Past the midway point: Week four football previews

Week four football previews

By Jacob Smith - [email protected]

Portsmouth senior kicker Joel Bowling (6) kicks off during the Trojans’ week-three home game versus Fairland at Trojan Coliseum.

Courtesy of Tim Gearhart

SCIOTO COUNTY — After the completion of week-three games in Scioto County, we’ve officially reached the midway point of the 2020 high school football regular season.

While many eyes south of Columbus will be on the results of the SOC II prize fight at Waverly’s Raidiger Field Friday night, Scioto County’s eight teams not named Wheelersburg will be competing in their own week-four contests.

With less than half of their regular season contests remaining — and a brand new playoff structure where every team in the state which chooses to compete is eligible for the postseason amid the coronavirus pandemic — Scioto County’s teams will be looking to fine tune and pick up a win to uphold or even increase their standing in their respective league races.

Valley (1-2) at West (1-2)

Coming off losses to Waverly and Minford in week three, Valley and West will each be looking to get back into the win column for the first time since week one.

Since week one, the Indians’ offense has been subject to some injury — including in dealing with the loss of senior quarterback Andrew Andronis for the rest of the season.

The Senators’ defense — which has surrendered 84 points combined in losses to Waverly and Oak Hill — are likely aware of these injuries and will attempt to make the most of their chances at securing possession via turnover.

With a road game against Oak Hill in week five prior to their week-six home game versus Wheelersburg, the Senators’ chances at finishing the season at .500 increase if they’re able to handle Valley at ‘The Rock’.

Minford (2-1) at Oak Hill (1-2)

Minford visiting Oak Hill in week four means the Falcons have a chance to pull off a feat that the Oaks managed a year ago — steal a road win in this matchup.

With a 17-14 road win over the Falcons in 2019, the Oaks handed the Falcons one of their three regular-season losses in a year that Minford qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

In their previous five matchups, Oak Hill has outscored Minford 95-66 — winning two of the last three contests between the fairly new conference opponents, beginning with a 14-7 overtime win in the 2017 season.

Portsmouth (1-2) at Chesapeake (1-2)

So far in the 2020 season, the road has been more favorable than the Portsmouth Trojans’ home schedule.

In a road trip to Chesapeake with an attempt to climb back to the .500 mark, Portsmouth and coach Bruce Kalb will be seeking a win away from Trojan Coliseum for the second time in as many tries.

Chesapeake is, of course, the Ohio Valley Conference member which announced prior to the fall sports season their that seasons would be suspended, a decision that was later amended.

Rather than having an open date in week four as likely would have been the case, indeed the Trojans will making the trek west on U.S. Highway 52 — hoping to extend their winning streak versus the Panthers to four games.

The last win for Chesapeake in this matchup was a 48-13 decision in the 2016 campaign — also the same year Chesapeake last finished above .500.

Notre Dame (1-2) at Eastern (3-0)

Notre Dame is either catching Eastern at the perfect time or the worst — with the Eagles now one of the favorites in the SOC I race following their 50-22 road win over defending league champion Symmes Valley in week three.

The Titans have shown their capability of sticking with teams on the road such as West and Northwest in their first two games — and again must travel to face the Eagles before finishing their regular season with back-to-back home games.

Eastern’s offense has proved very efficient upon entering league play, averaging 45.5 points per game against SOC I opponents to help bolster their undefeated start.

Can the Titans get back-to-back league wins for the first time since the 2016 season, or will the Eagles prevail to set up a likely league title-deciding week-five game versus Northwest?

Green (0-3) at Northwest (2-1)

The Mohawks of Northwest will be playing their third home game in as many weeks after last week’s game versus East was moved to McDermott to accommodate more fans.

While the Mohawks’ focus will be on the Bobcats this Friday, Northwest will also have its attention turned toward its final two games of the regular season — against Eastern and Symmes Valley in games that will likely decide the SOC I championship.

If Northwest manages to win out and claim the program’s first outright league championship, the Mohawks could very well be looking at hosting a home playoff game.

Symmes Valley (2-1) at East (0-2)

The East Tartans will be hosting defending Southern Ohio Conference Division I champion Symmes Valley in Sciotoville this Friday.

This contest preludes East’s final two games of the regular season against rivals Green and Notre Dame.

The Tartans are catching the Vikings at possibly the worst time, with Symmes Valley coming off its first league loss since its 2018 season-finale loss to Northwest.

Portsmouth senior kicker Joel Bowling (6) kicks off during the Trojans’ week-three home game versus Fairland at Trojan Coliseum. senior kicker Joel Bowling (6) kicks off during the Trojans’ week-three home game versus Fairland at Trojan Coliseum. Courtesy of Tim Gearhart
Week four football previews

By Jacob Smith

[email protected]