Did you feel that in the air on Friday night? That crisp, cool bite?
It’s about time to start breaking out those hoodies, which means football season is officially here and not a moment too soon.
Though it doesn’t seem real, we’re nearly halfway through the regular season. The page is about to turn as some leagues open up conference play this week.
Time to throw some gas on the fire because the competition is truly about to heat up.
Here are this week’s SOSA Power Rankings:
1. Ironton (3-0)
Previous ranking: 1 … —
Week 3 result: 20-14 overtime win over Fairland
Whether it took 48 minutes or 88 minutes, the OVC still runs through Ironton. In back-to-back weeks, the Tigers were pushed right to the edge of the cliff but managed to survive at the final play, arguably knocking off its biggest threat in the conference in Fairland and escaping with a win. Now it prepares for Division I Moeller. Get ready for a slobberknocker.
2. Jackson (2-1)
Previous ranking: 2 … —
Week 3 result: 24-3 win over Tri-Valley
Jackson prepared all week for Licking Valley, only to reverse course last Wednesday and get ready for Tri-Valley at the last minute. But even with some of the Ironmen’ struggles offensively, the defense came up with three interceptions as part of a victory. Jackson’s defense gives up 7.6 points per game, while Western Brown scores 54.3 each week. Something has to give in Week 4.
3. Waverly (3-0)
Previous ranking: 3 … —
Week 3 result: 47-10 win over Unioto
Rack them and stack them. That’s all Waverly seems to do this year. Three things have been guaranteed with the Tigers — they’ll score at least 40 points, give up less than 15 and show no signs of letting up, whether it’s the first team or second team on the field. Chillicothe has some athletes that can stay with Waverly, so this week’s matchup could be an interesting challenge for the high-powered Tigers.
4. Piketon (3-0)
Previous ranking: 4 … —
Week 3 result: 62-36 win over Valley
Levi Gullion makes it look way too easy. 496 yards of total offense and eight touchdowns last week. It’s just ridiculous. If performances like that continue to happen, Piketon will be raising much more than a conference championship trophy. But let’s take it one week at a time for now. SVC play officially starts on Friday and Zane Trace comes to town fresh off a big win. This could get interesting.
5. Wheelersburg (2-1)
Previous ranking: 6 … +1
Week 3 result: 35-16 win over Russell (Ky.)
The time hasn’t come just yet, but it’s slowly approaching for the Pirates. Typically around Weeks 4-6,Wheelersburg has solved most, if not all, of its problems. They hit that gear only a select few other teams have. We’ll find out much more about this team in a couple weeks against Jackson. But first, a matchup with storied Pikeville (Ky.) awaits.
6. Portsmouth (3-0)
Previous ranking: 9 … +3
Week 3 result: 56-29 win over Deer Park
Don’t look now, but Portsmouth is 3-0 and seems to have found its swagger. The Trojans are once again playing with the type of juice that strikes fear in opponents. They had a victory wrapped up before stepping onto the field last week. Portsmouth is working to establish itself as a threat when they match up with Ironton down the road. But it’s one snap at a time, and this week brings a fired-up Rock Hill team to the center of attention.
7. Washington (2-1)
Previous ranking: N/A
Week 3 result: 32-29 win over Paint Valley
No team this week made a louder statement across the area than the Washington Blue Lions did. Scoring 20 points unanswered, the game-winner with under a minute left on the road and with a backup quarterback leading the charge. It’s wins like that which turn a program’s fortunes around. Now the question is can they sustain and build off that momentum?
8. Paint Valley (1-2)
Previous ranking: 5 … -3
Week 3 result: 32-29 loss to Washington
There’s still a long way to go in the season, but the Bearcats are trending backwards — which is very un-Paint Valley like. Losing a game is one thing, but blowing a 17-point lead is another. It also marked the first time since 2017 it has lost back-to-back regular season games. With SVC action starting and a date with Westfall looming, this could be where the Bearcats start to right the ship.
9. Amanda-Clearcreek (2-1)
Previous ranking: 8 … -1
Week 3 result: 14-9 loss to St. Charles
Amanda is still searching for answers on what went completely wrong against St. Charles. Maybe the Aces came in too confident, but three turnovers later, that confidence was gone as the defense was gashed on the ground for 215 yards. The Aces have a big matchup with Bloom-Carroll in two weeks, so consider this week a trap game against Liberty Union.
10. Notre Dame (3-0)
Previous ranking: N/A
Week 3 result: 35-10 win over Fisher Catholic
Ladies and gentleman, can we please give a round of applause for the Titans? This program is 3-0 for the first time since 2013. It’s also the first time since 2017 they’ve won three games in a season. Those kids have dealt with a ton of losses, so it’s great to see them sticking with it and seeing hard work pay off. Now for a matchup with undefeated Fayetteville.