Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
Every single year, football season seems to fly by.
If you’re like me, you can’t believe it’s already Week 5. We’re halfway through the regular season and it seems like it just started.
We continue to learn about teams in our coverage area, continue to be impressed by outstanding individual performances, and continue to look forward to a sure-to-be interesting playoff race down the stretch.
As we head into Week 5, here’s a look at this week’s Sunday Morning QB.
Week 4 Takeaways
A. And then there were three …just three undefeated teams remain in SOSA’s coverage area after Week 4 — Jackson, Minford and Southeastern. The Ironmen beat Western Brown Friday in a 56-21 rout, the Falcons topped Division III Wilmington by a 31-27 final, and the Panthers handed Westfall a 28-16 loss in Williamsport. The common denominator between the three teams is the running game they all possess. Jackson has a tandem of Brice Graham and Jayden Spires in its backfield, Minford has a two-headed monster of Elijah Vogelsong and Ty Wiget, and Southeastern’s has a triple-edged sword in Lane Ruby, Mikey Nusser and Dalton Thurston. If you’re wondering, in Week 5, Jackson hosts Wheelersburg, Minford travels to East Clinton, and Southeastern welcomes Huntington.
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B. Question of the week … is Payton Shoemaker human? Waverly’s senior tailback produced a stat line in Friday’s 31-21 win over Fairland that I didn’t believe when I first saw it. On 41 carries, he rushed for 362 yards and three touchdowns. To make those numbers even more impressive … if that’s possible … Waverly’s entire team posted a yard total of 392, meaning Shoemaker accounted for 92.3 percent of the team’s total offense. He’s now racked up 964 yards rushing in four games. That’s ludicrous, ridiculous, wild … just insert your adjective here. But what’s possibly the most admirable thing about Shoemaker is his humble demeanor. Friday night, via Twitter, he posted, ” … I want everyone to know that nothing that I do is possible without my offensive lineman. Those guys are the hardest working and smartest line around … WE did it together. I love you guys like brothers.” If those aren’t the words of a team leader, I don’t know what is.
C. In the SVC, SOC and FAC, we now have six teams with 2-2 records — Westfall, Wheelersburg, Oak Hill, West, Northwest and Miami Trace. ‘Burg and Oak Hill have won two straight while the Mustangs, Senators, Mohawks and Panthers all suffered losses in Week 4. Westfall’s loss to Southeastern may have been the most damning of that group, considering it was a league loss. But the point of the matter is that all seven programs are at a crossroads. The Pirates’ may be the best-positioned in the group, considering their strength of schedule and the fact that they’ll have the chance to play both Oak Hill and West in the SOC. Either way, all six have a chance to continue turning the season around or go back to square one.
Quickly, Wheelersburg quarterback Aaron Masters is being combed into the next great Pirates quarterback. In a 38-7 win over Greenup County (Ky.), Masters completed 7-of-13 pass attempts for 124 yards and two scores.
Minford’s Ty Wiget continued his onslaught against opposing defenses, rushing for 130 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. That’s four straight 100-yard outings as he’s racked up a total of 706 rushing yards this fall.
Unioto’s Jamarcus Carroll had a big night on the ground in a 47-7 drubbing of Piketon. The senior rushed 17 times for 130 yards and scored three times.
In a gritty 14-9 win at Williamsburg, Hillsboro quarterback Justin Spears rushed 12 times for 97 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown with just 15 seconds remaining. Don’t look now but the Indians are 3-1.
One Final Thought
While Paint Valley’s 21-14 win over Adena was imperative to both playoff positioning and the Scioto Valley Conference title race, it didn’t come without paying a price. Early in the third quarter, senior quarterback Bryce Newland broke his fibula and was carried out on a stretcher. Iann Cockrell stepped in for the injured Newland and led the Bearcats to the eventual game-winning score. But you have to think that, without Newland under center, the Bearcats will be changing their identity in the coming weeks. Newland is a special talent, a great kid off the field, and a leader on it. Replacing his production isn’t going to be easy. But I’ll say this: if there’s anything I’ve learned about covering football in the area over the past seven years, it’s never to bet against the Bearcats. Paint Valley has plenty of options to call upon — namely Cockrell, Brayden Ison and Cruz McFadden — to get the job done. Head coach Pete Hollon is one of the best in the business. Before we all overreact to Newland’s injury, let’s take a deep breath. While it’s certainly a huge loss, PV is still the favorite going forward.
- Minford (4-0) … 2. Jackson (4-0) … 3. Wheelersburg (2-2) … 4. Paint Valley (3-1) … 5. Southeastern (4-0) … 6. Unioto (3-1) … 7. Waverly (3-1) … 8. Adena (3-1) … 9. Hillsboro (3-1) … 10. Washington (3-1)