West at Raceland (Ky.)
Two storied and proud programs. Two excellent and gritty football coaches. Two teams who have dominated the overall pace of play.
That’s exactly what fans will get to enjoy on Friday evening when Ben Johnson’s West Senators take on the Michael Salmons-led Raceland Rams as the Ohio AP Division V Football Poll’s No. 7 unit does battle with the Kentucky AP Class 1A Football Poll’s No. 4 unit on Friday evening in Raceland.
West, who is coming off of a dominating 31-6 victory over Wellston, amassed 170 yards of total offense but capitalized on short fields all evening long by wearing down the Golden Rockets up front behind a strong offensive line and the skills of Garrett Hurd, who collected 115 yards rushing and two scores on 18 carries.
The Senators, however, really shined from its defensive and special teams play, as West held Wellston to 158 total yards of offense — 56 of which came on one run against the second team — behind an outstanding effort from Brandon Weaver, who collected 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, and a blocked punt that the senior recovered for a touchdown, Jakeb Guilkey, who added eight tackles, two sacks, and a tackle for loss, and Hunter Reed, who collected four tackles, a blocked punt, a tackle for loss, and one-half sack in the win.
Josh Berry collected seven tackles and a tackle for loss, Cole Gilley and Cole Staggs combined for seven tackles and two sacks, and Drew Cassidy added five tackles and an interception for West, who has only allowed 12 points over the last 10 quarters of play.
Raceland, however, brings a tough defense in its own right, as a kickoff return for a score in the Rams’ 47-6 win against Valley is the only touchdown that the Rams have allowed over the last 14 quarters of play. Raceland also features an excellent one-two offensive punch in Damon Black and Judd Adkins, who start at quarterback and running back, respectively.
Green at Symmes Valley
Despite being small in numbers, the Green Bobcats, ever the gritty and tough competitors, will look to get the ball rolling on the right track when Green makes the trek to Symmes Valley on Friday evening to play the Vikings.
Green will look to turn its season around against Symmes Valley, as the Bobcats have only scored 26 points all season and have been shut out in its last two affairs against Reedsville Eastern and East. The Vikings, who have also been shut out in each of its last pair of affairs, are looking to rebound from a 41-0 loss to Oak Hill. Green defeated Symmes Valley, 32-28, in 2016 in Franklin Furnace.
Manchester at East
After scoring 46 points or more in three of the first four games that it has played on the season, the East Tartans’ football program will look to continue its offensive onslaught against Manchester at Allard Park on Friday evening.
East, whose only loss has been to a 3-1 Danville ballclub, defeated Green, 46-0 last week after collecting 358 total yards on the ground. Brady Douthat threw touchdown passes of 17 and 36 yards to Braiden Haney and Kyle Flannery while collecting a 27-yard touchdown run to lead the Tartans to the victory.
Manchester, who is 1-3 on the year, lost to South Gallia by a 34-28 count. East, by comparison, cruised to a 46-14 win over South Gallia after leading 38-0 at halftime.
Northwest at Eastern
With Northwest showing signs of improvement week after week, Doug Montavon’s club will look to translate that momentum into the Mohawks’ first victory of 2017 when Northwest travels to Eastern for its SOC I opener.
Northwest, who fell by a 33-3 tally to Minford, will look to make strides defensively after giving up 41 points per game over its first four affairs. Eastern is coming off a 40-6 victory over Notre Dame on Friday.
Oak Hill at Notre Dame
After taking hard-luck losses to Fayetteville-Perry and Eastern, the Notre Dame Titans will look to get back on track when the Titans host the Oak Hill Oaks on Saturday evening in Portsmouth.
Notre Dame, who has shown flashes of brilliance offensively in its ball-control offense, will look to Ben Mader, Chase Matiz, and Logan Emnett to spark its offensive attack. Oak Hill, who is 3-1, defeated Symmes Valley by a 41-0 tally last weekend to collect its first 3-1 or better mark to start a season since 2014.
Valley at Fairview (Ky.)
After falling to the No. 4-ranked program in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s realm in Raceland (Ky.), 47-6, the Valley Indians will look to rebound from that defeat by emerging victorious away from home against Raceland’s bitter rival, Fairview (Ky.) on Friday evening in Westwood.
Valley, whose only score came on an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Gabe Streeter, will look to get Streeter, J.T. Ward, Andrew Shope, and Tanner Spradlin loose offensively. As for the Indians’ defensive unit, they’ll have to stop Mark Ekers, Turner King, and Shane Cook, who collected 569 of Fairview’s 621 yards rushing last weekend. King ran for 197 tallies, Ekers collected 188 yards, and Cook added 184 yards as the trio helped the Eagles move to 2-2 on the year with a 66-46 win over Lewis County (Ky.).
Williamsburg at Minford
With a 2-2 record in hand, the Minford Falcons will look to get back on the right side of .500 for the first time since the opening week of the year when the Falcons host Williamsburg on Friday evening.
Look for Minford’s Kelton Kelley, Breydan Tilley, and Jordan Bowen to be consistent threats for the Falcons, as the trio scored all six of Minford’s touchdowns against Northwest on Friday. Williamsburg is 1-3 and has been outscored by a combined total of 162-41 on the year.