The week nine game of the week will feature two SOC I teams having vastly different, but just as interesting seasons through their first 8 games as the 7-1 Green Bobcats will travel to McDermott to face the 1-7 Northwest Mohawks.
Green is coming off a massive road win over the Eastern Eagles last Friday night by a final score of 34-14. The Bobcats only loss so far in the 2018 campaign came against Notre Dame in their week six road trip to Spartan Stadium by a score of 16-8. That low of a scoring contest is abnormal for the Bobcats in their historic season. In their seven games besides their contest with Notre Dame, Green is averaging an even 43 points per game and even when you factor in the Notre Dame game, Green is still averaging 38.6 points per game. This average on both fronts is good enough for the best in the SOC I.
The most impressive thing about the Bobcats points per game average is the fact they unless they absolutely have to throw the ball, they just don’t. Starting quarterback Trevor Darnell is 11/20 for 153 yards and no passing touchdowns. To counter that, boy do the Bobcats sure love to run the ball. Their option formation and myriad of player options to take a handoff in the backfield has caused problems for every team Green has faced so far this season.
For the season, Green has rushed for 2,766 yards and a total of 37 rushing touchdowns. That averages out to 345.8 yards rushing per game with 4.6 rushing touchdowns per game. Three of Green’s running backs, Lonnie Smith, Alec Smith, and Mackie Kingery have all rushed for over 500 yards this season and all have at least rushed for nine touchdowns through their first eight games. Alec has rushed for 944 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year, Lonnie 720 yards and 9 touchdowns, and Mackie with 538 yards and 12 touchdowns.
For Green, this game is a huge stepping stone. It is their second straight road game against an SOC I opponent, it is against a team that is coming off an emotional high from the week before when they claimed their first win, and if they are able to win, their road trip to Oak Hill next week will be for the SOC I outright title. That would be a very large hurdle considering what the Oaks have been able to do against their fellow SOC I teams this season, but nonetheless, an incredible goal to have reached. This game also has playoff implications for the Bobcats: if they are able to steal a win, they will finish the season with eight or possibly nine wins, almost certainly clinching the Bobcats first playoff berth in 28 years and would almost assuredly mean the Bobcats will host a playoff game since they would more than likely finish in the top four of the Division VII Region 27 race.
On the other side of the field is the Northwest Mohawks who have had a disappointing first seven game skid before they were able to defeat Notre Dame on their home field last Friday night, 35-14. If you’re a believer in the transitive property, since Green lost to Notre Dame 16-8 in week six, and Northwest defeated Notre Dame 35-14, then you must assume that Northwest will be the favorites when Green comes into town. However, in high school football, things aren’t always black and white.
The Mohawks have been plagued with the injury bug at various points in the season, but they have two players on defense that have played at a very high level through their first eight games of the season: Evan Lintz and Austin Penrod. Lintz and Penrod each have 87 and 77 combined tackles respectively, while also having four and three quarterback sacks respectively.
The Mohawks are led offensively by running back Brayden Cambell, Penrod, and running back Nathan Rivers. Campbell leads Northwest’s rushing attack so far in their first eight games with 444 yards and five rushing touchdowns while averaging 7.53 yards per game.
To finish out their 2017 season, the Mohawks won their final three games against the teams that will be their final three teams in 2018: Notre Dame, Green, and Symmes Valley to finish the season 3-7 and have their momentum carrying them into the offseason. With an opportunity to play the Bobcats this Friday night and hope of another three game win streak to close out the season starting Northwest in the face, they must take care of business in this intriguing SOC I battle at Roy Rogers field Friday night.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT