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Vikings face showdown with Oak Hill

Symmes Valley (6-1, 2-0)

At Oak Hill (7-0, 2-0)

This is it.

There are still two more weeks remaining in the high school football season after this Friday, but this is the one that really counts for the Symmes Valley Vikings.

In a showdown for first place in the Southern Ohio Conference Division I race, the Vikings face an uphill battle Friday against the Oak Hill Oaks who were the league preseason favorite.

Both teams are 2-0 in the SOC. Oak Hill is 7-0 and Symmes Valley 6-1. Vikings’ coach Rusty Webb knows his team is facing its toughest game of the year.

“This will be our biggest test to date. We’ve been playing well and we’re going to have to play well. It just comes down to the basics,” said Webb.

“We need to control the ball and establish the running game. If we can control the clock we can keep their offense off the field which is something we’ve been able to do this year.”

The Oaks are led by running back Western Hale, quarterback Jesse Slone, receivers Kyle Ondera and Joey Maynard, and tackles Chris Fairland and Drew Cannon.

“Oak Hill is very athletic. They’re very fundamentally sound and they’re a very solid club. There’s no accident they’re 7-0,” said Webb.

“They have a very good defense and a balanced offense.”

Oak Hill — who won 56-7 last year — needs to win out in order to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Vikings can win two of three games and qualify. Three wins would guarantee a home game.

Fairland (5-2, 2-0) at

South Point (1-6, 1-1)

SOUTH POINT — With rival Chesapeake next week, the Fairland Dragons must guard against looking past the South Point Pointers.

Last week the Pointers trailed just 16-0 at the half to Coal Grove and 16-6 in the third quarter before losing 30-12.

The return of running back Doug Dillon a few weeks ago has had a big affect on the South Point offense.

However, the key lies with the Pointers’ defense that faces a team with excellent speed.

After facing Coal Grove’s speed last week, the Pointers must contain the speed of the Dragons including Matt Bloomfield and Terry Duty.

Chesapeake (1-6, 0-2) at

River Valley (1-6, 0-2)

CHESHIRE — When you have your health, you have everything. Just ask Chesapeake coach Phil Davis.

The Panthers had six players out sick most of last week. They have also been hit by injuries including a season-ending injury to Brad Eldred in the first game of the season.

Chesapeake may need to be at full strength against the Raiders as the two teams battle to stay out of the conference cellar.

The Panthers — who won 28-14 last year — rely on the speed and big-play capabilities of Gabe Freyre and Peter Hintz.

The Raiders look to running back Cody McAvena and quarterback Jacob Brown to generate their offense.