Brock Netter, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — For both Adena and Paint Valley, Week 4 presents a chance to jump over a huge hurdle inside conference play. But one team is also playing with the revenge factor.
The Bearcats and Warriors engaged in a sloppy, mud-filled battle last season with the Bearcats coming out on top by a 16-3 final, clinching a perfect season and a claiming a Gold Ball in the process.
|All-Time Postseason Record
|Consecutive Playoff Appearances
|39-18 win over Washington
|Last week’s results
|33-21 win over Newark Catholic
There are some, mainly in the Adena community, who believe if that game had been played on a dry field, a much different story would’ve been told.
Good news … it’s supposed to be in the mid 70’s on Friday night with no rain in sight. Having said that, the Warriors have their chance to take down the top dawgs in the SVC.
It’s now or never.
Here’s a preview for SOSA’s Game of the Week:
PAINT VALLEY BEARCATS (2-1)
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Bryce Newland (QB), Brayden Ison (RB), Cruz McFadden (WR)
In case you don’t know by now, Bearcats coach Pete Hollon isn’t afraid to roll the dice and go for the big play. Look no further than last week against Newark Catholic.
Facing 3rd and 17, and leading 27-21, the Bearcats went to the air instead of the ground and Bryce Newland connected with Cruz McFadden on a 29-yard touchdown for a dagger.
It’s calls like that as to why the Bearcats have won nine outright SVC championship. They’re now looking for a 10th and that starts with Adena.
Newland threw for 165 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 33-21 win over Newark Catholic while McFadden had 124 receiving yards on seven catches. Brayden Ison also helped out, rushing for 141 yards and a score.
What makes the Bearcats dangerous is that they can hurt you in many different ways, yet every way is also a home run threat.
You can bet your bottom dollar Hollon will have his Bearcats ready to go and focused on what has the potential to be a title game in the SVC.
Ison has rushed for 384 yards and four touchdowns this season while Lane Mettler had found pay dirt five times … Newland has ran for two touchdowns on the ground … the Bearcats bounced back after a loss last week with a 33-21 win over Newark Catholic
ADENA WARRIORS (3-0)
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
- Preston Sykes (QB), Dalton Metzger (RB), Nate Throckmorton (RB/WR)
Despite having an unexpected extra week off, the Warriors looked as solid as possible against Washington Court House last Friday and dominated from start to finish.
Preston Sykes has developed into one of the most dangerous playmakers in the SVC, and showcased those talents with a four-touchdown performance against the Blue Lions.
Defensively, the Warriors have been rock solid as they’ve allowed just 32 points all season. Having said that, Adena hasn’t forced many turnovers so far, which needs to change.
Sykes is exceptionally talented, but he can’t win this game just by himself. He has an advantage on the outside with 6-foot-3 Logan Bennett at receiver. That connection could be a difference-maker, especially in red zone situations.
The Warriors ended a long playoff drought last season, finishing 7-3 … Adena defeated just one playoff team last season, a 33-30 victory over Southeastern … Adena’s opponents’ combined record last season was 57-50, including playoff teams in Paint Valley, Southeastern, Unioto and Shadyside
BOTTOM LINE …
Although it’s the opening week of conference play, this game has huge SVC championship implications, considering these two teams finished No. 1 and 2 in the conference last season.
Despite six weeks of football left after all is said and done, it’s very possible whoever walks out victorious remains atop the SVC for the rest of the season. Other teams will certainly have a say in the matter as well, but the winner of Friday’s matchup puts itself in prime position.