Revisiting Scioto County’s best football moments of 2019


By Jacob Smith - jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com



Wheelersburg’s defense celebrates their two-point try stop vs. Minford during their SOC II opener earlier this season.

Wheelersburg’s defense celebrates their two-point try stop vs. Minford during their SOC II opener earlier this season.


Courtesy of Terry Stevenson

PORTSMOUTH — The high school football regular season may have just ended, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to take a look back at some of the best moments and plays from the year for Scioto County’s nine programs.

5. Wiget and Vogelsong-Lewis combine for 410 rushing yards in road win at Greenup Co.

Minford’s Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis and Ty Wiget showcased why the Falcons would likely be a playoff-bound team in 2019 in their 45-27 win over Greenup County (Ky.), combining for 410 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in the win.

Vogelsong-Lewis alone rushed for 266 yards on 23 carries for three rushing scores while Wiget accounted for 144 yards on 20 carries.

Needless to say, the read-option threat of the Falcons’ offense was fully realized in a win that improved the Falcons record to 3-0.

“We base a lot of our gameplan on how the other team is playing us,” Minford coach Jesse Ruby said at the time. “The looks they were giving us, the read option was there. Elijah made great reads, Ty ran hard, our line did a great job up front. We work on the little things all the time at practice.”

4. Sammons 45-yard field goal pushes ‘Burg, Ashland into OT

After the graduation of all-Ohio kicker Jalen Miller, sophomore Braxton Sammons assumed the role of starting kicker for the Pirates for the 2019 season.

Off to an 0-2 start with visiting Ashland (Ky.) coming to Ed Miller Stadium, the pressure was on for the Pirates if they wanted to ensure their eighth consecutive postseason berth.

With Wheelersburg trailing 27-24 and with minimal time remaining on the clock, Sammons unleashed a powerful kick which flowed through the uprights from 45-yards out to send his Pirates to overtime with the fourth-ranked team in Class 3A in Kentucky.

The sophomore Pirate also made the extra point in overtime which ultimately sealed the Tomcats’ fate, 34-33.

“What an amazing job he (Sammons) did for us tonight,” Wheelersburg coach Rob Woodward acknowledged at the time, “Along with our sophomore snapper and sophomore holder. We stubbed our toe on some extra points early in the year, but all of those guys have put in the time and the work to help us in that area tonight, including our guys up front.”

3. Campbell ties OHSAA single game rushing TD record

Northwest sophomore Brayden Campbell was simply untouchable during the Mohawks’ 67-32 shootout win over SOC I rival Green. In the win, Campbell rushed for an OHSAA record-tying nine rushing touchdowns.

Campbell finished the night with 19 carries for 360 yards and yes, nine rushing touchdowns (yards and touchdowns are Northwest High School records). Scoring runs of 69, 13, 13, 34, 8, 44, 59, 11, 10 and one yards accounted for each of the nine touchdowns — seven coming in the first half.

While the Mohawks weren’t able to break through for their first outright SOC I championship or postseason appearance in school history, this performance stands atop the list of special moments for the Northwest program in 2019.

“It’s an awesome night for our program,” Northwest coach Bill Crabtree said at the time of Campbell’s big night. “Awesome night for Brayden and our offensive line, (Nathan) Rivers had close to 100 yards also. Great performances by our guys up front to let Brayden do his thing.”

2. Parker breaks PHS rushing record

This moment is about as storybook as it gets.

In its 28-13 win over Ohio Valley Conference foe Coal Grove, Portsmouth senior running back Talyn Parker broke the Portsmouth High School all-time rushing record previously held by his father, Jo Jo Parker.

Prior to the game, Parker needed just 58 yards to break the school’s all-time rushing mark (5514 for Talyn, 5572 for Jo Jo).

With his longest run of the night, a 75-yard touchdown rush to ultimately ice the game by putting the Trojans ahead 28-13, Parker broke his father’s record and placed himself at the top of the Portsmouth High School all-time rushing leaders.

“I was there when his father set the record,” Portsmouth coach Bruce Kalb said of Parker’s record-breaking performance. “To have the opportunity to coach him as a coordinator and a head coach is a blessing because of how amazing of a young man he is. With everything going on, coming off the field with the ball, he was ready to go right back in and make plays. He’s as humble as they come, just an all-around great kid. He’s always looking to improve, always wanting to get better, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him.”

1. ‘Burg makes two-point stop at Minford

The pre-game hype, what was at stake, and the timing of the play has this moment as our no-doubt moment of the year during the regular season.

Touting an SOC II winning streak which (still) dates back to 2013, Wheelersburg (2-3) travelled to Minford (5-0) needing a win to kick off conference play.

Trailing 21-20 in overtime, having just scored thanks to a miraculous Matthew Risner catch, Minford coach Jesse Ruby was faced with the age-old question: kick the extra point, or go for two?

Ruby chose the latter, but Wheelersburg’s defense made the necessary play to stop Falcons’ running back Ty Wiget short of the goal line, giving the Pirates the overtime win.

“Every year is different, but this is a huge win for us because it’s an SOC II game. When you look at the adversity we have faced with the schedule we have played, and our guys have recognized the tall task that’s been ahead of them throughout those five weeks, I can’t say enough about our kids and the effort they put forth, especially our seniors,” said an elated Wheelersburg coach Rob Woodward following the Pirates overtime win. “We came in here tonight against a great team in Minford, and we faced a lot of adversity in this game. But again, all of our seniors…the battles that they have had, what a way for them to come out on top in this SOC II game.”

Honorable mentions:

Green’s OT win over Notre Dame, Valley OT win at Northwest, East senior night win over Notre Dame

Wheelersburg’s defense celebrates their two-point try stop vs. Minford during their SOC II opener earlier this season.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2019/11/web1_Pirates-celebration.jpgWheelersburg’s defense celebrates their two-point try stop vs. Minford during their SOC II opener earlier this season. Courtesy of Terry Stevenson

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved