Week 7 Power Rankings: FAC< < Back to
As the 2017 season nears its close, the Frontier Athletic Conference battle is heating up at the top. Not only are the conference’s top teams fighting each other for the first ever FAC Championship, they’re fighting for their playoff lives as well.
The top three teams in the conference are either just in or just out of the playoffs that start in just under a month.
1. Jackson Ironmen (6-1, 2-0)
The Ironmen remain at the top of the FAC Power Rankings yet again. Jackson has dominated nearly every opponent they’ve faced in 2017, outscoring opponents by an average of 34.6 to 16.1 behind a stellar rushing attack led by running back Blake McCoy.
However, Jackson is coming off a bit of a shaky performance last week in Miami Trace. The 1-6 Panthers played the Ironmen to a halftime tie at 21 before Jackson came out and dominated the second half to win 48-28.
Two of Jackson’s final three games come against the other top teams in the FAC and the Ironmen can’t afford a slip up. They sit right on the brink of missing the playoffs, ranked No. 7 in Division III Region 11 in this week’s OHSAA playoff rankings.
Jackson travels to Hillsboro to take on the Indians on Friday.
2. Chillicothe Cavaliers (5-2, 2-0)
Chillicothe remains in the two spot coming off a 56-0 blowout win over McClain last Friday to win its third straight game. The Cavaliers’ star quarterback Branden Maughmer continued to dominate, totaling 264 total yards (123 passing and 141 rushing) and five total touchdowns against the Tigers.
In their two FAC games against Hillsboro and McClain, the Cavaliers have blown by their opponents by an average score of 49-10 while averaging 407 yards of offense in those contests.
Chillicothe must be wary against the upset the next two weeks with road games against Miami Trace this week and Washington Court House next week before their marquee matchup against Jackson to close the season. The Cavaliers find themselves in a similar position to Jackson, sitting No. 7 in Region 8 this week.
3. Hillsboro Indians (5-2, 1-1)
Last week, the Indians broke a 12-year, eight game losing streak to Washington Court House with a 41-34 win on Homecoming. The rushing tandem of Josh Keets (191 yds, 1 TD) and Deon Burns (152 yds, 3 TDs) combined for 343 of Hillsboro’s 440 yards on the ground and wore down the Blue Lion defense as the game progressed.
Hillsboro remains the highest scoring team in the FAC, averaging 39 points per game. In their five victories this season, the Indians have scored no less than 37 points and have topped 50 points twice.
The Indians are on the outside of the playoffs in Region 11 going into Friday’s matchup with Jackson, sitting in the No. 11 slot. Hillsboro can’t afford a late season loss if they want to continue their season into November.
4. Washington Court House Blue Lions (3-4, 0-2)
The Blue Lions nearly completed an improbable comeback last week in Hillsboro. They found themselves down 14 points with just over four minutes to play before scoring a touchdown to cut it to seven. They recovered the ensuing onside kick, but squandered their two chances to tie the game late.
Washington CH has still not won a game on the field since Sept. 1. They were awarded a win on Sept. 22 when St. Charles forfeited the game away. The Blue Lions had lost that game on the field by a score of 34-12.
It’s no coincidence that The Blue Lions haven’t won since Dillon Steward was last seen at quarterback, but Rich Burns filled in nicely last week. Burns finished with 214 yards passing and three touchdowns and ran for another 85 yards in the loss to Hillsboro.
This week, Washington Court House travels to McClain in what would seem to be a winnable game for the Blue Lions. A win would be its first in the FAC.
5. Miami Trace Panthers (1-6, 1-1)
Despite losing by 20 points last week, the Panthers showed some fight against Jackson. They played to a halftime tie against Jackson last week before getting outscored 28-7 in the second half.
Brady Wallace kept Miami Trace in the game against the Ironmen, scoring three times, including an 80-yard score on the Panthers’ first play.
The Panthers continue their rough three week stretch against the conference’s top teams this week with a home game against Chillicothe, a team they have lost to each of the last four years.
6. McClain Tigers (0-7, 0-2)
The Tigers’ long season continued last week, getting blown out for a third consecutive week in their 56-0 loss in Chillicothe.
McClain has yet to score a single point in FAC play and only averages 4.9 points per contest while giving up nearly 40 points per game on defense. The Tiger offense has only mustered an average of 196 total yards per game in their seven games this season.
The week, the Tigers host a Washington Court House team that is coming off a tough loss last week in Hillsboro.