Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
Here’s a brief look at 10 area high school football games:
Zane Trace (1-4) at Unioto (3-2), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Unioto beat Zane Trace 21-0.
Last five years: Pioneers lead series 3-2 and have outscored Shermans, 143-85.
Last week’s results: Unioto lost to Adena 28-21, Zane Trace lost to Westfall 38-6.
Outlook: We saw how Unioto bounced back from a Week 2 loss to Amanda-Clearcreek … a 41-14 win over Waverly, still the Tigers’ only loss. This week, the Tanks will have the same chance after dropping last week’s 28-21 decision to Adena. Unioto has had problems with injury, specifically Chris Scaggs, who will be sidelined against the Pioneers, and a banged up Isaac Little at quarterback. However, there’s still plenty of talent to be shared with the likes of tailback Jamarcus Carroll, receiver Byrd Green, and running back Nick Crowe. They’ll have their chance to feast on a Pioneer defense that’s allowing 37.8 points per game. Zane Trace will try and counter with quarterback Gabe Shanton, running back Cougar Stauffer and receiver Caden Fry. But ZT’s defense absolutely has to get off the field. If the unit plays like it has all season, save for a 38-6 win over Huntington in Week 4, it could be a long night for the Pioneers.
Adena (4-1) at Westfall (3-2), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Adena beat Westfall 28-20.
Last five years: Warriors lead series 4-1 and have outscored Mustangs, 181-120.
Last week’s results: Adena beat Unioto 28-21, Westfall beat Zane Trace 38-6.
Outlook: In what has shaped up to be the SVC’s Game of the Week, Adena travels to Williamsport for a battle with a speedy Mustangs team. Westfall quarterback Marcus Whaley, a state hurdles qualifier in the spring, scored five touchdowns last week in a 38-6 win over Zane Trace. Meanwhile, Warriors signal caller Preston Sykes threw for 176 yards and two scores in a pivotal seven-point win over Unioto. The front end of the Warriors’ conference schedule has included Paint Valley and Unioto. They now have their third hurdle to clear in Westfall, which owns wins over Logan Elm, Circleville and Zane Trace, three teams with a combined record of 2-13. However, Westfall hung right with Southeastern in a 28-16 loss back in Week 4, showing promise and flashes of just how good it can be when it takes care of the football. Adena should be favored but the Warriors shouldn’t overlook the Mustangs. You can’t teach speed and speed kills.
Huntington (1-4) at Paint Valley (4-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Paint Valley beat Huntington 58-24.
Last five years: Bearcats lead series 5-0 and have outscored Huntsmen, 175-62.
Last week’s results: Paint Valley beat Piketon 56-38, Huntingon lost to Southeastern 56-16.
Outlook: The final score of last week’s 56-38 win over Piketon doesn’t tell the Bearcats’ full story. At one time, the Redstreaks had a lead and at another, the game was tied 35-35. The difference maker in that game? Senior Brayden Ison, who rushed for 316 yards and six touchdowns. Huntington will try its best to stop him, which is something the Huntsmen’ defense has had trouble with this season. In five games, Huntington has surrendered 231 points, an average of 46.2 per game. With Ison, Lane Mettler, Cruz McFadden and the Bearcats on the other side of the ball, that spells more trouble for an inexperienced Huntington team. PV is still without quarterback Bryce Newland, but if it runs the ball anywhere near the way it did last week, a fifth win this year should be in the fold.
Chillicothe (1-4) at Washington (3-2), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Washington beat Chillicothe 20-7.
Last five years: Cavaliers lead series 4-1 and has outscored Blue Lions, 194-60.
Last week’s results: Chillicothe lost to Logan 18-7, Washington lost to Wilmington 31-15.
Outlook: It’s been awhile since Washington came into a game favored to beat Chillicothe. But with the way the Cavaliers and Blue Lions have each played this season, that’s slightly the case. Chillicothe’s offensive woes continue and that’s partly due to the injury bug. However, no matter how you look at it, the Cavaliers are scoring just 12.6 points per game and are coming off a week where they found the end zone one time in an 18-7 loss to Logan. On the opposite side of that spectrum stands Washington, which has scored 26, 48 and 33 points in its three wins over Blanchester, Circleville and Ponitz Tech. Having said that, those three teams are a combined 1-15. The Blue Lions have lost to Adena and Wilmington by 39-18 and 31-15 finals. In a game that could be decided by a single touchdown, somebody will have to step up and make a play on offense.
McClain (2-3) at Jackson (5-0), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Jackson beat McClain 63-7.
Last five years: Ironmen leads series 2-0 (did not play from 2014-16) and have outscored Tigers, 104-0.
Last week’s results: McClain beat Eastern 42-20, Jackson beat Wheelersburg 35-15.
Outlook: Still undefeated at the halfway mark of the season, Jackson has showed very little weaknesses during its 5-0 start. The Ironmen’ two signature wins have come over Wellston in Week 1 and Wheelersburg seven days ago, a win that certainly added to an already-full cup of momentum. McClain did get a win last week but it was over a 1-4 Eastern team. There’s no question that beating Jackson is an entirely different animal. Currently, Jackson sits at No. 4 in the Division III, Region 11 playoff rankings. The rest of the way, the Ironmen will be playing for not only a playoff berth, but the chance to host a postseason game. While McClain has put up points in both of its wins, 51 and 42 to be exact, they haven’t faced a defense like Jackson’s all year long. The Ironmen should move to 6-0.
Miami Trace (3-2) at Hillsboro (3-2), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Hillsboro beat Miami Trace 47-13.
Last five years: Indians lead series 4-1 and have outscored Panthers, 212-157.
Last week’s results: Miami Trace beat Western Brown 35-21, Hillsboro lost to Clermont Northeastern 40-14.
Outlook: Both teams enter this contest 3-2 and relatively have played the same strength of schedule. So this could be one of the most even matchups in the area. Hillsboro doesn’t have the most explosive offense, evidenced by the fact its averaging 13.2 points per game, and hasn’t scored more than 21 points in any game this season. Although Miami Trace is scoring 40 points per game in its three wins, it’s come against teams that are a combined 1-14. In the Panthers’ two losses, their offensive output has been 13.5 points. The Indians have dominated this series over the past five years, winning four games. They’ll look to quarterback Justin Spears and running back Mark Gallimore to continue those winning ways while Miami Trace calls upon quarterback Dalton Mayer and a stable of running backs to snap the streak.
Waverly (4-1) at West (2-3), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Waverly beat West 35-19.
Last five years: Senators lead series 3-2 but have been outscored by Tigers, 123-104.
Last week’s results: Waverly beat Amanda-Clearcreek 48-13, West lost to Raceland (Ky.) 56-15.
Outlook: Two weeks ago, Waverly’s Payton Shoemaker ran for 362 yards as quarterback Haydn Shanks’ sat out with an injury. Then last week, Shanks returned in a massive way, throwing for 435 yards and five touchdowns. Both performances resulted in Waverly wins. The whole point of stating those facts is to say that stopping offense isn’t easy, if nothing else, because of how many different ways it can beat you. Meanwhile, for West, the Senators have had a string of tough luck over the last two weeks, losing games to Wellston and Raceland by 33 and 41 points. West’s offense isn’t generating points while the defense isn’t stopping anyone from scoring. Considering Waverly is averaging 34.4 points a game, that’s not a good sign for the Senators. They can’t afford to turn the ball over and they’ll need the duo of William Journey and Lucas Bradford to churn out first downs habitually.
Green (3-2) at Symmes Valley (4-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Green beat Symmes Valley 22-15.
Last five years: Vikings lead series 3-2 and have outscored Bobcats, 173-68.
Last week’s results: Green lost to Ashland (Ky.) 26-22, Symmes Valley beat East 47-6.
Outlook: If you’re looking for a similar strand of DNA between these two, both have played Fairview (Ky.). The Vikings beat Fairview by 44 points while the Bobcats dropped their decision by four. If that’s any indicator of what’s to come, Symmes Valley looks to be the favorite. But that’s why they play the game. Green topped the Vikings last year by a 22-15 final. They did so by stopping Symmes Valley’s running game. That will have to be the focus once again Friday night if the Bobcats hope for a win.
Oak Hill (2-3) at Valley (4-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Did not play.
Last five years: N/A
Last week’s results: Oak Hill lost to Nelsonville-York 28-7, Valley beat Northwest 21-14 in overtime.
Outlook: Valley’s roster took a major hit last week in an overtime win as the Indians lost starting quarterback Andrew Andronis for the year with a broken clavicle. Friday, running back Kayden Mollette isn’t guaranteed to play either. At 4-1, a win over Oak Hill would be a huge aid in the push for a playoff spot. But the Oaks won’t be easy to beat. Oak Hill, a scrappy bunch, is led by a host of talented players including Keaton Potter, Noah Donley and Isaac Morgan. The Oaks’ two wins this year have come over Northwest, 42-25, and Rock Hill, 20-0. In its three losses, Oak Hill has scored 13, 21 and 7. They’ll be facing a Valley defense that’s allowing 16.2 points per game.
Northwest (2-3) at Notre Dame (0-5), Saturday at 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Northwest beat Notre Dame 35-14.
Last five years: Mohawks lead series 4-1 and have outscored Titans, 148-105.
Last week’s results: Northwest lost to Valley 21-14 in overtime, Notre Dame lost 45-0 to Greenup County (Ky.).
Outlook: Put simply, there haven’t been a lot of positives for Notre Dame this season. The Titans sit at 0-5 and have been outscored by their opponents, 206-26. Northwest, on the other hand, has won two games and has been in two more with plenty of chances to win. The Mohawks have relied on Brayden Campbell and Nathan Rivers to carry their offense while playing bend but don’t break defense for the majority of the season. If you’re picking a winner, Northwest should be where you’re pointing. The Mohawks’ offensive line and talented backs could have a field day in Spartan Stadium.
Follow Southern Ohio Sports Authority’s live game updates from Adena at Westfall (@dw1509), Oak Hill at Valley (@SirBrockNetter), Zane Trace at Unioto (@CoconutWallpapa), Southeastern at Piketon (@MikeKnightrider) and Wheelersburg at Minford (@ClayArcher7673) Friday on Twitter at hashtag #SOSA.
Then be sure to visit sohiosa.com Friday night and Saturday morning for complete Week 6 coverage.
OTHER AREA CONTESTS
- Southeastern at Piketon, 7 p.m.
- Eastern at East, 7 p.m.