result needed following a loss at Waverly. Now the Pirates have one more game to get back on track against West before a playoff run.
5. Paint Valley (4-1)
Week 5 ranking: 5 … —
Week 5 result: 47-13 win over Zane Trace
I wish Paint Valley and Adena were playing this Friday instead of opening the season with each other. Not sure if the end result would be any different, but this Bearcat team could pull the upset. They continue to run over teams, a la Adena style, as they piled on five more rushing touchdowns and a kickoff return for a score against ZT last week. Now with Southeastern looming ahead, it could be more of the same.
6. Chillicothe (4-1)
Week 5 ranking: 6 … —
Week 5 result: 44-3 win over Miami Trace
Friday against Miami Trace showed Chillicothe’s talent and just how good the Cavaliers can be if they piece everything together for a full 48 minutes. They racked up 515 yards of offense while Kam Smith had 301 yards himself. Six different Cavaliers found the end zone. Chillicothe will have to repeat that same performance against Jackson for the outright FAC title.
7. Northwest (4-1)
Week 5 ranking: N/A
Week 5 result: 42-20 win over Eastern
Although the SOC I has been a three-team race all season, it hasn’t failed to keep fans entertained and guessing week to week. Eastern looked as if it had a solid grip on the league after downing Symmes Valley earlier this season, and then Northwest just overwhelmed the Eagles last Friday. Brayden Campbell had a monster night … but what else is new? How does 26 carries for 254 yards and four touchdowns sound? Now the Mohawks can clinch a Gold Ball if they get by Symmes Valley.
8. Unioto (3-2)
Week 5 ranking: 10 … +2
Week 5 result: 36-6 win over Southeastern
Just the bounce-back game the Shermans needed. After allowing an opening touchdown, they scored 36 unanswered points, led by Isaac Little, who totaled nearly 300 yards of offense and four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). Now the Shermans have a chance to finish strong as they travel to Williamsport for a date with the Mustangs before the playoffs.
9. West (2-3)
Week 5 ranking: N/A
Week 5 result: 21-14 win over Oak Hill
Oak Hill just needed a win over West to have a shot at winning a share of the SOC II, but the Senators had other plans. They scored all 21 of their points in the first half on two touchdowns passes from Mitchell Irwin to Ryan Sissel and Jeffery Bishop, while Hunter Brown added the difference-making touchdown. Now West has to deal with Wheelersburg.
10. Westfall (3-1)
Week 5 ranking: N/A
Week 5 result: DNP … beat Huntingon 36-0 in Week 4
Bye weeks don’t happen in high school football, but you know … 2020 has changed plans all year long. Westfall was forced to ice its game against Piketon due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Pike County. The last time the Mustangs took the field, they shutout Huntington, ran for four touchdowns and forced four turnovers. They’ll return to the field this week, refreshed and ready for action against Unioto.