Week 4 Power Rankings: FAC

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It’s already midway through the regular season, which means it’s time for our first power rankings of the year, and the first ever for the Frontier Athletic Conference.

This new conference was born out of five teams from the South Central Ohio League and one team from the former Southeastern Ohio Athletic League, or the SEOAL. These six teams hope to create more competition in the area while also creating a better working relationship together in this new league formed along Ohio Route 35.

#1. Jackson (4-0)

First in our FAC rankings for this week is the Jackson Ironmen. Jackson sits at the top as the only undefeated team left in the league at 4-0 on the season. There is no doubt that Jackson belongs here this week, not just because of their record, but because of their strong offense and stout defense.

Their offense has put up 149 points in four games and their defense has only allowed 27 points all season, which averages out to less than a touchdown a game. Two of their games they have shut the other team out of the end zone.

Another reason Jackson should be at the top of the list this week is its consistency. They have scored 30 or more points in every game they have played this season, due to the rushing attack driven by Blake McCoy, Brice Graham, and Caleb Storms. Starting running back Blake McCoy leads all three backs with 65 carries for 593 yards on the season, averaging 9.1 yards a carry.

Jackson takes on undefeated Wheelersburg this Friday at home in a non-conference matchup.

#2. Hillsboro (3-1)

In a close second to Jackson comes the Hillsboro Indians. Hillsboro comes in at second in the rankings with a 3-1 record, second place in the FAC behind undefeated Jackson. They have had a strong start scoring 187 total points in total this season, which is more than Jackson has put up on its opponents.

However, they are placed at number two because the strength of schedule that Hillsboro has played so far is not as strong as that of Jackson’s opponents. All but one of the teams Hillsboro has played have just one win, with Hillsboro’s loss coming to undefeated Goshen.

Hillsboro has two wins of 50 plus points, but have had two games where they have allowed 30 plus points on defense. The two games that they allowed 30 plus points were the first two games of the year, and the past two games they have only allowed a touchdown a game.

With the defense buckling down and the offense continuing to score at will, look for Hillsboro to vie for the top spot in the rankings in the coming weeks once conference play starts. The Indians will play a non-conference match up with 3-1 Clermont Northeastern.

#3. Washington Court House (2-2)

The Blue Lions from Washington Court House rank third in our first FAC power rankings. Washington Courthouse sits at 2-2 on the season but have put up good numbers on the offensive side of the ball.

Over four games the Blue Lions have scored 130 points, but their defense has also given up 127 points, 89 of them coming in their last 2 games, which were both loses. Despite the points given up on defense, Courthouse has remained consistent in their production on offense. Quarterback Dillon Steward has passed for 281, 159, and 266 yards, while completing 52.7 percent of those passes. He has also rushed for 478 yards on 45 carries.

Running back Jacob Rice has also been a huge factor for the Blue Lion offense. He rushed for 220 yards on 27 carries in week two and 440 yards total on the season on 78 carries.

If the Blue Lions want to improve their ranking they must find a way to get their defense off the field, prevent scores, and keep their high powered offense on the field to create sizeable leads.

Washington Court House faces off with the St. Charles Cardinals at home on Friday night looking to get back in the win column.

#4. Chillicothe (2-2)

Coming in fourth on the list is the 2-2 Chillicothe Cavaliers. Chillicothe comes in at fourth on this list after two straight loses of 14 and 37 points respectively to Marion-Franklin and Bishop Hartley. After starting 2-0 the Cavaliers have virtually fallen off the map with their defense allowing 40 points a game for two straight weeks.

Chillicothe’s struggling defense combined with a harder strength of schedule has contributed to the last two loses, and only one team that they have played has under three wins in four games. The Cavaliers’ quarterback Branden Maughmer has struggled with his arm going just two for ten passing for nine yards, but he has been consistent with his legs.

Maughmer already has rushed for over 100 yards in three of four games totaling 504 yards on 88 carries, which is an upside if the Cavaliers want to get back to dominating on the offensive side of the ball. In order to move up in the FAC power rankings they need to be able to fix their defensive troubles and remain consistent on offense.

The Cavaliers square off with the Logan Chieftains at home on Friday night.

#5. Miami Trace (0-4)

Number five on our list is the Miami Trace Panthers. The Panthers are currently 0-4 after struggling to hold opponents out of the end zone. Miami Trace has allowed 148 points over 4 games this year, more than any other team in the Frontier Athletic Conference.

The Panthers reside at fifth on the list because they were still able to score some points in each contest they have played, even if they have only scored 51 total points on the season.

Quarterback Brandon Arledge passed for 140 yards and a touchdown against Logan Elm, while Running Back Brady Wallace rushed for 167 yards on 20 carries, and had a touchdown as well.

There is still light at the end of the tunnel for the Miami Trace Panthers as they look to get a win this week against the Zanesville Blue Devils.

#6. McClain (0-4)

Rounding out the rankings at number six is the McClain Tigers. The Tigers are also 0-4 on the season. McClain finds themselves at the bottom of the list because of their struggles on both sides of the ball this season. McClain has scored the least amount of points in the Frontier Athletic Conference with only 27 total points in four games, and they have also allowed 144 points on defense as well.

Quarterback Justin Osbourne has thrown for 228 yards on the season, completing 16 of 46 attempts. McClain’s Darius White is the bright side of their offense, as he has rushed for 365 yards on 78 carries so far, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

If McClain can solve the issues that plague their defense, they could end up with their first win of the season in the near future. The McClain Tigers play at the Troy Christian Eagles on Friday night.