Published Wed, Aug 31, 2011 3:57 pm Dateline
Southeastern Ohio high school football teams are preparing for their week two games, and so is Gridiron Glory. This Friday our crews can be spotted at games in Jackson, Sheridan, Crooksville, Williamstown, and Athens. The "Game of the Week" crew will head out to Wahama to catch all the action between the White Falcons and the Tomcats of Trimble. And, look for Host, Blake Brodie, at Athens for "Fan of the Week." Now, take a look at what our reporters expect from each game this week.
Waverly @ Jackson
The Jackson Ironmen leapt to an early hot start, shutting out their rival Wellston Golden Rockets in week one, smashing them 35-0. The Ironmen offense was a big play factory, putting together some huge runs. Athletes like Ty McNelly, Austin Osborne, and Drew Ervin tore the Rockets open in space. Coach Andy Hall stressed that he wanted a bit more continuity on their drives, however, and Jackson will look to improve on that against Waverly.
The Waverly Tigers opened against their rivals as well, the Piketon Redstreaks. However, their rivalry match didn’t end quite as well as Jackson’s. They dropped their opener 21-14, and will be looking to improve their fortunes. When Coach Hall addressed his team after the Wellston game, he talked about the importance of not looking past this game. “This is where the hangover starts . . . They lost their game against their rivals. This is it for them. They need this.” While Waverly looks to build some needed momentum, Jackson will look to sustain it.
West Muskingum @ Sheridan
The biggest question for the Sheridan Generals entering the 2011 season was how they were going to reload after losing so many seniors. The answer: with a bang. The Generals scored just two minutes into their week one matchup with Lakewood and cruised to a 40-0 victory. Sheridan racked up 339 yards on offense led by senior running back Mitchell Fouch, who finished with 181 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. This week the Generals debut a revamped Paul Culver Jr. Stadium which features a new field turf surface and new bleachers. Sheridan looks to open the new field with a victory over West Muskingum. The Tornadoes began their 2011 campaign with a 47-18 loss at home to River View. It will be an uphill battle this season for West M, as they have a roster consisting of only 25 players. A bright spot for the squad is senior wide receiver Shey Herd. Herd had eight receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns in the week one loss. This week’s matchup is definitely a clash of styles with Sheridan’s power running game facing off with a West M squad who threw 35 times for 254 yards against River View.
Philo @ Crooksville
When the Crooksville Ceramics and Philo Electrics get together, they don’t mess around. This Friday in Crooksville, Ceramics coach and athletic director Dave Rupe said a parachute team will land on the field before the game and a Medal of Honor recipient will conduct the opening coin toss. There should be fireworks, too, but those will take place when the Electrics and Ceramics line up for four quarters of physical, hard-nosed football. The two teams experienced entirely different results week one. The Ceramics visited Berne Union and walked home with a decisive 33-18 victory, while the Electrics welcomed strong-armed quarterback Dylan Leffingwell and the Warren Warriors to Duncan Falls and were soundly defeated, 34-10. But Philo coach Dirk Linciocome said his team is ready to bounce back with a win. “We don’t need to get motivated (to play Crooksville),” he said. “This is a game that means a lot to us.” Coach Linciocome was quick to tip his hat to his upcoming opponent. “They have to play bigger than what they are,” he said of the smallest school in the MVL. Rest assured, Village Park will be the place to be for MVL football fans this Friday night.
Magnolia @ Williamstown
After a strong win offensively against Tyler Consolidated, the Williamstown Yellow Jackets are looking to keep up the momentum going into the second week of the season. They host a familiar non-league foe in Magnolia who owns a two game winning streak against the Yellow Jackets stretching back to the 2009 season, and also happen to be the defending AA West Virginia state champions. Coach Terry Smith and his Jackets squad looked sharp against Tyler during a 51-0 shut out over Tyler, which marked the second straight year the Yellow Jackets have held the Knights scoreless. The defending champion Blue Eagles are coming off a disappointing opening game loss against Wayne. The Blue Eagles found themselves on the wrong end of a 66-30 offensive clinic. Even though the matchup is a non-league matchup, it is still going to be a must see game in the state of West Virginia with huge playoff point opportunities for both teams.
Coal Grove @ Athens
September 10, 2010 marked the last home game for Athens. Now, 351 days after a tornado ripped through Rutter Field, the Bulldogs will finally be back home. The green and gold make their debut under the lights of their revamped stadium on Friday to face Coal Grove. It’s a battle of two teams coming off season-opening wins. Week one took a complete effort and a bit of improvisation for Athens, but they rebounded from a sluggish start to take their opener over Gallia Academy 15-10.
Standout Devon Sharp awoke in the second half, finishing with 124 yards rushing while finding the end zone on the ground and through the air. The Hornets of Coal Grove dazzled in their first game against a TVC-Ohio opponent, conquering Meigs 43-7. The scoreboard read 35-7 by halftime, thanks in large part to the damage done by the legs of quarterback Alex Bare. He led all rushers with 110 yards, 65 of which came on a game-opening touchdown scramble. With the Bulldogs’ new turf, expect their offense, anchored by Sharp, to hang up plenty of points as well. With two potent offenses squaring off, the big play will be a possibility throughout. Look for the defenses to be the X factors in this game. TVC-Ohio Defensive Player of the Year Matt Rider made his presence felt last week, and whether or not he can match that this week could decide the outcome.