Category: Trimble

Catfight: Unbeaten Tomcats and Tigers battle for a spot in Region 21 title game

Results

TeamTOutcome
Springfield20Win
Trimble19Loss

Catfight: Unbeaten Tomcats and Tigers battle for a spot in Region 21 title game

 

Experienced Tomcats face upstart Tigers

 

By Spencer Waugh

 

Springfield vs Trimble (On time)

The end of the 2018 football season left both the Trimble Tomcats and the Springfield Tigers unsatisfied.

 

For Trimble the season ended with their second state runner-up finish in the last six years, while the Tigers finished the regular season at 9-1 but just missed out on a DVI playoff berth.

 

The two teams meet at 7:00 pm Friday night in St. Clairsville in one of only three 11-0 versus 11-0 matchups in the entire state. The region is one of the state’s most challenging – not just due to the quality of opponents – but also do to the extreme geographic extremes. New Middletown and Glouster are 175 miles apart despite sharing a region.

[event_scoreboard id=”1724″ number=”12″ align=”none”]

The Tigers have never advanced past week 12 and the Tomcats are hoping this will finally be the year they lift the gold trophy in Canton.

The Trimble Tomcats are 11-0 but played only ten games due to a forfeit by Federal Hocking after they had to end their season prematurely due to concern for player safety from a lack of numbers.

 

The Tomcats defeated three playoff opponents during the regular season, and are making their 10th straight playoff appearance and 16th overall. The kids from Glouster have racked up an impressive 18-15 postseason record including a pair of state runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2018. Additionally, the Tomcats reached the state semifinal round in 2014.

 

To say the Tomcat defense has been dominant would be selling them short. If defense wins championships, then hand Trimble the belt.

The Tomcats have allowed only 20 points all season and only six of those came during the regular season. The scarlet and gray didn’t allow a point against their Tri-Valley Conference – Hocking division opponents and only playoff qualifier Worthington Christian crossed their goal line.

 

The Tomcats are disciplined, quick, and relentless on the defensive side of the ball.

 

The Trimble defense is led by linebacker Sawyer Koons (6-0, 225, senior) who has recorded 91 tackles, including 12 for loss, and four quarterback sacks.

 

Also leading the way for the “Mohawk Mafia” are Ian Joyce (6-3, 230, senior), Shawn Turley (5-10, 225, senior), and Tabor Lackey (5-10, 175, sophomore).

 

But the Tomcats aren’t getting by with their defense alone.

 

The Athens Countians have averaged over 47 points per game, despite running far fewer plays than most teams due to running clocks during most of the season.

 

#
10
Name
Conner Wright
Position
2020
Height
5-11
Weight
190
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2018, 2019
Conner Wright (5-11, 190, senior) is the team’s top rusher, gaining 1,507 yards and scoring 29 touchdowns on 131 carries. The senior is averaging over 11.5 yards per carry, but was held to just 72 yards on 15 carries last week.

 

#
12
Name
Cameron Kittle
Position
2020
Height
6-01
Weight
175
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019
Senior quarterback Cameron Kittle (6-1, 175) is the catalyst for the tri-town ‘Cats. Kittle has connected on 30 of 41 passes for 727 yards including 11 touchdowns and only a single interception. He has rushed for 649 yards and nine touchdowns on 47 carries. Kittle led the Tomcats with 74 yards and three touchdown on 10 carries while passing for 104 yards and another score last week.

 

#
42
Name
Sawyer Koons
Position
2020
Height
6-00
Weight
225
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019
Koons plays fullback in Coach Faires’ trademark wishbone attack.

#
28
Name
Blake Guffey
Position
2022
Height
6-00
Weight
190
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019, 2020

Top pass catchers are sophomores Blake Guffey (6-0, 190), Austin Wisor (5-9, 145), Lackey, and Bryce Downs (6-1, 175). Guffey has seven catches for 149 yards and a pair of scores while Wisor adds six catches for 159 yards and 4 touchdowns.

 

#
8
Name
Austin Wisor
Position
2022
Height
5-09
Weight
145
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019, 2020

Up front Garrett Richards (6-0, 230, junior), Joyce, and Turley anchor the offensive line.

 

Head coach Phil Faires is in his 26th season as the Tomcat grid mentor and is 213-78 overall with 14 playoff appearances and an 18-13 postseason record.

 

On the opposite sideline, a senior led Springfield Tiger squad from New Middletown also enters with a perfect 11-0 and as champions of the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

 

The Tigers were 7-3 in 2017 and 9-1 in 2018, but missed the playoffs both seasons. Coach Sean Guerriero hopes to make up for lost time this fall. Guerriero, in his 13th season as Tiger grid boss and has a 73-51 overall record including a 2-3 mark in the post season.

 

Springfield is making their ninth playoff appearance and hold a 4-8 postseason record. They first qualified in 1987.

 

The Mahoning Countians defeated four playoff qualifiers in the regular season, including Western Reserve who the Tigers defeated in a rematch last week in round one. Springfield beat Western Reserve 35-14 in week nine and repeated the victory by a 34-7 score last week.

 

Their closest game was a season opening 23-20 overtime victory over DV-qualifier Canfield South Range.

 

The orange and black utilize speed – both their athletes and a quick paced spread offense – to unbalance opposing defenses.

 

Sophomore quarterback Beau Brungard has completed 88 of 129 passes for 1551 yards including 20 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Brungard has also rushed for 623 yards and 13 scores on 66 carries.

 

Brungard, whose brother Brannon quarterbacked the Tigers last season, is the son of former Youngstown State national champion quarterback Mark Brungard.

 

Joining Brungard in the backfield are senior David Duvall (80 carries, 489 yards, 8TDs) and junior Austin Tindell (84 carries, 654 yards, 7TDs).

 

Brungard’s top targets are Garrett Walker (5-9, 160, senior) and Evan Ohlin (6-1, 165, senior). Walker tops the team with 31 catches for 673 yards and 12 touchdowns while Ohlin adds 385 yards and four scores on 28 grabs. Ohlin missed two games due to injury.

 

Up front, Brady Brungard (5-11, 285, senior) is the center and another older brother of Beau. Joining him on the forward wall are Chris Thompson (6-0, 230, senior), Corey Hatton (240, senior), and Sean Thompson (280, senior). The latter three are all three-year starters.

 

The Tigers are also tenacious on defense, allowing just under 11 points per game and recording three shut outs. After allowing 48 points in their opening two games, Springfield allowed only 71 points in their last nine games.

 

Chris Thompson, Hatton, and Brady Brungard all see time on the defensive line.

 

Clayton Nezbeth (5-11, 170) leads the team with 96 tackles including five for loss while Duvall has recorded 87 with 4.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks from their linebacker posts. Sophomore Bo Snyder will also see time at linebacker.

 

Beau Brungard, Walker, and Ohlin are ball hawks in the defensive secondary.

 

The Tigers have an ace up their sleeve in junior kicker/punter Clayton Medvec (6-1, 180). Medvec converted a pair of field goals and helped keep Western Reserve pinned deep in their own territory with pin point punting.

 

The season will end in disappointment for one team on Friday night. The Tomcats have made a habit of practicing and playing late into November. On the opposite side, the Tigers feel they need to pack three years’ worth of playoff memories into a single season.

 

Expect a full house in St. Clairsville on Friday night.

PosTeamWLPFPANet Pts
1132549121428
211149440454
3111488170318
4111528244284
593414257157

2019 Trimble Roster

#PlayerPositionBenchSquat40HeightWeight
3Will Freeborn2022---5-10195
4Chase Carr2023---5-10195
5Todd Fouts2021---5-08150
7Tabor Lackey2022---5-10175
8Austin Wisor2022---5-09145
10Conner Wright2020---5-11190
12Cameron Kittle2020---6-01175
14Chase Wooten2023---5-04130
15Ronald Maffin2023---5-09160
20Bryce Downs2022---6-01175
24Ben Orona2023---5-09150
25Landon Wisor2023---5-09150
28Blake Guffey2022---6-00190
30Tray Christy2022---5-10150
32Braxton Shutts2022---5-04130
33James Russell2021---5-10155
34Tyler Weber2022---5-10175
35Evan Scott2021---5-09150
36Tucker Dixon2022---5-10120
42Sawyer Koons2020---6-00225
44Jack Nagucki2020---6-01200
51Shawn Turley2020---5-10225
52Brayden Brown2023---5-06160
54Jeremiah Everett2021---5-10275
55Conner Wooten2022---5-10320
56Zach Guffey2020---6-00205
58Blake Brown2023---5-07155
67Ethan Fullerton2022---5-10160
68Ian Joyce2020---6-03230
70Garrison Bush2020---6-04260
71Don Holbert2020---5-06280
72Garett Richards2020---6-00230
74Ian Spencer2021---6-04215
77Douglas Hale2022---6-04260
78Chris Jones2021---5-11280
80Brice Bickley2021---5-09150
81Clayton Sayre2022---5-10160
85Devon Hammond2023---5-10160
86Christian Cade2022---5-10160

Springfield

CMP ATT INT PYDS TD ATT RUYDS TD REC REYDS TD
00000000000
Sacks Tackles INT FGM FGA
00000

Trimble

CMP ATT INT PYDS TD ATT RUYDS TD REC REYDS TD
00000000000
Sacks Tackles INT FGM FGA
00000

Details

Date Time League Season
November 15, 2019 7:00 pm Playoffs 2019

Vikings, Bobcats open SOC I slate; Ironton @ Chesapeake, Trimble @ Waterford, Logan @ Athens

By PAUL BOGGS

Photo by Robert Stevens

Symmes Valley vs Green (On time)

Don’t look now, but the Symmes Valley Vikings are quietly creeping up the Division VII, Region 27 playoff ladder.

 

They are also aiming – with the Oak Hill Oaks having moved up to the Southern Ohio Conference Division II – to significantly scale the totem pole of the SOC I.

 

But so too are the Green Bobcats – with their numbers and hopes on the rise and coming off their first winning season and state playoff appearance since 1990.

With Northwest now the largest SOC I school for football, and according to many observers the favorite for this season’s division championship, the 4-1 Vikings and 3-2 Bobcats will surely have something to say about that – as they open SOC I action on Friday night in Lawrence County.

 

Kickoff at Symmes Valley High School is set for 7 p.m.

 

The Vikings, whose lone loss was to archrival and Division V Chesapeake, have shut out Fairfield Christian (37-0) before steamrolling Fairview (50-6) and Sciotoville East (47-6) in non-conference clashes the past two weeks.

 

The Vikings vanquished South Gallia 14-12 in the opener, and are currently 10th in the official OHSAA Region 27 computer ratings.

 

The Bobcats are 12th in those same computer rankings, but Green is coming off a bad 26-22 setback at Fairview (Ky.).

 

Green will now likely need to run the table to qualify for a second straight playoff appearance, and it doesn’t help that the three teams it has defeated – Cincinnati Dohn Community (1-4), Manchester (0-5) and Federal Hocking (1-4) – are a combined 2-13.

 

That trio will also unlikely yield anymore possible playoff points.

 

The run-oriented Vikings are considered a heavy favorite, despite the Bobcats winning two of the past three meetings – albeit by a combined 11 points (32-28 in 2016 and 22-15 in 2018).

 

The series is lopsided in Symmes Valley’s favor with only those two victories by the Bobcats – besides Green’s only other win since the turn of century in 2006.

 

Oak Hill has dominated the division for the past decade, as the Vikings split the crown with the Oaks and Mohawks in 2014 – while winning it outright in 2011.

Northwest now wins the numbers game by being a Division V program – with the other five SOC I squads belonging to Region 27.

RankPlayerPositionHeightWeightATTRUYDSTDRECREYDSTD
1Josh Ferguson20215-101751081111113230
2Ethan Patterson20226-001557155073330
3Jack Leith20206-03170904816000
4Luke Leith20216-0116014148451025
5Nick Strow20225-10160351350000

But numbers on the field are with the Vikings, as three backs (Josh Ferguson 51 carries, 426 yards and 4 TD; Jack Leith 46 carries, 236 yards and 4 TD; Eli Patterson 28 carries, 229 yards and 2 TD) have amassed at least 28 carries, 231 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Jack Leith has completed 9-of-14 passes for 156 yards and four TDs, as three players have at least three receptions – with Luke Leith’s three catches all going for scores.

 

Gavan Yates, a starting Symmes Valley offensive lineman, has successfully kicked 13 extra points and one field goal.

 

 Ironton at Chesapeake

Chesapeake vs Ironton (On time)

 

In another matchup of 4-1 at 3-2, but also along the lines of David vs. Goliath, Ironton (4-1) invades Chesapeake (3-2) for maintaining front-running status in the Ohio Valley Conference.

 

Kickoff inside Phil Davis Stadium in Chesapeake is set for 7 p.m.

 

The Fighting Tigers, the consensus preseason favorite for the OVC championship along with defending champion Gallia Academy, bounced back from their only loss of the season (16-10 in overtime at Ashland) – with an expected league defeat of South Point (38-2) last week.

 

Ironton is 2-0 in the league, and attempting to make it 5-for-5 against the Panthers in all of their meetings since joining the OVC in 2015.

 

The Fighting Tigers took the league championship in their first two campaigns.

 

The Panthers are 1-1 in the league, having lost 55-27 at Gallia Academy – before  winning a shootout at Coal Grove last week by a final score of 45-38.

 

Ironton, however, is a heavy favorite against the Panthers, which have remained much healthier through the first half of this year.

 

There is also a bevy of state playoff points at stake, as the Tigers (8.95 computer points average) trail only Minford (9.65 CPA) for the top spot in Division V Region 19, but have five more Level-2 points than do the Falcons.

Speaking of Minford, Ironton will benefit from a Wheelersburg victory over the Falcons this week, while Minford is rooting for a Panther upset of the Fighting Tigers.

 

Chesapeake’s only other loss is against the Falcons in week two, as the Panthers (5.6 CPA) currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in Region 19.

 

The top eight teams in each region qualify for the playoffs – with the top four squads earning first-round home bouts.

 

Trimble at Waterford

Waterford vs Trimble (On time)

So somebody, anybody, finally scored upon the undefeated Trimble Tomcats this season.

 

But while the Tomcats didn’t win that trivial battle, they did win their latest war – defeating the Worthington Christian Warriors 34-6 to move to 5-0.

 

This week, Trimble returns to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division play – and tangles with the host Waterford Wildcats, which will arguably be their toughest opponent in the remainder of the regular season.

 

Waterford, with only a lopsided loss against arch-rival but Division VI Fort Frye, stands at 4-1 – and welcomes the defending champion Tomcats for the inside track to the latest TVC-Hocking championship.

 

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

 

Both clubs are 3-0 in the TVC-Hocking, and while the Wildcats have allowed only 34 points in three conference tilts, the Tomcats – against 3-2 Belpre, 3-2 Meigs Eastern and 1-4 South Gallia – have not surrendered a single solitary one.

 

Waterford will need not only to score against the Tomcats, but they will need to do so several times.

 

They didn’t against Fort Frye in being blanked 49-0, and Trimble – like the Cadets – is considered one of the top Division VI programs in the entire state.

 

Zane Heiss has completed 22-of-54 passes for 496 yards and four touchdowns, as Nick Fouss has caught 14 passes for 372 yards and three scores.

 

Heiss has also been a primary running threat from the quarterback spot, rushing for 335 yards and four TD on 33 carries, while Holden Dailey leads the Wildcats with 369 yards and 10 touchdowns on 36 attempts.

Joe Pantelidis has the most carries for Waterford with 40, and has 290 yards with a trio of touchdowns.

 

Waterford will face Trimble’s vaunted wishbone rushing attack, as Connor Wright will enter Friday’s affair at four carries short of 100 – and already 99 rushing yards shy of exactly 1,000.

 

Wright also has 13 touchdowns.

 

Quarterback Cameron Kittle has rushed for 285 yards on 32 attempts and five trips to paydirt, while completing 15-of-21 passes for 354 yards with seven scores.

 

The Wildcats sit sixth in the Division VII, Region 27 computer ratings, so an upset win would open so many doors for them.

 

Waterford won back-to-back TVC-Hocking titles in 2016 and 2017, following Trimble’s run of three consecutive from 2013 thru 2015.

 

The Tomcats’ last league loss was at Waterford two years ago, as Trimble has captured 13 consecutive conference victories.

 

Trimble (8.8) trails only New Middletown Springfield (9.5) and Fort Frye (9.15) for the top spot in the Region 21 computer ratings.

 

Logan at Athens

Athens vs Logan (On time)

Talk about two programs really needing – and even craving – a victory, and against an old enemy at that.

 

That’s the setting for Friday night’s matchup at Rutter Field in The Plains, as longtime rivals Logan and Athens square off in an important and now non-league duel – despite both entering with losing records.

 

Kickoff at Athens High School is set for 7:30 p.m.

 

The Chieftains are 1-4 and the Bulldogs are 2-3 – something seldom seen or even heard of when the Route 33 rivals did battle during their former Southeastern Ohio Athletic League days.

 

Logan, now an independent program playing in Division II, landed its first victory of the season last week – an 18-7 Thursday night special over host Chillicothe.

 

The Chieftains had scored just seven points apiece in each of their previous four bouts, but snapped a school-record 11-game losing streak by stymieing the offensively-struggling Cavaliers.

 

Logan – whose four losses are to teams with a combined 16-4 record – turns its attention to the Bulldogs, which have won two consecutive in this series, which was renewed four years ago.

However, in the two-decade stretch from 1996 thru 2016, Athens lost 14 in a row to Logan, as the Bulldogs departed the SEOAL – and joined the Tri-Valley Conference starting in 2008.

 

It’s been an excellent move for Athens, which has won or shared six TVC-Ohio championships over the past decade, including its first last season since a four-year span from 2011 thru 2014.

 

But the Bulldogs began this season at 0-3, losing to 4-1 Waverly (30-27) and undefeated Jackson (31-26) by a combined eight points – before falling 42-20 at undefeated Parkersburg South in West Virginia.

 

As a result of those non-league losses, Athens must win out if it is to have any shot at qualifying for the Division III, Region 11 playoffs.

 

The Bulldogs, with a computer points average of 4.0, are only 17th in Region 11.

 

This week, Athens’ finesse and spread-the-field formation attack indeed will be tested against the Chieftains’ physicality.

 

Under the direction of first-year head coach Nathan White, junior Joey Moore is thriving at quarterback – having completed 86-of-137 passes for 1,204 yards and 14 touchdowns.

 

Moore is also the Green and Gold’s leading rusher, totaling 377 yards and four TD on 93 carries.

 

At least six Athens receivers have at least six receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown, as Nate Trainer is easily Moore’s top target – with 35 catches for 522 yards and four scores.

 

Look for Logan to try and play ball control, and keep Moore and company confined to the sidelines, as Caden McCarty (105 carries for 437 yards) and quarterback Braeden Spatar (100 carries for 350 yards) spearhead a 1-2 Chieftain rushing attack.

 

McCarty has scored six rushing touchdowns for 36 points – as the Purple and White have only scored 46 points all season.

Spatar has thrown just 51 passes, but has completed 31 of them for 286 yards and one TD, including 14 for 148 yards to Garret Mace.

 

Trojans, Blue Devils duel in battle of unbeatens, Week 5 Preview Worthington Christian at Trimble, Valley at Northwest, Amanda-Clearcreek at Waverly

Trojans, Blue Devils duel in battle of unbeatens

Gallia Academy vs Portsmouth (On time)

By PAUL BOGGS & Kent Sanborn

 

 

Two tradition-rich and proud programs, which just happen to be 4-0 for the first time in ages, do battle on Friday night.

 

In a key Ohio Valley Conference clash, the Portsmouth Trojans travel the long trek to Gallia County to take on the Gallia Academy Blue Devils – the defending OVC champion.

 

Both teams are 4-0, with the Trojans 4-for-4 for the first time since 2002, while the Blue Devils hold that same mark – for the first time since 1994.

 

But, for the here and now, the winner will move to 2-0 in the OVC, as both captured their conference openers last week while looking to complete the first half of this season still undefeated.

 

Kickoff inside historic Memorial Field in Gallipolis is set for 7 p.m.

Dating back a decade ago in the now defunct Southeastern Ohio Athletic League, the Trojans have defeated the Blue Devils just twice – in 2009 and 2016.

 

That (2016) was Gallia Academy’s initial season in the OVC, as Portsmouth has been a member since a year earlier.

 

The Trojans tied Ironton for runner-up to the Blue Devils last season, thanks largely to senior running back Talyn Parker, who is back to his rushing – and scoring – ways.

 

#
1
Name
Talyn Parker
Position
2020
Height
5-11
Weight
195
Current Team
Portsmouth
Leagues
OVC, SEO
Seasons
2019
The reigning Division V Southeast District Offensive Player of the Year, Parker put up 266 rushing yards last week against injury-riddled Rock Hill, scoring all five of the Trojans’ touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversion runs in Portsmouth’s 40-28 victory.

 

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils – after edging arch-rival Point Pleasant 14-13 in the Big Blacks’ season-opener the week before – dominated against visiting Chesapeake, rolling to a 55-27 triumph.

 

#
3
Name
James Armstrong
Position
2021
Height
6-00
Weight
190
Current Team
Gallia Academy
Leagues
OVC, SEO
Seasons
2019, 2020
Gallia Academy’s own primary playmaker, junior James Armstrong, enjoyed an excellent game against the Panthers – running wild for 214 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

 

Hence, one of the keys to Friday’s contest will be stopping the other’s speedster tailback.

 

Two years ago, in the Blue Devils’ 36-35 nailbiting win, Parker played big as a sophomore, so Gallia Academy is going to have to swarm him under and keep him in check.

The Blue Devils do have an experience advantage up front, however, and are seen by many observers as a decided favorite for Friday night’s outcome.

 

The Trojan lines are indeed young, and two of Parker’s touchdowns last week went for 59 and 69 yards – in which he broke tackles, got free and utilized his speed.

 

Both teams, with the initial release of the Ohio High School Athletic Association computer ratings, are fourth in their respective regions (Portsmouth in Division V Region 19, Gallia Academy in Division IV Region 15).

 

Worthington Christian at Trimble

Trimble vs Worthington Christian (On time)

 

There must be something about the end zone that the Trimble Tomcats are overly protecting.

#
42
Name
Sawyer Koons
Position
2020
Height
6-00
Weight
225
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019

That’s because the undefeated Tomcats – in scoring 35 points in the season opener against Nelsonville-York before back-to-back-to-back Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division shutouts against Belpre (46), Meigs Eastern (48) and South Gallia (45) – have NOT been scored upon all season.

You heard correct.

 

Not one touchdown, not one field goal, and not even one safety.

[event_scoreboard id=”1724″ number=”10″ align=”none”]

But this week, that shutout streak to start 2019 will face – by far – its most difficult challenge yet, as the 3-1 Worthington Christian Warriors will invade Tomcat country for an extremely significant non-league tilt.

 

Kickoff on Friday night inside Glouster Memorial Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

#
10
Name
Conner Wright
Position
2020
Height
5-11
Weight
190
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2018, 2019

The Warriors’ only loss is against undefeated Galion Northmor, as the remainder of WC’s opponents have combined for a mark of 2-10.

 

Like Trimble, the Warriors play primarily Division VI or VII squads, as the Tomcats’ toppled opponents are all 2-2 with the exception of 1-3 South Gallia.

#
12
Name
Cameron Kittle
Position
2020
Height
6-01
Weight
175
Current Team
Trimble
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Hocking
Seasons
2019

While Worthington Christian is only 13th in the Division VI, Region 24 computer ratings, the Tomcats sit in third in Division VI, Region 21.

 

Valley at Northwest

Northwest vs Valley (On time)

Speaking of protecting a house, that’s exactly what the Northwest Mohawks will attempt on Friday night when they welcome their nearby neighbor – the Valley Indians.

 

But this time, the Mohawks’ house has been superbly renovated, as Northwest will play its first true home game this season – amid its nice new upgraded facilities.

#
12
Name
Andrew Andronis
Position
2021
Current Team
Valley
Leagues
SEO, SOC2
Seasons
2019, 2020

Kickoff at Northwest High School is set for 7 p.m.

 

Both schools are members of the Southern Ohio Conference, but like the Oak Hill Oaks of last week, Northwest of the SOC I faces Valley of the non-league SOC II.

 

Between the lines, the Indians are 3-1 and on a three-game win streak – and could be 4-0 had they not been plagued by mistakes in their 32-27 season-opening loss at Portsmouth.

 

The young Mohawks (2-2), meanwhile, had their two-game win streak snapped at Oak Hill, as the Oaks are now in the SOC II after dominating the SOC I for a decade.

Northwest is now the biggest fish in that small-school pond, as it plays primarily juniors, sophomores and freshmen – despite its dramatically increased numbers.

 

The Indians are more experienced, and currently hold the eighth spot in the Division VI Region 24 computer ratings.

 

Amanda-Clearcreek at Waverly

Waverly vs Amanda-Clearcreek (On time)

 

The Amanda-Clearcreek Aces and Waverly Tigers will play some serious computer games this week, with Friday night’s non-league encounter between a pair of Ohio playoff regulars.

 

The Aces are undefeated while the Tigers are 3-1, as kickoff inside Raidiger Field in Waverly is set for 7 p.m.

 

In a potential playoff points pick-me-up, the Tigers – with wins over Athens and at Fairland – can make a major move in the Division IV, Region 15 rankings.

 

That’s because the Aces are 4-0 in Division V, Region 19, although two of those triumphs are against Liberty Union and Fairfield Union – both winless on the year.

 

Amanda is third in Region 19 while Waverly is fourth in Region 15, as the Tigers’ lone loss is against Unioto, which handled them to the tune of 41-14.

 

That is the same Sherman squad that the Aces, operating out of the power-I and succeeding, trumped 32-14.

 

Raidiger Field will also double as Payton’s Place on Friday night.

#
1
Name
Payton Shoemaker
Position
2020
Height
5-09
Weight
155
Current Team
Waverly
Leagues
SEO, SOC2
Seasons
2019

 

While Waverly and its spread-the-field finesse philosophy is paced by senior running back Payton Shoemaker, Amanda-Clearcreek counters with a power-running attack – engineered by senior quarterback Payton Madison.

 

Expect the Aces to employ a ball-control style, trying to play defense by keeping Shoemaker on the sidelines.

 

Jesse Connell is the lead running back and the Aces’ top defensive player, while wide receiver Jayse Miller is a nephew of former legendary A-C head coach Ron Hinton.

 

Amanda’s aerial assault – unlike the Tigers – isn’t expected to be much more than screens, slants and comeback routes.

 

The Aces have, however, had eight turnovers in the previous three weeks.

Games of the Week: Indians, Trojans open 2019 Season Thursday, Athens @ Waverly, Nelsonville-York @ Trimble, Wellston @ Jackson

Indians, Trojans open season Thursday

 

By PAUL BOGGS

Photo’s by Kent Sanborn, Tim Gearhart & Shawna Ruckel

Also see game of the Week Wheelersburg @ Ironton 

As has become customary, the Valley Indians and Portsmouth Trojans are once again opening the football season in Southeastern Ohio on Thursday night.

And, with not only the one-night spotlight on almost exclusively themselves, the individual spotlight is on Portsmouth senior tailback Talyn Parker.

#
1
Name
Talyn Parker
Position
2020
Height
5-11
Weight
195
Current Team
Portsmouth
Leagues
OVC, SEO
Seasons
2019

Parker, the defending Division V Southeast District Offensive Player of the Year, leads the talented and highly-touted Trojans against the upstart Indians – as kickoff inside sparkling Trojan Coliseum in Portsmouth is set for 7 p.m.

Portsmouth is coming off a 7-3 regular season, and a berth in the Division V state playoffs, plus Parker returns after a 2,500-yard and 29-touchdown rushing campaign a year ago.

As part of Parker’s offensive onslaught last season, the Trojans topped the Indians 57-40 in the season-opening shootout in Lucasville, which was a back-and-forth affair for three-and-a-half quarters.

It was Portsmouth’s third consecutive victory in the series, as the Trojans have scored at least 32 points in all three.

Valley won the four previous meetings, including a 41-40 scorefest five years ago.

Thursday could be a repeat of such, as the Trojans turn to Parker – plus some other offensive weapons.

“Talyn Parker had an amazing year last year and set three school rushing records and gained all kinds of honors. But we have some other weapons than just him that we need to get the ball to if we’re going to be successful again,” said Portsmouth coach Bruce Kalb. “Let’s be honest, if you’re scouting us, you’re thinking I’m going to get eight, maybe nine, even a 10th guy in the box. We probably averaged only seven passes a game last year. We want to take some of that pressure off Talyn.”

The Indians – off a 4-6 season – were already thinking about defending Parker during Valley’s Media Day activities, per 30-year head coach Darren Crabtree.

Head Coach Darren Crabtree

Current Team
Valley

“If you guys (media) know of a way to stop Parker, please let me know,” said Crabtree. “He only rushed for over 300 yards against us last year. I know they lost some good linemen, but this is a game that we feel we can compete well in like we did last year.”

 

Athens at Waverly

 

Speaking of shootouts, Athens and Waverly will likely be just that in their season-opening affair at Waverly’s Raidiger Field.

Kickoff is set for Friday night at 7 p.m.

It’s a new opponent on the schedule for both, as both are coming off 9-1 regular seasons and state playoff appearances a year ago.

Athens is Division III, falling only at Fairland 35-31, before steamrolling through the Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division and scoring no fewer than 39 points in each league tilt.

Waverly is Division IV, and only lost to Division V state semifinalist and Southern Ohio Conference Division II champion Wheelersburg.

The Tigers tallied at least 31 points in each victory.

While Waverly graduated wide receiver Easton Wolfe, the Southeast District Division IV Offensive Player of the Year, they return fellow first-team all-district all-purpose performer Payton Shoemaker.

Shoemaker, a second-team all-Ohioan, carried the ball 157 times for 1,050 yards and 10 touchdowns – while returning 24 kickoffs or punts for a combined 516 yards and one score.

In an anticipated up-and-down hurry-up battle, the Tigers may have a difference-maker in third-team all-Ohio placekicker Grayson Diener.

Diener averaged 53 yards on kickoffs with 22 touchbacks in 2018, and made 31-of-35 extra points and 3-of-4 field goals.

The Bulldogs have a new head coach in Nathan White, who has been an assistant since 2011 under the highly-successful Ryan Adams, who resigned after last year and with a coaching record of 96-27 in a dozen seasons.

Adams is the winningest football coach in Athens High history, as the Bulldogs advanced to the Division III state championship game in 2014, with that season’s Ohio Mr. Football and current LSU quarterback Joe Burrow calling the signals.

This season, Athens is replacing 19 seniors, including the TVC-Ohio Offensive Player of the Year and all-Ohio quarterback Clay Davis.

Several first-year varsity players are starting for the Bulldogs, but junior Joey Moore looks to become the next successful Green and Gold gunslinger.

Nate Trainer (46 receptions, 619 yards and 6 TD) and Peyton Gail (33 receptions, 462 yards and 1 TD) return as receivers.

 

Nelsonville-York at Trimble

 

Last year, the Trimble Tomcats torched arch-rival Nelsonville-York 34-7 in the season opener – an emphatic jump-start to their second Division VII state championship bout appearance in school history.

Only a one-point late loss in the middle of the march to Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (21-20) prevented a perfect regular season.

The Tomcats, now a Division VI program by the narrowest of margins, seek similar – even perfect – results again.

Nelsonville-York, meanwhile, must bounce back after a rare losing campaign – a disappointing 4-6 season.

In fact, the Buckeyes have endured just two losing seasons since the 1970s – the other being four years ago after opening with a win at Trimble.

The two Athens County archrivals renew their series Saturday night – this time at Trimble inside Glouster Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Since 2000, the Buckeyes actually lead the Tomcats in the all-time series 11-10, as Nelsonville-York had won three consecutive prior to last year.

Trimble returns eight starters on defense, including the reigning Ohio Division VII Defensive Player of the Year Sawyer Koons.

Koons – a senior linebacker – collected a massive 136 tackles including 32 for loss, as end Ian Joyce joins him in triple digits in tackles (102 and 34 for loss).

On Saturday night, Trimble tries to bottle up Buckeye backfield standout Keegan Wilburn – the defending Division VI Southeast District Offensive Player of the Year.

#
3
Name
Keegan Wilburn
Position
2020
Current Team
Nelsonville-York
Leagues
SEO, TVC-Ohio
Seasons
2019

Wilburn, an Ohio University commit and first-team all-Ohioan, was a 1,000-yard running back which scored 21 of the Buckeyes’ 32 total touchdowns.

In his first three seasons of his decorated Orange and Brown career, he has amassed 2,674 rushing yards, 1,379 receiving yards and 55 trips to paydirt.

But Wilburn won’t be the only all-Ohio offensive player on the field.

Trimble senior quarterback Cameron Kittle – directing a wishbone attack – was a third-team all-stater last year, rushing for 1,018 yards and throwing for 750 more with 24 touchdowns.

He is joined in the backfield by Conner Wright, who rushed for 1,848 yards and 27 TDs.

 

Wellston at Jackson

All things, whether good or bad, must come to an end.

So too must the Jackson-Wellston football series, as the two Jackson County archrivals renew their matchup for the 106th and final time.

Saturday night’s series finale kicks off inside Jackson’s Alumni Stadium at 8 p.m.

It was announced exactly 18 months ago that with this year’s conclusion of the current four-year contract, the Ironmen and Golden Rockets would part ways with their week-one contest.

However, it’s been a series seriously dominated by the Ironmen, as Jackson owns a lopsided 73-26-6 advantage in the all-time tally, including winning 27 of the past 28 meetings.

Wellston’s win in 2010 snapped its infamous 19-game losing streak against the Ironmen, of which the program is traditionally two divisions larger than the Golden Rockets.

In the past 14 meetings, of Wellston’s losses, the closest the Golden Rockets got was a 21-7 decision in 2009 and a 14-0 shutout in 2005.

Since that shocker of nine years ago, the Ironmen have won every matchup by at least three touchdowns, including last season’s blowout by a count of 54-14.

On Saturday, the Ironmen are indeed heavy favorites again, as two returning all-Southeast District Division III players headline their 48-man roster, including the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in senior Brice Parks.

#
25
Name
Brice Parks
Position
2020
Height
5-10
Weight
190
Current Team
Jackson
Leagues
FAC, SEO
Seasons
2019

#
12
Name
Jared Icenhower
Position
2020
Height
6-00
Weight
185
Current Team
Jackson
Leagues
FAC, SEO
Seasons
2019
Fellow Jackson senior Jared Icenhower  – and fellow all-district first-teamer – returns as the Red and White’s quarterback.

Head Coach Andy Hall

Current Team
Jackson
Jackson coach Andy Hall   begins his 11th season in the Apple City, while Mike Smith takes over the young Golden Rockets, becoming the 11th head football coach at Wellston since 1990, when the late Bill Fyffe concluded his five-year stint.

The Golden Rockets, under Fyffe in the late 1980s, won three of four meetings against Jackson, including Wellston’s last win AT Jackson in 1989.

Beginning in the 2020 campaign, the Ironmen open against Logan – and the Golden Rockets open against Oak Hill.

Also see game of the Week Wheelersburg @ Ironton