All times at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted
West at Valley
In rivalry contests, one can never know what to expect.
And in the West-Valley rivalry series, that’s exactly what any person close by will say as West (6-0, 1-0) and Valley (2-4, 0-1) square off in a battle in Lucasville on Friday evening.
West, who obtained a pair of touchdowns apiece from skill position standouts Garrett Hurd and Cody Staggs, improved its points for mark to 31.3 while dropping its points against mark to 11.8 in a resounding 50-6 victory over Minford at The Rock in West Portsmouth. Dylan Bradford completed seven of his 14 passes for 203 yards and four touchdowns in the victory.
Valley, who fell in a tighter-than-it-looks 35-14 decision to Waverly last Friday, will look to utilize the 1-2 rushing punch of Gabe Streeter and Kayden Mollette to get going early on. Streeter, along with Tre’ Bratchett and Tucker Williams, have been key contributors on the defensive side of the football.
Chesapeake at Portsmouth
Despite taking several tough losses on the chin in 2017, Aaron Duncan’s Portsmouth Trojans have continued to fight throughout the season. On Friday evening, Portsmouth (2-4, 1-2) will look to use that fight to emerge victorious in an Ohio Valley Conference bout against the Chesapeake Panthers (3-3, 0-3) on Friday evening in Chesapeake.
Portsmouth, who has dropped 36-35 and 19-14 heartbreakers to Gallia Academy and Coal Grove, respectively, in back-to-back weeks, has seen each of its first three OVC affairs come down to five points or less. The Trojans ended up on the right side of the scoreboard in its conference opener against Rock Hill on Sept. 15.
However, despite the losses, Issac Kelly and Talyn Parker have been brillant throughout the stretch. Kelly collected 266 yards of total offense and four touchdowns against Gallia Academy, while Parker — in his first pair of games since returning from an injury suffered against Valley — ran for 103 yards and two scores on 20 carries against the Blue Devils and collected two additional scores against Coal Grove.
The defense, which showed vast improvement by holding Coal Grove to 104 yards rushing on 34 carries last Friday in the 19-14 loss, will have to continue to show flashes of that improvement against the Panthers, who have explosive playmaker Austin Browning at the quarterback position. Browning rushed for 166 yards on 31 carries against Ironton in a 40-28 loss last weekend.
Green at Manchester
With last week’s 24-22 loss behind them, the Green Bobcats will look to get back on the right track as Green (1-5) heads west on U.S. 52 to play the Manchester Hounds (2-4).
Green, who held a 22-8 lead with less than eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter of an SOC I bout against Notre Dame before falling, 24-22, will look to ride the back of Lonnie Smith again. Smith, a freshman running back, had arguably the best game of his career against the Titans as Smith ran for 203 yards and collected all three of Green’s touchdowns on the evening.
Manchester, who defeated Hillcrest Academy by a 41-22 margin last Friday, features seniors Nick Woolard and Marcus Neeley on its 26-player roster.
Logan at Minford
After a 50-6 loss to West last Friday, the Minford Falcons, who sit at 3-3 overall, will look to improve its overall playoff standing in tremendous fashion on Friday evening when Minford plays host to Division II Logan (1-5) in Muletown.
Minford, who obtained 77 yards receiving on four catches from Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis, will look to continue to utilize the freshman, along with Brayden Tilley, Darius Jordan, and Jordan Bowen in the passing game via the arm of Kelton Kelley. Casey Gaines and Mason Brisker will look to provide additional energy for the Falcons, who will look to move up from its No. 17-ranked position in the Division V, Region 19 ranks with a win on Friday evening. Logan’s only win was a 26-22 decision that was obtained at home against Meigs.
Notre Dame at Symmes Valley
After scoring a thrilling, come-from-behind 24-22 victory over the Green Bobcats last Friday in Franklin Furnace, Notre Dame will look to obtain its second big SOC I victory in as many weeks when the Titans(2-4, 1-2) face Symmes Valley (4-2, 2-1) on Friday evening in Willow Wood.
Notre Dame, who trailed by a 22-8 count with 7:34 to play in the fourth quarter of action, never quit behind the leadership of Ben Mader. The junior running back and all-purpose star took a 71-yard kickoff return back for a touchdown to begin the second half, added a 45-yard touchdown run and a 44-yard touchdown reception — the latter coming with 43 seconds left — to seal the deal in the Titans’ favor.
Notre Dame will look to slow down a Symmes Valley offense that chewed up all 295 of its yards on the ground in a 33-20 victory over Eastern to move to 4-2 overall. Layken Gothard, who ran 18 times for 148 yards and four touchdowns in the victory over the Eagles, will be the key guy in the Vikings’ rushing attack.
Oak Hill at Northwest
With a loss to East behind them, the Northwest Mohawks (0-6, 0-3) will look to put their misfortune to bed on Friday evening with a victory over the Oak Hill Oaks (4-2, 2-0) on Friday evening.
Both teams will look to establish their offenses on Friday evening after both units were held to a combined seven points last week. Northwest will look to ride the abilities of Ashton Hall, Garrett Rowe, Kyle Leslie, Austin Penrod, and Hobby Howard, while Oak Hill will feature the formidable quartet of Caleb Johnson, Walker Smith, Zach Fisher, and Bayley Clutters in its backfield.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7