Week 7 Power Rankings: SVC

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Four teams currently in the Scioto Valley Conference are 2-5 overall and 1-3 in conference. These teams are Adena, Westfall, Huntington and Paint Valley. None of these teams have had really big wins on the season, and none have fared well at all against the top 4 teams in the league, with the exception of Adena, who lost to Piketon 14-7 two weeks ago.

Westfall Mustang quarterback Zach Gibson does lead the league in passing yards and is one of the two players in the league to have thrown for over 1,000 yards this season. Gibson’s completed 60% of his passes also, which is second to only Southeastern’s Lane Ruby who has attempted 100 less passes.

Huntington quarterback Elijiah McCloskey is third in the league in passing yards and fourth in rushing yards and is also tied for the league lead with 13 touchdowns overall. The Huntsmen have had a couple of not so great in-conference losses though against Paint Valley and Adena.

From here on out, it appears as if Paint Valley will have the easier schedule of these four teams, although they do face Southeastern this Friday before taking on Westfall and traveling to Adena.

First, we’ll start with the Piketon Redstreaks at No. 4. They’re 3-1 in conference, but 3-4 overall. They opened the season with 3 straight losses, but have lost only once since then. In that loss, they put up 27 points against an undefeated Southeastern team that only allows around 14 points a game.

Mentioned earlier was Westfall’s Zach Gibson as one-of-two players to have thrown for 1,000 yards thus far, Connor Galloway is the other. Galloway has completed the most passes in the league and that’s with the help of Chase Grooms at receiver, who leads the league in catches and yards, with 37 receptions for 527 yards.

Our #3 team in the league is the Zane Trace Pioneers, who are 4-3 overall and 2-2 in conference. This is not where they’d hope to be in the rankings at this point in the season, as the last time they did not win at least a share of the league title was 2012. They didn’t even lose a single league game the past two seasons, but that all changed this year as they dropped two tough away, in-conference games to Unioto and Southeastern. Against the Shermans, they failed to score the entire first half, and against the Panthers they didn’t score the entire second half.

This is still a solid Pioneers team that is headlined by their rushing attack of Etheridge Games and Ty Shanton. They also boast a strong defense, with Kieran Place leading the league with 11 sacks in seven games. Last week against Paint Valley, Drew Rittenhouse picked off the opposing quarterback for his league leading fifth time this season, and he’s also a very dangerous return man.

The Pioneers will look to close out their season strong, with really only one tough game remaining on their schedule when they travel to Piketon on Oct. 20th.

Unioto and Southeastern faced off last week and it came down to the wire. A late goal line turnover thwarted the Shermans chance of a win in a game they probably should have won. They were up 14 0, until giving up a touchdown just four seconds before halftime, and they ended up losing 18-14. The Shermans turned the ball over four times and committed a whopping 23 penalties for 175 yards, and that’s why they are the No. 2 team in the power rankings.

Unioto’s loss to the Panthers was its only in conference loss, and they are 5-2 overall. This is a very strong Shermans team. They allow the least amount of points in the league and have one of the best players in quarterback Gabe Fisher. He’s a big guy, 6 feet tall and 190 pounds and is a fantastic athlete. He’s a lot of fun to watch play as he uses his abilities to run around, plow through, and at times even go up and over his defenders. They don’t boast a very strong passing game, but speedster JaMarcus Carroll is another playmaker on their team and he’s scored seven touchdowns this year.

We all know about the Panthers running game. They have the top two running backs in the league in power back Carson Stauffer and slasher Dakota Houser and they have a stout defense. They have a young, intelligent quarterback in Lane Ruby and typically take care of the ball pretty well. But what I think sets them apart from the rest is their leadership.

Just four years ago, the Panthers went 0-10. The next year, 2-8. Following that, 6-4 and now.. they find themselves undefeated at 7-0, including a win against Zane Trace for the first time in 17 years.

Southeastern have 11 seniors and these guys have been working their butts off since they were freshmen. Just from watching their games you could tell how hard they guys work. They hit hard, they run hard, every single play. This is a group of young men that play as a team rather than individuals.

Leadership at the high school level, or really any level, is key to success and fifth year coach Evan Gallaugher has to be proud of these guys. The Panthers appear to be in the drivers seat, as their remaining three games are against three of the bottom four teams in the league. Having said that, there’s a pretty good chance they win their first league title since 2001.