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OVC moves toward showdown

The end is near, but don't overlook the week before.

Deciding the winner of the Ohio Valley Conference race is looming as a season-ending showdown between the Chesapeake Panthers and Rock Hill Redmen.

But that's next week, and overlooking this week could spoil all the speculation of the final weekend.

Chesapeake and Rock Hill don't plan on overlooking this week's games. The Panthers go against the Coal Grove Hornets in the annual battle for the Old Wooden Bucket.

Unbeaten in the OVC at 3-0, the Panthers are 5-3 and have won four in a row. The offense is in high gear with brothers Michael and Cody Hunt each running for more than 100 yards during that stretch.

Coal Grove is just 3-5 and 0-3 in the OVC. The Hornets are rebuilding with a lineup full of freshmen and sophomores.

"We're taking each game one at a time. That's been our approach all season," Chesapeake coach Phil Davis said. "We know Coal Grove is young, but this has always been a good rivalry. You never know what to expect. You can't take anything for granted in this conference."

Rock Hill plays host to the Fairland Dragons in a series that always produces close games and winner is often the underdog.

The Redmen were just 2-8 last season, but one of their wins was a 28-25 victory over the Dragons.

Fairland is 2-6 and 1-2 in the OVC, but the Dragons have been battling injuries all season and are starting to get things in order.

Tyler Bowman has put together several 100 yard games since his switch to tailback from quarterback after starting tailback Tristan Clark went down with a knee injury.

Rock Hill counters with a fullback Dan Mullins and rotating tailbacks Aaron Hankins and James Russell. However, the passing game is very capable. In last week's win over River Valley, quarterback Steven Daily was 9 of 13 for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

In the other OVC game, the South Point Pointers (2-6, 1-2) will try to overcome their injuries to win at River Valley (3-5, 1-2).

The Raiders have some offensive weapons, but the Pointers could have fullback Chris Chapman back after suffering a broken leg in the second game of the season.