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Hornets face Valley in key game

Jim Walker


Coal Grove at Lucasville Valley

The Hornets must put last week behind them and move forward to another tough test.

After a heartbreaking 28-22 loss to Wheelersburg, the Hornets now take on another Southern Ohio Conference title contender in the Lucasville Valley Indians.

Lucasville Valley is off to a 2-0 start despite some key losses from last year’s playoff team that includes All-Ohio running back Luke Keller and quarterback Blake Yates.

The Indians have shown they still have some offensive pop after they opened the season with a 36-24 win over the Portsmouth Trojans, racking up 397 total yards with all but six coming on the ground. They beat Rock Hill 40-13 last week.

However, in the win over Portsmouth the Trojans were without both starting linebackers.

Several players are filling the offensive voids. Nate Arnett who has carried 30 times for 334 yards on the season with a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback Will Howard is next with 93 yards on 17 carries and he is 8 of 17 passing for 51 yards.

As a team, the Indians are averaging 270 yards a game and have scored 36 and 40 points.

But the Hornets (1-1) won’t be an easy touch. Coal Grove has been able to mix up their offense. Although they still have a strong, ball-control running game, quarterback Alex Bare has been able to go on top to hurt opponents.

Last week Bare was 10 of 16 passing for 183 yards and a pair of touchdown passes against Wheelersburg.

Valley won last year’s meeting 33-14.

Fairland at Tolsia

The Dragons will look to continue their early season success against struggling Tolsia.

Winless last season, the Rebels are 0-2 to start this season.

Blake Roberts takes over full-time as the Tolsia quarterback and his favorite target is Morgan Williamson.

Dakota Robertson is the top running threat but will also be included in the passing game. Joining Robertson in the backfield is Terry Davis.

Defensively, the Rebels are led by Davis and Williamson along with two-way linemen Grady Fannin and Michael Hensley.

Oak Hill at Rock Hill

Oak Hill is looking for its second win over an Ohio Valley Conference team after topping Chesapeake 33-7 in the season opener.

The Oaks have 17 returning starters from last season under first-year head coach Nathan Dugan.

Four-year returning starter Devon Davis (5-10, 205) is the top returning player. He plays fullback and linebacker.

Senior Drew Haislop (5-10,170) is back at and gives the Oaks’ a good athlete at the quarterback spot. Besides Davis, Haislop will have returning starter Wes Harden (5-8, 185) in the backfield.

Harden is another key player on defense at linebacker while Gabe Hall (5-11, 220) moves from linebacker to the defensive line in the 3-4 system.

The main receivers in the Oaks’ offense are veterans Ryan Gaines (5-11, 175), Colton Cox (5-8, 150) and Jonathon Harrison (5-7, 130).



Wellston at South Point

Third-year head coach Chris Hutchinson has 15 returning lettermen and 14 starters.

A key returnee is senior wide receiver and defensive back Dakota Brown (5-10, 170) who had 60 tackles and six interceptions last season.

The offensive line has size with Ryan Mathews (5-10, 280) at center, Cole Robinson (6-1, 300) at guard and Austin Wheatley (5-10, 240) at tackle. The other side has freshman Chris Williams (6-1, 275) at guard and Ben Owens 9606, 260) and Garrett Compston (5-10, 230) sharing the tackle spot.

Junior Jake Waldron (5-10, 155) is the quarterback, Brown and Taren Davis (6-1, 165) the wide receivers, Cain Wolford (5-9, 225) and Tyler Roach (5-11, 210) the fullbacks and Michael Downer (5-9, 185) at halfback is the top returning rusher with 433 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Sciotoville East at Green

This one is just a preview to the Southern Ohio Conference game scheduled for Oct. 19. The teams both had open dates and couldn’t find an opponent, so they decided to do play twice.

The Bobcats’ defense will have to contain quarterback Justin Crager who ran for 355 yards on 38 carries and scored five touchdowns in the season opening 36-28 win over South Gallia.

In a 36-19 win over Northwest last week, Crager had 297 yards on 18 carries including a 97-yard run for his fourth TD of the game in the fourth quarter to clinch the win.