Mohawks play for last SOC I share


Northwest hosts Eastern, final SOC I home game

By Paul Boggs - [email protected]



Northwest senior running back Wyatt Brackman (30) outruns Green senior Levi Waddell (6) during last Friday night’s Southern Ohio Conference Division I football game at Northwest High School’s Roy Rogers Field.

Northwest senior running back Wyatt Brackman (30) outruns Green senior Levi Waddell (6) during last Friday night’s Southern Ohio Conference Division I football game at Northwest High School’s Roy Rogers Field.


Courtesy of Nick Kingrey of Mohawk Media

McDERMOTT — Truth be told, this isn’t the Northwest Mohawks’ last stand.

But, it is a few lasts for the Roy Rogers Country boys in Blue — namely the final regular-season home football game for the successful senior class, and the Mohawks’ last home tilt as a member of the Southern Ohio Conference Division I.

However, Northwest —winners of five consecutive contests including the first three in SOC I play —will clinch at least a share of the division on Friday night with a win, giving the Mohawks’ beloved seniors a second SOC championship in their four years.

The 6-2 and ground-and-pound and physical up-front Mohawks (3-0 SOC I) entertain the 2-6 (2-1 SOC I) and high-flying and pass-oriented Eastern Eagles on Friday night —as kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Northwest High School’s Roy Rogers Field.

It’s indeed a contrast in styles, as the Division V and run-oriented Mohawks feed the football to five-foot and 11-inch and 230-pound bruising back Wyatt Brackman —behind an offensive line which is spearheaded by 6-1 and 255-pound senior Alex Baer.

The Eagles, on the other hand and despite an opening-night Division VI roster of only 23 players, are athletic and aim to spread the field —as junior quarterback Dylan Morton can throw, run and kick extra points.

He did it all against Notre Dame last Friday night, as the Eagles —after opening the season 0-for-5 in the non-conference but defeating East (24-8) and Symmes Valley (27-20) to revive themselves in the SOC I —played their toughest league foe to date.

That is, until, they come calling to Northwest on Friday night.

The Mohawks, most consider, to be a heavy favorite for a victory —especially given if they ball control and consume the clock against the Eagles, with multi-play and impressively-sustained scoring drives.

Even more so, Northwest will be a gigantic favorite at Symmes Valley (1-6, 0-3 SOC I) in the regular-season finale —but fourth-year Mohawk head coach Bill Crabtree contends his charges are NOT looking ahead.

“Eastern has athletes, they do some things that are going to test us. It’s not going to be an easy ballgame,” he said. “Symmes Valley’s been our archnemesis, this senior class has played them three times and lost twice. So that game has a special focus for us also.”

In fact, the Vikings are the only two SOC I losses for these Mohawk seniors —and it almost was a third two years ago at Symmes Valley, when Northwest won 10-8 by blocking a last-second field goal.

Those Mohawks took the division outright, after splitting it three ways with Symmes Valley and Oak Hill in 2014 —their first SOC I campaign.

With South Gallia joining the SOC I in the next academic year, this marks the final season with Northwest in the small-school division —as it rejoins the larger and rugged SOC II next fall.

Northwest, by far, is the largest SOC I football school —with Eastern at Division VI and Symmes Valley, East, Green and Notre Dame all at Division VII.

But a championship is a championship —and Northwest will try to puts its final stamp on the SOC I one last time at home.

The Mohawks are also pushing towards a Division V Region 19 home playoff game —as they sit 10th in the region this week, following the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s weekly computer ratings release on Tuesday.

The top 16 teams in each region qualify for the state playoffs, with the top eight clubs earning opening-round home bouts.

Northwest does control its own destiny, per the unofficial yet respected rankings website www.joeeitel.com.

Crabtree has regularly commented on how hard his seniors have worked over the course of four years —in the offseasons to now their regular-season home finale.

“We don’t want to look ahead to the playoffs, but we’ve got that on the horizon also. It was a great feeling to win one a few years ago against Portsmouth (in 2020 with the shortened season when all teams could elect to compete in the state playoffs), now we’re in a position to see how far we can take this one,” he said. “Definitely don’t want this season to end. This is a special group of kids that have worked extremely hard and it’s time for them to get some rewards from that.”

* * *

Portsmouth Daily Times sports editor Jacob Smith contributed to this story.

Northwest senior running back Wyatt Brackman (30) outruns Green senior Levi Waddell (6) during last Friday night’s Southern Ohio Conference Division I football game at Northwest High School’s Roy Rogers Field.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/10/web1_Green-Northwest-Brackman-1.jpgNorthwest senior running back Wyatt Brackman (30) outruns Green senior Levi Waddell (6) during last Friday night’s Southern Ohio Conference Division I football game at Northwest High School’s Roy Rogers Field. Courtesy of Nick Kingrey of Mohawk Media
Northwest hosts Eastern, final SOC I home game

By Paul Boggs

[email protected]

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved