Brock Netter, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — In terms of football tradition and resume, Unioto and Amanda-Clearcreek are two polar opposites.
For Unioto, after 13 years of playing McClain in Week 2 … a stretch where it went 6-7 overall … the Shermans decided to switch things up, and did so by scheduling an established playoff program.
Amanda-Clearcreek is a 17-time Mid-State League champion, a 20-time state playoff qualifier, an eight-time regional champion, a three-time state runner-up (1997, 2003, 2004) and a two-time state champion (1999, 2000).
Meanwhile, Unioto’s three playoff appearances have come in the last three seasons.
|33-18||All-Time Postseason Record||0-3|
|1||Consecutive Playoff Appearances||3|
|6-4||All-Time Series Record||4-6|
But past traditions don’t always equal current results.
This is the 11th matchup between both schools and the first since 1990, which was a 39-9 victory for Amanda-Clearcreek. The Aces lead the overall series 6-4.
Here’s a preview of SOSA’s Game of the Week:
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Peyton Madison (QB), Jayse Miller (RB), Brock Banker (WR)
The Aces had no problem handling Columbus Independence in Week 1, scoring a 47-14 victory over the 76ers. While in the past, the Aces were known as a power running team, they have a more balanced attack with quarterback Peyton Madison.
The senior scored three touchdowns, throwing two of them to Brock Banker in the Week 1 drubbing. But the wealth was spread around as running backs Jayse Miller and Alex Fairchild also found pay dirt.
Although they gave up a lot of yardage defensively, the Aces didn’t break and gave up one offensive touchdown.
If Amanda can play at its pace and score into the high 20’s or 30’s, that almost spells victory, considering Unioto is 1-9 since 2015 in games it gives up 25 or more points.
Amanda ended its regular season at 8-2 in 2018, winning its first eight games … the Aces fell to Ridgewood in Week 11 last season by a 41-23 final … Amanda turned the ball over twice last week and racked up 306 total yards … in 2018, the Aces’ opponents combined overall record was 46-68
UNIOTO SHERMAN TANKS
PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Isaac Little (QB), Jamarcus Carroll (RB), Chris Scaggs (RB)
The Shermans escaped by a special team’s breakdown in the final minute of last week’s game, but nonetheless, a win is still a win.
Isaac Little was thrusted into the spotlight and responded with 141 passing yards, alongside a passing touchdown to Chris Scaggs and a rushing score.
The Aces gave up 343 yards to Independence (234 rushing and 109 passing), Although Jamarcus Carroll only had eight carries in his return from last year’s injury, his workload will increase if a Unioto victory is to happen.
Defensively, the secondary will be tested. After giving up just 183 yards (160 rushing, 23 passing) last week against a sophomore under center, this week the Shermans will faced an experienced senior.
Keeping the score low is the Shermans’ best chance at a victory as the offense works to find its rhythm with its third different quarterback in the past three seasons.
Before his season ended with injury last year, Jamarcus Carroll rushed for 1,329 yards in 5 1/2 weeks … the Shermans’ defense got to the quarterback four times last week for a total loss of 26 yards … Unioto ran for 106 yards on 31 carries against Vinton County, an average of 3.4 yards per carry
BOTTOM LINE …
This is a massive game for both teams for different reasons.
For Unioto, because of its move to Division III, it needs to finish, more than likely, no less than 9-1 if it wants to see week 11 for a fourth straight season. It has five teams on its schedule who made the playoffs last year, and it needs victories over each. Friday against the Aces is step one.
For Amanda-Clearcreek, a win over a quality Division III playoff team only strengthens its playoff resume. The Aces, who are in Division V, always have a loaded schedule. But a win like this, on the road, goes a long way.