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Austin Hannah

Unioto showcases firepower, tops Piketon to stay unbeaten in SVC

The Shermans stay unbeaten in conference play.

Austin Hannah, Contributor

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

CHILLICOTHE — Since day one this season, Unioto has been on a mission to claim the Scioto Valley Conference title.

On Friday, the Shermans took a huge step towards achieving that goal.

Showcasing its offensive firepower once again, Unioto (5-1, 3-0 SVC) scored 21 unanswered points to seal a resounding 45-22 victory over Piketon.

Unioto’s Connor Dollison helped the Shermans top Piketon on Friday.
CREDIT: Heather Thompson/SOSA

“Piketon is a really good football team. Coach [Tyler] Gullion does a great job with those guys,” Unioto coach Matt Hoops said. “He’s able to move guys around and put you in predicaments that you don’t want to be in. But I felt like we continued to answer everything they did.”

It took under a minute for the Redstreaks (3-2, 1-2 SVC) to find the end zone.

After recovering an onside kick to start things off, Piketon ripped off a scoring drive that was capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Luke Gullion, making it 8-0 after a successful two-point try. 

Unioto answered right back, though. Taking just three minutes off the clock, the Shermans struck quick as Connor Dollison surged 10 yards for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 8-7 with 7:57 left in the first quarter.

“After [Piketon] scored eight and after that kickoff, I went up to coach Hoops and was like, ‘Alright, we’re awake now. We’re going to do our thing and we’re going to get this win,'” Summar said.

Both teams traded punts, and with the ball in Unioto’s possession, the Tanks continued establishing a strong ground game. Ethan Summar scored on a 10-yard jet sweep, giving Unioto its first lead at 14-8. 

PHOTOS: Images from Unioto’s win over Piketon

Although momentum was with Unioto, its defense was whistled for a number of penalties on the following drive. Piketon happily took advantage of that.

Completing a long 13-play drive, the ‘Streaks found the end zone by way of a two-yard plunge from Zane Brownfield, tying the game at 14-14.

After trading turnovers — an interception for Piketon and a fumble recovery for Unioto — the Shermans took just four plays to cash in. Summar found the end zone for a second time on a 10-yard score, putting Unioto ahead 21-14 at halftime. 

Using that earned momentum out of the break, the Shermans’ defense forced a punt. The offense sputtered a bit, but still managed to put up points as Lucas Hanes drilled a 32-yard field goal at the 8:38 mark in the third, extending the lead to 24-14.

But Piketon wasn’t going away quietly.

Gullion quickly hit Brent McGuire for a 72-yard touchdown pass, trimming Unioto’s lead to 24-22 after a successful two-point try. 

However, ufortunately for the Redstreaks, the Shermans were about to hit another gear. On the ensuing drive, Newton Hoops found his brother Blake Hoops for a 42-yard touchdown pass, pushing the lead to 31-22.

“We really believe in going 50-50 on offense,” Newton Hoops said. “We think one thing opens up the other thing. That’s what we work on in practice. We try our best to get that right every week.”

Unioto’s defense then came up with the biggest play of the night when Ashton Crace intercepted a pass. That set up Newton Hoops for a one-yard score, extending the lead to 38-22 and virtually pounding the nails in Piketon’s coffin.

The game’s final score was Summar’s third touchdown of the night with 10:19 left in the game, sealing a 23-point statement win.

Statistically, Hoops finished 13-of-21 passing for 211 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions while carrying the football eight times for 29 yards and a score. Summar had 11 carries for 77 yards and three touchdowns, and Dollison rushed 11 times for 63 yards and a trip to pay dirt.

Blake Hoops led the receiving corps with five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown while Crace had three receptions for 60 yards alongside two interceptions defensively.

Now after back-to-back losses, Piketon will host Paint Valley in Week 7. Meanwhile, Unioto travels to Adena.

“We’re fortunate to have a lot of guys who can make plays, be it in the running game or by throwing the ball,” Matt Hoops said. “We had some different guys step up tonight on both sides of the football. But it’s nice to be able to be balanced. Tonight, we kind of got back to being 50-50 as much as we could.”


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