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Another big game for SP, Rock Hill

There are no games of little importance in a short 10-game season such as high school football.

Thursday, October 14, 1999

There are no games of little importance in a short 10-game season such as high school football. And when you play in a five-team league, all conference games are important.

The importance of Friday’s Ohio Valley Conference game between the Rock Hill Redmen and South Point Pointers is a prime example.

South Point is 2-5 overall but 2-0 in the league. Rock Hill is 5-2 on the season and 1-1 in the conference. Each will have only one OVC game remaining after Friday’s encounter at Redmen Stadium.

Need there be any more said?

"They just keep getting bigger each week," Pointers coach Chris Watts said. "If either team has any hopes of winning the league, it all hinges on this game."

Rock Hill, 10th in this week’s Region 16 Division IV computer ratings, has playoff aspirations resting on this game as well as keeping its OVC title hopes alive. Coach Andy Hall is very much aware of not only the importance of the game, but the ability of his opponent.

"I think it’s definitely a big game," said Hall. "They have a lot of weapons. They have a lot of speed. Now that (D. J.) Bryant is back, it balances their attack. (Jarrod) Smith is as good a quarterback as any kid in the area. And their receivers are pretty good athletes."

Hall also noted that the Pointers record is very deceiving. The Pointers have played a non-league schedule that includes Ironton and Wheelersburg.

"The last few weeks they’ve played pretty well. Their record doesn’t indicate the talent they have. They had injuries and a tough schedule right off the bat," Hall said.

After an 0-5 start, the Pointers beat Coal Grove 36-6 and Fairland 24-14, an average of 30 points per game. Part of that success can be attributed to Bryant’s return after a preseason injury that kept him out of the first five games.

But Watts thinks the defense has had more to do with the resurgence.

"We have to keep playing good defense. We have the ability to score some points, but what’s hurt us in previous games is giving up the big plays. We get behind and have to play catch-up ball. We need to be patient and not take a bunch of chances. We’re not doing anything different, we’re just getting better," said Watts.

The defense will have to play well against Rock Hill’s big, physical offensive and defensive line. However, Rock Hill may be without starting quarterback Gabe Medinger for the second straight week due to an injury.

Travis Gilmore is expected to start in place of Medinger, but Watts doesn’t think the quarterback spot matters.

"I think they’ll try to come right at us with the size difference. I don’t think it matters who plays quarterback because we have to stop their running game. Their athletes scare you," said Watts.

Hall said Gilmore did a solid job last week running the team in a 30-6 win over Coal Grove. His worries are in another area.

"I’m concerned about the slow start we’ve had the last two weeks. We came out sluggish against Coal Grove. If we do that this week, we’re going to be in trouble," Hall said. "Gilmore did a nice job, but the offensive line will be keys. If we win out, we have a shot of doing some things. But South Point can, too. We have to take them one at a time right now."