Finally, the time for SOC II conference play in Friday night football is here. SOC I conference play started two weeks ago when Green hosted East, but SOC II conference play has not started prior to this Friday’s slate of games in Scioto County. That is why this week’s game of the week in Scioto County features the undefeated 5-0 Minford Falcons vs. the one loss Portsmouth West Senators, a team looking for redemption a week after losing their first game in last Friday night’s game of the week to the Class A powerhouse from Kentucky, the Raceland Rams.
For the first time since 2013, the Minford Falcons have started off their first five games with an undefeated record. In that season, under head coach Brent Daniels, the Falcons started off the season 5-0 before ultimately losing their sixth game to the same opponent they will face this season in their week six matchup, the Portsmouth West Senators. The Senators defeated the Falcons that season in a close matchup by a score of 35-28. Current head coach of the Falcons, Jesse Ruby, was a member of that staff, but in an assistant role.
There are some similarities in that season and this one in that the Falcons defeated both Rock Hill and Oak Hill in route to starting off their seasons with undefeated records, with a physical Portsmouth West team waiting in the wings in week six as they try to improve to 6-0.
The Falcons offense has been incredible this season. Led by senior quarterback and captain Kelton Kelley under center, Minford is averaging 35.4 PPG through their first five contests, which is third in the conference and ahead of reigning conference champions and conference runners up, Wheelersburg and Portsmouth West.
The featured back for the Falcons is junior Ty Wiget, who has been arguably one of the three best running backs in the county along with Talyn Parker of Portsmouth and Garrett Hurd of Portsmouth West.
One of the more impressive features of this iteration of the Falcons is their defense. Through their first five games, the Falcons have only given up a total of 33 points which is good enough for an average of 6.6 points allowed per game, the best in the SOC II. Anchoring the defense for the Falcons are captains Luke Lindamood, Ethan Lauder, and Chase Workman.
Ruby said that going into this week’s matchup with the Senators, his team is trying to take it one game at a time. “I think we treat it the same way we have every week” said Ruby, “We’re treat it like it’s the biggest game of the year, each and every week. We have to go out there and execute, fulfill our assignments, go out and play to the best of our ability.”
Visiting Minford for their first road game since their week two defensive battle with the Portsmouth Trojans is the Portsmouth West Senators. The Senators will be heading into this heavyweight week six matchup coming off their first loss of the season at the hands of the Raceland Rams, a game in which Raceland controlled both lines of scrimmage for most of the game in a road trip to “The Rock”, just a year after Portsmouth West won on Raceland’s home field, 27-21.
The Senators offense was held in check last Friday night as they were only able to score 15 points in the game, including one Trevor Staggs touchdown reception that may have been overturned if there were such a thing as replay in high school football. Nevertheless, the Senators will have to remain physical this Friday night and look to their offensive playmakers such as senior quarterback Dylan Bradford, Hurd, Cole and Trevor Staggs, and all around playmaker Josh Berry if they wish to start off conference play with a 1-0 record.
Senators head coach Ben Johnson was very complimentary of the job that Ruby has done since he took over the head coaching position. “Coach Ruby has done a great job and they have had an outstanding start to the season” said Johnson, “They have put up huge numbers offensively and have been stifling on defense. We will have to be sound against the run and the pass. We need to control time of possession and keep their offense off the field.”
Kickoff for this Friday’s game of the week is slated for 7 p.m. at Minford High School.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT