Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
Here’s a brief look at 10 area high school football games:
Unioto (4-3) at Southeastern (7-0), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Southeastern won 20-13.
Last five years: Shermans lead series 3-2 and have outscored Panthers, 134-66.
Last week’s results: Unioto lost 41-7 to Paint Valley, Southeastern beat Zane Trace 57-14.
Outlook: Let’s not hide facts; Southeastern has made a habit of beating the pulp out of its opponents while the Shermans are coming off a week where they had the pulp beat out of them. You certainly have to think Unioto would like to avenge last week’s loss and what better way to do so than to knock off a conference unbeaten? That’s easier said than done, though. The Panthers, of course, bring firepower to the mix in the form of Lane Ruby, Mikey Nusser, Dalton Thurston, etc. Unioto counters with Jamarcus Carroll, Isaac Little, Byrd Green, etc. If the Shermans don’t want to lose two straight at home, they’ll have to figure out a way to cause turnovers and limit their own mistakes … which were aplenty in last week’s loss.
Paint Valley (6-1) at Zane Trace (1-6), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Paint Valley won 28-3.
Last five years: Pioneers lead series 3-2 and have outscored Bearcats, 101-89.
Last week’s results: Paint Valley beat Unioto 41-7, Zane Trace lost 57-14 to Southeastern.
Outlook: Two teams going in different directions are Paint Valley and Zane Trace. While Bryce Newland’s injury certainly still isn’t the “normal” for Paint Valley, the Bearcats have won each of their past three games without him by an average of 33 points. Brayden Ison has ran wild, Iann Cockrell has done a nice job commanding the offense and Cruz McFadden continues to come up big in all parts of the game. The Pioneers’ defense has virtually been non-existent … they’re surrendering 41.3 points per game. That doesn’t bode well against a talented offense like PV’s. The Bearcats’ defense was also lights out in last week’s win. That should continue in Week 8.
Piketon (1-6) at Westfall (4-3), 7 p.m.L
Last year’s result: Westfall won 60-30.
Last five years: Redstreaks lead series 3-2 but have been outscored by Mustangs, 139-141.
Last week’s results: Piketon lost 38-13 to Southeastern, Westfall beat Huntington 32-12.
Outlook: Piketon’s record doesn’t tell the overall story. The Redstreaks’ offense has flashed glimpses of success at times, especially before last week’s 13-point outing against a stout Adena defense. Led by quarterback Levi Gullion, Piketon has is averaging 28.3 points in its last three games. The Mustangs, on the other hand, have done a decent job on the defensive side of the football, holding their opponents to 20 points per game. But that’s playing a bend-but-don’t-break style. While Westfall should be favored, simply due to their own weapons on the offensive side, they must also be able to stop Piketons’ Gullion, Sammy Savage, Austin Henderson and company.
McClain (2-5) at Chillicothe (2-5), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Chillicothe won 63-7.
Last five years: Cavaliers lead series 5-0 and have outscored Tigers, 273-22.
Last week’s results: Chillicothe beat Hillsboro 49-6, McClain lost 21-7 to Miami Trace.
Outlook: Just when we thought Chillicothe’s offense was one of the worst in its conference, the Cavaliers put up 49 points against a three-win Hillsboro team. So what do we know? It does make sense, though. Kam Smith, who may be the most underrated player on the team, rushed for 133 yards, passed for 53 more, and scored five times. If he gets in space, consider him gone. McClain’s defense must key on him, and the Tigers haven’t exactly been good at stopping top-notch players. McClain has surrendered 252 points this season and at least 21 in all seven games. With the Cavaliers seemingly on a hot streak, that could spell trouble.
Jackson (7-0) at Miami Trace (5-2), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Jackson won 69-0.
Last five years: Ironmen lead series 2-0 (did not play from 2014-2016) and have outscored Panthers, 117-28.
Last week’s results: Jackson beat Washington 34-7, Miami Trace beat McClain 21-7.
Outlook: This could be for the FAC championship, essentially. After Friday, Jackson has Hillsboro and Chillicothe left on the schedule, two teams with a combined record of 5-9. Miami Trace and Jackson are tied at the top of the conference with 2-0 marks, but the Ironmen simply have too much up front, at least through seven games. Panthers quarterback Dalton Meyer has a good arm on him, so MT should test the Ironmen’ secondary. Although that may not turn out well, considering Evan Spires and Tristan Prater have came up with multiple interceptions, including four pick-sixes by Spires. As Jackson looks to move to 8-0, Miami Trace looks to put a hitch in that plan.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Waverly travels to Wheelersburg to renew rivalry
See our staff’s Week 8 high school football picks
Washington (4-3) at Hillsboro (3-4), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Hillsboro won 71-50.
Last five years: Indians lead series 2-1 (did not play in 2014 or 2015) and have outscored Blue Lions 148-117.
Last week’s results: Washington lost 34-7 to Jackson, Hillsboro lost 49-6 to Chillicothe.
Outlook: In last week’s 34-7 loss, Washington’s Jerome Mack and Jameson McCane were held under wraps. Mack passed for just 61 yards while McCane accounted for 69 total yards. That trend probably isn’t going to last long. Hillsboro’s defense has been good at times, giving up 14, 7 and 9 points in Weeks 1, 3 and 4. However, more recently, the Indians have 40, 35 and 49 in the past three weeks. That’s a welcome sign for Mack and McCane, who should be licking their chops after last week. Hillsboro’s Justin Spears and Mark Gallimore will also be looking to get back to their old ways. The duo helped their offense gain just 206 yards last week. Something has to give.
Eastern (2-5) at Notre Dame (0-7), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Eastern won 50-8.
Last five years: Series is tied 2-2 (did not play in 2014) and Eagles have outscored Titans 133-78.
Last week’s results: Eastern lost 38-14 to Symmes Valley, Notre Dame lost 28-22 in OT.
Outlook: While this series has been close over the past four years, this year’s meeting shouldn’t be. The Eagles’ offense has found a rhythm behind quarterback Wyatt Hines while the Titans’ defense hasn’t played to expectations all year long. However, last week’s 28-22 overtime loss to Notre Dame did create hope. The Bobcats’ 28-point outing was the lowest total the Titans have surrendered this season. Before that, the unit had given up 41, 45 and 31 points consecutively. Meanwhile, Eastern is averaging 30.4 points per game. That should certainly continue this week.
Northwest (4-3) at Green (4-3), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Green won 16-7.
Last five years: Mohawks lead series 4-1 and have outscored Bobcats 171-42.
Last week’s results: Northwest beat East 44-6, Green beat Notre Dame in overtime 28-22.
Outlook: In an intriguing SOC I matchup, Northwest travels to Green to try and continue a dominant stretch against the Bobcats … and it certainly has the players to do so. Brayden Campbell and Nathan Rivers have led the Mohawks’ offense to new heights this year while Alec Smith and Trevor Darnell has steadied the Bobcats’ offensive tide. Last year’s game was a nine-point win for Green, the program’s first win over Northwest since 2012 when the Mohawks were 0-10. It’ll look to make it two straight in Week 8.
Oak Hill (3-4) at Minford (6-1), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: Minford won 39-0.
Last five years: Falcons lead series 4-1 and have outscored Oaks, 119-64.
Last week’s results: Oak Hill lost 55-0 to Wheelersburg, Minford beat West 33-14.
Outlook: Oak Hill had a lot of trouble handling the speed of Wheelersburg last week, and it doesn’t get any easier with Minford this Friday. Remember, the only reason Minford lost to Wheelersburg was because of a failed two-point conversion in overtime, so that tells you how good the Falcons are. They have speed on the edge and in the backfield, so this is back-to-back weeks the Oaks’ speed will be tested. If Oak Hill is to pull out a victory, they’ll have to melt the control, pick up close to five yards per play and take some chances defensively. The Falcons are extremely talented. They should be favored.
West (2-5) at Valley (4-3), 7 p.m.
Last year’s result: West won 29-6.
Last five years: Senators lead series 4-1 and have outscored Indians, 150-70.
Last week’s results:
Outlook: Valley’s injury problems take center stage in this contest. The Indians fell 51-7 last week to a talented Waverly team and did so without starting quarterback Andrew Andronis, who’s out for the year. Last week, the Indians were led by Hutson Oyer, who had 58 yards rushing. They’ll need a much better effort from their offense, as a whole, against a West team that’s now lost four straight against teams with a combined record of 22-6. The Senators’ offense has also been stagnant, scoring 43 combined points during that stretch.
Follow Southern Ohio Sports Authority’s live game updates from Waverly at Wheelersburg (@dw1509), Oak Hill at Minford (@SirBrockNetter), Unioto at Southeastern (@CoconutWallpapa) and McClain at Chillicothe (@ClayArcher7673) Friday on Twitter at hashtag #SOSA.
Then be sure to visit sohiosa.com Friday night and Saturday morning for complete Week 8 coverage.
OTHER AREA CONTESTS
- Huntington at Adena, 7 p.m.
- East at Symmes Valley, 7 p.m.