Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
Here’s a brief look at 10 area high school football games:
Waverly (1-0) at Zane Trace (0-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Waverly beat Zane Trace, 48-3.
Last five years: Tigers lead series 3-1 (did not play in 2014) and have outscored Pioneers, 140-69.
Outlook: One week after an impressive win over Athens at home, Waverly travels to Kinnikinnick with the intent on leaving 2-0. In last week’s 30-27 win over the Bulldogs, Tigers running back Payton Shoemaker was a man among boys, rushing for 207 yards and four scores. His defense didn’t allow a single point in the second half after entering halftime down 27-17. Meanwhile, the Pioneers had a rough go at Logan Elm, falling to the Braves 45-14. In the loss, quarterback Gabe Shanton was 7-of-18 passing with 82 yards. However, ZT’s rushing attack gained just 16 yards on 23 carries … totaling 98 yards of total offense. Considering ZT’s defense gave up 45 points in Week 1 and the fact that its next test comes against Shoemaker and quarterback Haydn’ Shanks, Waverly should be favored big Friday night.
Logan Elm (1-0) at Westfall (0-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Westfall beat Logan Elm, 20-14.
Last five years: Braves lead series 3-2 and have outscored Mustangs, 129-60.
Outlook: Westfall has won the last two meetings between these two. The Mustangs took last year’s contest by a 20-14 final, almost a mirror image of their 21-14 win in 2017. However, before that, the Braves had Westfall’s number … winning the previous three contests by an average of 26.7 points. Last week, Logan Elm’s defense was lights out, holding Zane Trace to 98 total yards. At the same time, Westfall’s offense was stagnant, failing to score in a 32-0 loss to Madison Plains. Braves quarterback Connor Robinson is coming off a 270-yard passing performance while tailback Blayton Reid looks to build on a 121-yard rushing tally. No matter how you look at the matchup, the Mustangs have their hands full.
Vinton County (0-1) at Southeastern (1-0), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Vinton County beat Southeastern, 21-20.
Last five years: Vikings lead series 1-0 (last year was the two’s first meeting in the past five seasons) and have outscored Panthers, 21-20.
Outlook: In last week’s 14-13 loss to Unioto, Vinton County held the Shermans to 106 yards on the ground and 221 total yards of offense. That’s impressive, considering the athletes Unioto possesses on the offensive side. However, what the Vikings haven’t proven is that they can contain Southeastern’s Lane Ruby. The shifty quarterback rushed for 182 yards in last season’s meeting and tacked on 85 kickoff return yards for good measure. Vinton County will once again have a shot at stopping Ruby, but they’ll also have to keep an eye on Mikey Nusser and Dalton Thurston. Nusser had 94 rushing yards in last week’s 36-7 win over Northwest while Thurston picked off a pass and played his always imperative, yet under the radar role in the Panthers’ offense. The contest promises to be a grinder on the ground. VC attempted just 10 passes last week while the Panthers always rely on their Wing-T offense. A win for SE would go a long way in its playoff hunt as VC is bracketed into Division IV … the Panthers are in Division VI. Either way, fans should get their money’s worth in this one.
MORE FOOTBALL COVERAGE
GAME OF THE WEEK: Unioto hosts Amanda-Clearcreek in non-conference bout
See our staff’s Week 2 high school football picks
Paint Valley (1-0) at Marion Pleasant (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
Last year’s result: Did not play.
Last five years: N/A
Outlook: After a rather slow start to their season opener, the Bearcats shifted into second gear and literally ran away with a 56-13 blowout victory in Week 1. Meanwhile, Marion Pleasant beat Indian Hill by a 42-21 final. The Spartans are a bonafide early season opponent for Paint Valley, having gone 26-8 over the past three years with three straight postseason berths. Pleasant is just two years removed from a 10-2 campaign, where it advanced into Week 13 before a loss to Eastwood … who eventually lost to Wheelersburg in the 2017 Division V state title game. As the Bearcats make a two-hour trip to Marion, they’ll bring with them their three-headed monster at running back in Lane Mettler, Brayden Ison and Iann Cockrell. In last week’s win, combined, Mettler and Ison needed just 11 carries to gain 161 yards and score five times. It’s not logical to expect the same results against Pleasant’s defense but, if Paint Valley stays out of its own way, it’s certainly capable of coming home a winner. Remember, this is a team that went 11-1 last season. The Spartans have a rich football culture, but so do the Bearcats. A win over a quality Division V opponent would certainly go a long way when it comes to playoff seeding.
Wellston (0-1) at Piketon (1-0), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Wellston beat Piketon, 48-14.
Last five years: Rockets lead series 1-0 (last year was the two’s first meeting in the past five seasons) and have outscored Redstreaks, 48-14.
Outlook: In Wellston’s first four games last season, the Rockets were 1-3 with their only win coming against the Redstreaks in Week 2. If you take that win away, they were 0-3 and were outscored 110-14. Those numbers came, of course, to three playoff teams that finished a combined 26-10. But you get the point. While Wellston couldn’t get anything going offensively in last week’s 23-6 loss to Jackson, the Rockets looked much improved in the second half, outscoring the Ironmen 6-2. But it’s not all bad news for Piketon. The Redstreaks won their opener over South Point by a 31-14 margin, using the arm of sophomore quarterback Levi Gullion to do so. Gullion was 10-of-18 through the air with 178 yards and two scores. Also in the backfield, Sammy Savage and Austin Henderson combined for 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Henderson also returned a fumble 49 yards for a score. Last week, Piketon played like it had something to prove against, but the performance came against a team that’s 2-18 in the last two years. This week, the Redstreaks will have a chance to really show their identity.
Jackson (1-0) at Athens (0-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Did not play.
Last five years: N/A
Outlook: With a big-play offense and a quarterback who can fling it with the best in Joey Moore, Athens poses a real threat to Jackson in Week 2. The Ironmen’ offense sputtered in last week’s second half and, if it does so again Friday, it may have trouble keeping up with the Bulldogs. Moore torched Waverly’s defense in the first half of last week’s eventual 30-27 loss, before finishing with 270 yards on 38 attempts. He has multiple receivers he can stretch the field with, which will provide Jackson’s secondary with its first real test this season. Coach Andy Hall will rely on quarterback Jared Icenhower to sure things up as Icenhower likely looks to receiver Tristan Prater and tailback Brice Graham for additional help. This marks the two programs’ first meeting since 2013, a 49-0 Athens win with now-LSU quarterback Joe Burrow under center. Jackson’s last win over the Bulldogs came on Oct. 19, 2008 … a 63-19 drubbing.
Mifflin (0-1) at Chillicothe (0-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Chillicothe beat Mifflin, 56-14.
Last five years: Cavaliers lead series 1-0 (last year was the two’s first meeting in the past five seasons) and have outscored Punchers, 56-14.
Outlook: Even with Chillicothe’s quarterback situation in question after Jaden Cain’s injury in Week 1, the Cavaliers have a promising shot at picking up their first win in the Doug Pryor era this week. Mifflin is coming off a 64-0 loss to Walnut Ridge and is 2-9 in its last 11 games. That’s, however, just two years removed from an 8-3, state playoff campaign in 2017. The Punchers’ two wins last season came against Beechcroft, who was 6-4, and Linden McKinley, who was 0-10. Chillicothe’s 14-0 loss to Teays Valley last go-around showed two things: the Cavaliers’ defense could be once again stout while the offense has plenty of things to work on. But with a week of practice with a new quarterback at the helm, Chillicothe has a pristine chance to figure things out.
Bishop Hartley (1-0) at Wheelersburg (0-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Bishop Hartley beat Wheelersburg, 51-20.
Last five years: Hawks lead series 1-0 (last year was the two’s first meeting in the past five seasons) and have outscored Pirates, 51-20.
Outlook: If Week 1’s 30-6 loss to Ironton wasn’t an eye opener for Wheelersburg, I’m not sure what is. After heading into halftime trailing 3-0, the Pirates were outscored 27-6 in the second half and the proverbial wheels fell off the wagon. This week, it doesn’t get any easier. Bishop Hartley, which was 9-3 last season and finished the year with a playoff loss to Eastmoor Academy, is coming off a 34-13 win over Timber Creek (N.J.). ‘Burg will have to face the Hawks with a less than 100 percent Makya Matthews, or no Matthews at all, after he suffered a Week 1 injury. Hartley quarterback Miles Fleming, a Minnesota commit, is as good as it gets. When you surround him with weapons like Jalan January and Mason Sawyer in the backfield, well, good luck stopping them. The Hawks scored 27 points in the middle two quarters against Timber Creek. You have to think they’ll be wanting to score early and often at Wheelersburg. If the Pirates’ defense played like it did in the second half last week, this could get ugly. If Wheelersburg does fall for a second straight week, it’ll mark the first back-to-back losses for the first time since 2010.
Minford (1-0) at Chesapeake (1-0), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Did not play.
Last five years: N/A
Outlook: Minford joins a long list of area teams who opted for a different Week 2 opponent this year. Over the past four seasons, the Falcons have met with Oak Hill in this week’s slot but the Oaks have been added to the conference schedule. So, now in Week 2, Minford will face the team that beat Oak Hill a week ago by a 35-13 final. In that game, Chesapeake quarterback Donald Richendollar and tailbacks Will Todd and Kamren Harless had their way with the Oaks’ defense. Likewise, Minford’s Elijah Vogelsong and Ty Wiget did what they wanted against Rock Hill. Vogelsong passed for 163 yards and Wiget rushed for another 121. The Falcons’ defense allowed 273 total yards in the Week 1 win, 260 of which came via the run game. This contest will likely be decided on the ground as both teams combined for 513 rushing yards last week, 148 for Minford and a whopping 365 for Chesapeake.
Portsmouth (1-0) at West (1-0), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: West beat Portsmouth, 13-0.
Last five years: Senators lead series 3-2 and have outscored Trojans, 133-97.
Outlook: To be blunt, if the Senators want to move to 2-0, they’ll have to stop Trojans running back Talyn Parker. It’s as simple as that, although, it’s not really simple at all. In last week’s 32-27 win over Valley, Parker only rushed for 21 yards … but scored all five of his team’s touchdowns. The Trojans rushed 26 times for 28 yards against Valley. They’ll now face a just-as-tough front seven from West, who is bound to load the box and blitz sophomore quarterback Drew Roe in his first year as a starter. While Parker tries to solve that conundrum when Portsmouth has the ball, he’ll try and put a stop to West running back William Journey when it doesn’t. Journey finished with 24 carries for 194 rushing yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 47-8 victory over KIPP Columbus. In total, the Senators rushed for 359 yards last week. Last season, West held Parker to just 57 yards on the ground in a 13-0 win. The Senators will certainly have to mirror that success if they want to seize a second win this season.
Follow Southern Ohio Sports Authority’s live game updates from Amanda-Clearcreek at Unioto (@dw1509), Fairland at Oak Hill (@SirBrockNetter), Vinton County at Southeastern (@mikeknightrider), Wellston at Piketon (@CoconutWallpapa), Mifflin at Chillicothe (@ClayArcher3) and McClain vs. Northwest (@dw1509) Friday and Saturday on Twitter at hashtag #SOSA.
Then be sure to visit sohiosa.com Friday night and Saturday morning for complete Week 2 coverage.
OTHER AREA CONTESTS
- Amanda-Clearcreek (1-0) at Unioto (1-0), 7 p.m.
- Huntington (0-1) at Eastern (0-1), 7 p.m.
- Washington (1-0) at Circleville (0-1), 7 p.m.
- Wilmington (0-1) at Miami Trace (1-0), 7 p.m.
- Goshen (0-1) at Hillsboro (1-0), 7 p.m.
- Cincinnati College Prep (1-0) at Green (1-0), 7 p.m.
- Manchester (0-1) at East (0-1), 7 p.m.
- Fairfield Christian Academy (0-1) at Symmes Valley (1-0), 7 p.m.
- Fairland (1-0) at Oak Hill (0-1), 7 p.m.
- Valley (0-1) at Dawson-Bryant (1-0), 7 p.m.
- Notre Dame (0-1) at Monroeville (0-1), Saturday at 7 p.m.
- McClain vs. Northwest at Valley, Saturday at 7 p.m.