Vikings, Oaks battle for SOC title

Published 2:41 am Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jim Walker


It’s that game again.

The Southern Ohio Conference Division I championship always seems to come down to the game between the Symmes Valley Vikings and Oak Hill Oaks.

It looks like it’s happening again.

The Vikings host the Oaks on Friday and the winner will be the odds-on favorite to claim the league title.

Both teams are 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference coming into the game.

“It’ll be a physical game. These are two evenly matched teams and it will come down to execution,” said Vikings’ coach Rusty Webb.

The Oaks’ tandem of tailback Wes Harden and fullback Devon Davis have combined for nearly 1,800 yards.

Harden has rushed 158 times for 1,001 yards and eight touchdowns. Davis has 756 yards and 10 touchdowns on 102 carries.

Oaks’ quarterback Drew Haislop was 6 of 12 for 111 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Notre Dame.

“They’ve got two backs who can run inside and outside, and their quarterback is a good athlete. They’ve got good balance on offense and that will put a lot of pressure on our defense,” said Webb.

The Oaks have outscored their opponents 197-to-54. The team defense has permitted just six touchdowns all season and three came against Minford. The other scores were by Alexander, Wellston and Notre Dame.

Oak Hill’s opponents’ have a combined record of 25-26 and the Vikings’ opponents are 17-32.

Symmes Valley is a four-headed monster.

Alec Herrell leads the way with 67 carries for 958 yards — 14.3 yards per carry — and he’s scored 15 touchdowns.

D.J. Miller had 46 carries for 652 yards (14.2 ypc) and seven scores in six games. Tanner Mays has 255 yards and five TDs on 28 carries.

Quarterback Tyler Rowe has 44 rushes for 362 yards and eight scores. The Vikings have not needed to throw but Rowe is 11 of 22 for 156 yards and two touchdowns. He has been intercepted just once.

Herrell has two catches for 51 yards and Miller two grabs for 42 yards.

Coal Grove at Fairland

This is a “do or die” game for the Dragons.

With a league loss last week and playing the league favorite Hornets on Friday, Fairland can not sustain a second loss and keep any title hopes alive.

Fairland (3-4, 1-1) will need a healthy Nathan Campbell to go along with Tyree Ceasar in order to battle the Hornets (3-3, 2-0)

Coal Grove has rolled through Rock Hill and River Valley behind a balanced offense. Kyle Estep is the top rusher and the emergence of Tanner Murphy has added more power along with fullback Brandon Hogsten.

Chesapeake at South Point

Coaches always say, “We play them one game at a time.”

There’s a reason. The Panthers (3-4, 2-0) can’t afford to look ahead to next week’s showdown against Coal Grove after the Pointers (1-6, 1-1) showed some offensive firepower in last week’s win.

But a big key will be on the defensive side. The Panthers have been able to run the ball the past five weeks, but they can’t make any mistakes.

South Point made Rock Hill pay for its mistakes last week. The Pointers returned two fumbles and an interception for touchdowns to account for 21 of their 41 points.


Rock Hill at River Valley

The Redmen (0-7, 0-2) face River Valley (1-6, 0-2) in an effort to climb out of the OVC cellar.

Rock Hill — who been suffering from inexperience and injuries — must stop Raiders’ running back Kyle Brown.


Green at Notre Dame

The Notre Dame Titans (5-2, 0-1) are led by running backs Jack Kayser, Kevin Lewis and Dakota Smith.

Titans’ quarterback Michael Mader looks for Will Haney and Kayser as his prime targets.