Week ten. It’s hard to believe we’ve made it through the entire season so far and we’ll be heading into the playoffs next week. There is a ton on the line for several teams in Scioto County, making each one just as important as the next.
Northwest @ Symmes Valley
In their matchup with Green a week prior, Northwest was unable to put up enough points on the board to make it a closer game in what has been sort of a theme as their season has progressed. The Mohawks are young, talented, and are improving as each week goes on, and there should be no reason they shouldn’t be able to steal a road victory in Willow Wood against the Symmes Valley Vikings in their last game of the season if they are able to take care of the ball and execute head coach Doug Montavon’s game plan.
East @ Notre Dame
One of the biggest county and conference rivalries is happening between the Tartans and Titans this Friday night in some of the most interesting of circumstances. Both teams are having sort of down seasons as far as their record goes, but both teams have shown flashes of high quality football at various stages of the season. For the Tartans to steal a road victory and close out head coach Matt Miller’s first season with a victory, East will need to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers against an injury plagued Notre Dame team coming off their second win of the season against Manchester.
Green @ Oak Hill
This is undoubtedly the biggest game in Green football history over the last 28 seasons. That is unquestionable. But it will also be the hardest game that the Bobcats will likely have this season. Oak Hill is outscoring their other SOC I opponents this season 246-25 through their other five conference games. It doesn’t help the fact that Green will be travelling to face Oak Hill in their week ten matchup, rather than vice versa. Green is not yet guaranteed a playoff spot, although it seems almost certain that regardless of their result with Oak Hill, they will be making their first post season appearance in 28 years. But if anyone has proved that they will be able to pull off the upset and win their first conference championship since 1990 and clinch a home playoff game, it’s this group of kids that went from having to forfeit last years’ contest with the Oaks into now challenging them for bragging rights in the SOC I.
Ironton @ Portsmouth
Another must win for a team that has been one of the stories’ in high school football in the county through this point in the season. First year head coach Bruce Kalb has led the Trojans to a 6-3 record with a home matchup coming up against a talented Ironton team coached by former Portsmouth West standout Trevon Pendleton. Talyn Parker has inarguably been the player of the year among the nine schools in Scioto County this season by putting up 200 and 300 yard rushing games at the drop of a hat. The junior running back will need to continue on his hot tear if he wishes to lift his team to a potential playoff spot in Kalb’s first season as the head man.
Minford @ Valley
The Minford Falcons have had a roller coaster of a season. They started off 5-0 for the first time since 2013 and at their highest were the #2 seed in the Division V Region 20 rankings. Since then, the Falcons have lost 3 of their last 4 games all of which were SOC II losses against West, Wheelersburg, and Waverly. Valley has also had a wild ride of a season. If things turn out differently in their matchups with Waverly and Coal Grove, we could be talking about a team that is playing for their playoff spot against their rival. Instead, it will be Minford who needs a road victory against the Indians if they hope to make their first postseason appearance since 2012.
Wheelersburg @ Portsmouth West
The granddaddy of them all. The Ohio River rivalry. Whatever you’d like to call it, arguably Scioto County’s biggest football rivalry will be an all-out war, no matter how you look at it. The Portsmouth West Senators will be having their senior night festivities for a large number of seniors on the night the Wheelersburg Pirates will be coming to town. The Senators are struggling a bit after having dropped back to back games against Waverly and Wheeling Central Catholic. Coming off a shortened week with having played WCC last Saturday afternoon in Hebron to a tough loss, 32-30, health and stamina will be a big factor if the Senators hope to steal a senior night home victory against Wheelersburg. The Pirates have already clinched the number one seed in the Division V Region 20 rankings and have been playing their best football over the past few weeks. Despite a slow start against Valley, their offense really came alive around the second half which elevated them to a resounding 37-7 victory. For the Pirates to finish out the regular season on an eight game winning streak and playing their best football hoping to make another trip to Canton, they will need to execute their game plan as well as they have been in SOC II play up to this point.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT