Myles Phillips
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Derrick Webb

Derrick is SOSA's chief content coordinator and has worked for the Chillicothe Gazette, the Portsmouth Daily Times and Eleven Warriors. He's a 13-time award-winning journalist, a self-proclaimed baseball purist, a suffering Bengals fan and has never met a stranger.

Sideline to Sideline: Digging into Week 1 HSFB action

Our Derrick Webb takes a deep dive into his notebook after Week 1.

Derrick Webb, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

Football is so back.

Summer — to me, at least — always seems to drag by slowly. I know, I know. Some of you like sitting by the pool. Some of you enjoy your sunshine. Not me. Give me cloudy skies, football weather and leaves falling year round. That’s where it’s really at.

Logan Elm was where my crew decided to start its season — my dad, Joel, and uncle Neil tag along on Friday nights. We witnessed an entertaining affair between the Braves and Zane Trace.

But there’s plenty of other area excitement to highlight. Here’s this season’s first edition of Sideline to Sideline.

Fairland quarterback Peyton Jackson led his team to a last second win over West in Week 1.
CREDIT: Renee Nemeth/SOSA


1. Logan Elm might just be for real. After losing several talented starters last season, many thought the Braves might be mediocre this fall. Yeah, that’s not happening. Expect success from this group. Several names have already emerged as newfound stars — Carson Summers, Camden Redd and Cameron Smith to be specific — and the team’s leader and signal caller, Aaron Walters, looks better than ever. Walters threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns in Friday’s win over Zane Trace. Logan Elm will be in the playoff mix all year long. That’s a fact.

2. Ironton and Wheelersburg are still the top dawgs in our area, alongside Jackson. What else is new? The Tigers and Pirates renewed their rivalry and produced yet another instant classic in Week 1 — a 17-14 Ironton win — while the Ironmen did what they do best in a dominant 22-0 win over Logan. All three programs lost big-time names, all three programs have reloaded. We hear about successful traditions and cultures inside football programs all the time. This trio embraces every aspect of continuing to build those foundations. It’s why you read about them every fall, it’s why they’re perennial playoff contenders and it’s why they’re a combined 123-29 in the past five seasons. 

3. The OVC starts 6-2. Gallia Academy, Coal Grove, Ironton, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Fairland all pick up victories in Week 1 and the Devils, Trojans and Panthers all win by 30-plus. The losses? South Point took a 46-7 decision on the chin but Rock Hill played with a talented Minford group, falling 17-7. Is that a sign of good things to come? I’d lean towards yes. Of course, they’ll start beating up on each other soon enough. But if they can weather that strom, this could be one fun conference to watch come playoff time.

Offensive Juggernauts

How good is Andrew Potts? Just as good or better than last year it seems, and that’s a jam-packed statement. While McClain rolled Adena by a 41-23 final, Potts carried the ball 24 times, racking up 114 yards and four touchdowns. He also had two catches for 33 yards.

Chase Heiland is an absolute problem. Portsmouth’s feature back enjoyed a monstrous night to start his season, totaling 24 carries for 245 yards and four total touchdowns in a 59-29 win over Valley. The Trojans, who have made five straight playoff appearances, will look to make it six. Heiland is the key cog in that machine.

Take it easy on ‘em, Myles Phillips and Jordan Davis. The 1-2 punch in Notre Dame’s backfield combined for 281 yards on the ground and five touchdowns in an absolute dominant win over Manchester. Davis added 111 receiving yards of his own and another score. Oh, and quarterback Ethan Kingrey was 11-of-14 passing for 292 yards and six scores. Remember the Titans — seriously, they’re going to be a force to reckon with.

Sophomores don’t usually do what Westfall’s Joey Wright did in Week 1. The Mustangs started their season with a 38-12 win over Madison Plains and Wright was the team’s motor, rushing for 263 yards and four touchdowns with scores for 60, 7, 1 and 19 yards. That’s all on 19 carries.

Getting Defensive

Are we surprised how Jackson corralled Logan’s offense? I’m not. And that isn’t to say that the Chieftains won’t be OK this season. It’s more of a compliment towards the Ironmen. Logan rushed 30 times for 67 yards and completed 8-of-15 passing for 55 yards — making 122 the total. The Ironmen didn’t have a takeaway but did induce five punts and force a safety.

Listen, what Notre Dame did to Manchester on Friday should be criminal. The Titans held the Greyhound to -33 yards rushing — yes, that’s correct — forced three fumbles and allowed just six points. Meanwhile, in coach Buster Davis’ debut, ND’s offense collected 632 yards of total offense — 344 on the ground — and put 78 points. There’s not much else you can ask for. 

Downright Dominant

Goodness gracious, Cameron Smith is special. Logan Elm’s senior do-it-all guy lived up to his reputation in a 39-23 win over Zane Trace. Smith had six catches for 97 yards and a touchdown, tacked on 108 kickoff return yards and added two interceptions defensively — both of which halted important ZT drives. The Braves are for real and Smith is a huge reason why.

Peyton Jackson was as advertised on Friday. Fairland’s signal caller was 17-of-33 passing for 210 yards and a touchdown and added nine rushes for 32 yards and two scores. His last second 15-yard touchdown run gave his Dragons a 32-29 victory over West. 

If you haven’t figured out that Eastern’s Jace White is an absolute gamechanger, you haven’t watched him play yet. The Eagles rolled to a 43-15 victory over Miller and White was at the center of the storm, tallying four catches for 165 yards and a touchdown, five rushes for 43 yards, 11 tackles and two interceptions. That’s called a one-man wrecking crew.

Did you know?

Newton Hoops continued to write his names in Unioto’s history books on Friday, leading his team to a 21-20 victory over Vinton County. Hoops threw two touchdowns, the 31st and 32nd of his career. The set a new school record for career touchdown tosses, breaking Clay Edler’s previous high mark, set in 2016. The senior now has at least nine games left to play add-on.

Shot of the Week

Chase. Heiland. Big vibes.

This is after Heiland furthered his team lead over Valley this past Thursday with one of his four touchdown runs.

CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

Power Rankings

1. Ironton (1-0) … 2. Jackson (1-0) … 3. Wheelersburg (0-1) … 4. Logan Elm (1-0) … 5. Unioto (1-0) … 6. Gallia Academy (1-0) … 7. Miami Trace (1-0) … 8. Fairland (1-0) … 9. Paint Valley (1-0) … 10. Waverly (0-1)


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