Updated Wed, Sep 7, 2011 8:41 pm
Gridiron Glory prepares for week three of southeast Ohio high school football by taking a good look at the games to come. This Friday crews will be out catching all the action in Portsmouth, Parkersburg South, Trimble, Nelsonville-York, and Alexander. The "Game of the Week" crew will be at New Lexington as the Panthers take on the Electrics of Philo. And, find Host, Blake Brodie, searching for this week's "Fan of the Week" in Trimble.
Wheelersburg @ Portsmouth
Down six points in the first quarter to their rival Portsmouth West and on their own one-yard line, the Trojans defense forced a fumble with Zaide Whitley scooping it up and taking it 99 yards to tie the game at seven. On the ensuing kick off the Trojans forced another fumble, which would set up a go-ahead score on a one-yard run from quarterback Mason Jordan. Although the Trojans looked strong early, in the end, the size of West’s offense proved to be too much. The Senators rush attack handled the smaller Trojan defense to finish with a 26-13 victory.
This week Portsmouth plays host to the Wheelersburg Pirates. The Pirates are coming off their first win of the season over Oak Hill Last week. Although the Oak’s seem to be having a down year, a 41-0 victory is impressive nonetheless for the Pirates. However, Wheelersburg’s first loss of the season came to Ironton in a 42-13 rout. Being that Ironton is a run-heavy offense, look to see the Trojans try and pound their way through the Pirates behind their experienced offensive line. The Pirates came away with a close, 34-28 victory in this match up last season. The last time they visited the Coliseum in Portsmouth, they dominated the Trojans with a 68-14 triumph. There will be plenty of hard hits and vengeful attitudes in this matchup. Kick-off is set for 7:30.
Morgantown @ Parkersburg South
After last weeks bye week the Parkersburg South Patriots are ready to be back in action. This week the 1-0 Patriots go up against the Morgantown Mohigans, who are 1-1. South coach John Bolen says that Morgantown may be the best team on their schedule but his boys have been improving during this off week. "It's not a good job to win this game, it's a great job" said Bolen. Coach Bolen added that every year his team has gotten better from week to week and is expecting a good effort from the Patriots this Friday. Kickoff for the game is at 7:30 at the Erickson All Sports Facility.
South Gallia @ Trimble
The Trimble Tomcats are mirroring their performance last year by starting off 0-2. For the second year in a row their two losses have came at the hands of the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes and the Wahama White Falcons. It will be a difficult task for the Tomcats to now win the TVC Hocking with the favorite Wahama owning the tie breaker for the rest of the season. However, the Trimble Tomcats are not Wahama’s only competition in the TVC Hocking. In fact, fellow conference sophomore the South Gallia Rebels who will be traveling to take on Trimble have proven to be a tough opponent. The Rebels who have 8 starters on offense and 8 starters on defense that returned for the season have done their fair share of winning so far this season. The Rebels 2-0 (1-0) unloaded on East High School in their first game winning 37-18 and followed that win up with a convincing 34-0 victory over TVC Hocking foe the Southern Tornadoes. Last year the Rebels were manhandled by the Tomcats losing 56-22. However, this is a new season and this game is a crucial contest for both teams as they look to keep their hopes alive of winning the TVC Hocking.
Berne Union @ Nelsonville-York
The Nelsonville-York Buckeyes started the season off exactly as head coach Dave Boston Jr. hoped, 2-0 and charging into their home opener with a ton of momentum. With dominant wins against rival Trimble (42-6) and traditional power Newark Catholic (34-12), the Buckeyes have everything going for them. The Berne Union Rockets are headed in the opposite direction, starting the season off 0-2, with losses to Crooksville (33-18) and Bexley (35-8).
The Buckeyes are led on offense by running back Dustin Young. Young has taken his strong season from last year and has not missed a beat. Through two games, Young has rushed for 405 yards and seven touchdowns, all on just 33 carries. For the mathematically inclined, that averages out to a mind-boggling 12.3 yards per carry. Buckeyes quarterback Nathan Dean hasn’t had to really showcase his arm strength, but if he does, the Buckeyes will benefit from his accuracy and decision making (19-27 (70%), 292 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT)
“Nathan’s a great leader for us both on and off the field, and he really keeps us going,” Boston said. Anyone who followed the Buckeyes last year knew that they were going to have a good offense, behind an experienced offensive line. But even Boston expressed some concern about their lack of experience at the linebacker position. After two games, consider those concerns crushed. “Our coaching staff has been overwhelmed by our linebackers. [Dakota Hook and Caleb Covert] run our defense, and they’re smart, they read well, and they’ve been great for us.”
Boston pointed out the athleticism of the Rocket backfield. “They’re a team where if they bring it together they can beat anybody.” The question for the Rockets this Friday is going to be the question every Buckeyes opponent will face this season: can you slow down Dustin Young, and keep things close enough for something to break your way? So far, the only thing that has broken for Buckeyes opponents is their attempts at tackling Young. For more information on the Berne Union / Nelsonville-York contest, tune into Sportsbeat-WOUB’s weekly sports talk radio show- this Thursday on WOUB AM 1340.
Unionto @ Alexander
The Alexander Spartans have cruised through their schedule so far in 2011, racking up 103 total points in two games. Week three matches the Spartans up against the Unioto Shermans. The Shermans are coming off their first loss of the season.
Alexander was forced to replace a number of key players from a year ago including Michael Chapman and Gridiron Glory Player of the Year finalist Cody Lawson. But Shaun Arno is confident that his new quarterback, Trey Bennett, is the right man for the job. Bennett has the luxury of having the entire offensive line return from last year. That experience was on display in week one and two, running over Eastern 41-6 and blowing out Huntington 62-22. However after scoring only one touchdown last week against McClain, the Shermans will be looking to put more points on the board and hand the Spartans their first loss of the season.
With only two non-conference games left on their schedule, the Spartans are building momentum for their first TVC-OH matchup against Vinton County on Sept. 30.
The Spartans will need all the momentum they can get if they want to steal the conference crown from the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes and hold off the surging Athens Bulldogs. The Spartans and Shermans kickoff at 7:30 p.m.