With a 10-0 season, and nine running clock victories, in the bag, the Wheelersburg Pirates’ football program will look to continue its roll when Wheelersburg hosts Columbus Bishop Ready on Friday evening in Wheelersburg in the opening round of the OHSAA Division V playoffs.
With 2,635 passing yards, Trent Salyers can eclipse the all-time mark set by former Wheelersburg quarterback Eddie Miller III with just one completed pass on Friday evening. He’ll be aided by Tanner Holden, who will begin his first week as the new single-season record holder for touchdown receptions (17) and receiving yards (1,174) in a season. Cole Lowery (38 receptions, 657 yards, three touchdowns) and a Wheelersburg rushing attack that has garnered 1,740 yards on 305 carries are among the standout numbers for the Pirates in 2017.
Defensively, Wheelersburg, who has had 49 players make at least one tackle in 2017, has held its opponents to just 2.1 yards per carry (624 yards on 294 carries) en route to putting together a dominating defense that has held opponents to just 8.1 points per contest. Xander Carmichael leads the defense with 61 tackles, while friend and fellow linebacker Evan Dahm has 52 tackles on his own.
Nic Parsley (48 tackles, three sacks) and Makya Matthews (three interceptions) are among the many additional standouts, while Chris Bailey and Chase Stidham have collected five sacks combined from their reserve roles to round out a strong Pirate defense that can go two-deep at every position.
Bishop Ready, who obtained the final playoff spot by 1.5 points over Fairland, comes into Friday evening’s affair with a 7-3 record. The Silver Knights defeated Baltimore Liberty Union, the lone Division V opponent that Bishop Ready has faced this year, by a 20-13 count. Liberty Union finished the 2017 season 3-7. Bishop Ready also owns wins over Division IV foes Amanda-Clearcreek (6-4), whom they defeated by a 28-0 count, and London (8-2), who qualified for the playoffs in Division IV, Region 16. The Silver Knights defeated the Red Raiders by a 27-23 count in Week 8.
The Pirates and Silver Knights will square off at Ed Miller Stadium on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.