Experience on Jackson’s Side Ahead of Watterson Game

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The No. 4 Jackson Ironmen (10-1) are in a position with which they are all too familiar: one step away from the regional finals.

They will face No. 8 Bishop Watterson (6-5) for a chance to do exactly that for the first time in school history. Jackson had the chance to do so last season, but it fell to St. Francis DeSales 24-14 in the regional semifinals.

However, the one-loss Ironmen have evolved as recently as mid-season. In their first five games, which includes a 28-7 loss to Wheelersburg, the Ironmen’s average point differential per game stood at +9.

Over their previous six games, the Ironmen were undefeated and beat teams by an average of 33 points per game.

Jackson middle linebacker Raymon Potter admitted Jackson’s loss to Wheelersburg sparked a fire underneath the team.

“We needed that loss to Wheelersburg,” Potter said. “It woke us up.”

A multi-faceted rushing attack has been the driving force behind Jackson’s success not just during the latter half of the season, but the entire year. Quarterback Hunter Sexton and running backs Johnny Farley, Blake McCoy, and Collin Massie have combined for 2,697 yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground.

The diverse group of options allows Jackson to run the ball both up the gut and along the edges.

On paper, Jackson would seem to be the overwhelming favorite, but Bishop Watterson is tougher than its 6-5 record indicates. Three of its five losses came against playoff teams with one loss coming against a Walnut Ridge squad which barely missed the postseason.

Bishop Watterson’s record also does not reflect the physicality it brings to each game. Despite the losses, the Eagles have allowed only 10.2 points per game.

Watterson prides itself on a staunch defense, but offensive productivity has been lacking. The Eagles average 11.9 points per contest and have been held to single-digit point totals on five separate occasions.

However, the Eagles may have caught fire at the right time. Their 28-point outburst against top-seeded Hamilton Township stands as their second highest point output on the year.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 at Chillicothe High School.