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THE HUDDLE: Local teams begin conference schedules

The preliminaries are over.

The Symmes Valley Vikings visit the Green Bobcats Friday in a game that signifies the start of Southern Ohio Conference play.

The Vikings (3-2) lost the main weapon in their offense with the graduation of quarterback Chris Capper, but his replacement Kyle Bowen hasn’t missed a step. Last week he had another big game with 163 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns.

Green (2-2) stumbled last week, but has been a surprise for opponents. The Bobcats have already doubled their win total for last year.

Quarterback Matt Clarke is an excellent athlete but fullback Chad Lewis is beginning to emerge as a solid runner to offer a more balanced offense.

Symmes Valley beat Green 26-13 last season.

Fairland (0-4) at Rock Hill (0-5)

Somebody is going to get their first win of the season.

Fairland has suffered through injuries and bad breaks so far this season. Twice they’ve led at halftime only to lose in the second half.

But with an open date in the schedule last week, the Dragons are hoping the injuries have healed as they head into league play.

Rock Hill, ravaged by graduation, is getting on-the-job training that has led to a series of critical turnovers.

Last week the Redmen had five turnovers in the first half and three in their first five plays as they fell behind 35-0.

Both teams rely on balanced offenses.

Fairland looks to quarterback Cole Hatfield and running backs Blayne Cornwell, Matt Bloomfield and Chad Fisher. Rock Hill features running back Corey Bamer and the passing tandem of quarterback Will McCollister and receiver Mitchell Davenport.

South Point (2-3)

at River Valley (2-3)

A winning streak will continue and another will end.

Both the South Point Pointers and River Valley Raiders have won two straight after losing their first three games.

The Pointers have been almost strictly a running team and with good reason. The backfield has three talented runners in Jacob Seagraves, Ryan Plants, and Doug Dillon.

River Valley, under new head coach Jared McClelland, returns eight players on offense and seven on defense.

Keying the offense are quarterback Clayton Curnutte, fullback Zach Baird, tailback Cody McAvena, tackle Bryce Darst, and receivers Jordan Deel and Zak Deel.