• 57°

Defenses hold key to Dragons vs. Pirates

Fairland Dragons’ linebacker Clayton Edmonds (56) brings down at River Valley runner during a game last week. The Dragons’ defense will be a key when Fairland visits Wheelersburg Saturday in the Division V playoffs. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Fairland Dragons’ linebacker Clayton Edmonds (56) brings down at River Valley runner during a game last week. The Dragons’ defense will be a key when Fairland visits Wheelersburg Saturday in the Division V playoffs. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

WHEELERSBURG — The offensive numbers are staggering whether it’s rushing yardage, passing yardage or points scored.

But the key to Saturday’s Division V Region 17 quarterfinal playoff game will be on defense for the Fairland Dragons as they visit the Wheelersburg Pirates in a rematch of a week four game.

The Dragons are 7-3 thanks mainly to an offense that averages 45.1 points a game. However, the defense has permitted 33.8 points a game.

The Pirates (9-1) have scored at a 43.1 clip and allowed just 13.8 per contest.

Fairland will have to slow down the Pirates’ offense and give their own offense a chance to score.

The main players for the Fairland defense are linebacker Clayton Edmonds with 65 tackles including 52 solo stops. Dionte Braye had 56 tackles with 5.5 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss. Derrick Willis had 49.5 tackles and Darren Bishop had 43.5 tackles with 14 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss.

Kyle Sowards, Evan Maddox and Nathan Campbell had three interceptions each. Willis has two.

While Fairland’s defense needs to step up, the same can be said for the Pirates. Even though Wheelersburg won the earlier meeting, the score was 49-32.

The Pirates’ defense is led by linebacker Cameron Parsley with 60 tackles and Dylan Miller with 41 stops. Austin May and Miller have two interceptions each.

There’s a reason why the defense will be feeling pressure.

Fairland’s offense starts with Maddox who has 175 carries for 1,346 yards — a 7.7 yards per carry average — and he has scored 17 touchdowns. Maddox has also caught 34 passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns.

Quarterback Chance Short is 195-of-286 for 2,891 yards and 27 TDs with eight interceptions.

The top receiver for Fairland is Sowards with 52 receptions for 1,155 yards and 12 scores. Campbell — who has 314 yards on 53 carries and seven touchdowns — is next for Fairland with 57 catches for 800 yards and seven more TDs.

Dylan Murphy had 14 grabs for 228 yards and two scores.

Wheelersburg is led by Eddie Miller III. The senior quarterback is 160 of 238 passing for 2,219 yards and 27 touchdowns with six interceptions. He’s also rushed 108 times for 902 yards.

The next top rusher is Christian Ellis who had 32 carries for 213 yards.

Miller’s favorite target is Dylan Miller who had 69 receptions for 926 yards. Tyler Claxon is next with 56 catches for 825 yards. The numbers drop off drastically after Claxon. May has 17 grabs for 294 yards.

 

Ohio High School Athletic Association Football Playoffs

Division V Region 17 Quarterfinals

Probable Starting Lineups

Fairland Dragons’ Offense

Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

LT Tyler Campbell 54 6-04 265 Jr.

LG Dustin Barton 76 6-00 260 Sr.

C Jeff Mclain 61 6-01 240 Sr.

RG Zach McKinney 73 6-01 225 Jr.

RT Allen Woodall 78 6-01 242 Sr.

QB Chance Short 1 6-02 175 Jr.

RB Evan Maddox 32 5-10 175 Sr.

RB Nathan Campbell 45 5-10 170 Jr.

WR Kyle Sowards 10 6-01 205 Sr.

WR Dylan Murphy 4 6-03 200 Jr.

WR Derrick Willis 26 5-08 175 Sr.

WR Austin Christian 27 5-08 160 Fr.

PK Isiah Vidal PK 5-08 150 Sr.

 

Fairland Dragons’ Defense

Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

LE Tyler Campbell 54 6-04 265 Jr.

LT Dionte Braye 75 6-04 335 Sr.

NG Matt McComas 79 6-03 290 Jr.

RT De’Vonte Braey 72 6-02 297 Sr.

RE Dylan Murphy 4 6-03 200 Jr.

LB Philip Beaty 29 6-02 170 Sr.

LB Clayton Edmonds 56 6-01 210 Sr.

CB Evan Maddox 32 5-10 175 Sr.

CB Nathan Campbell 45 5-10 170 Jr.

S Kyle Sowards 10 6-01 205 Sr.

S Derrick Willis 26 5-08 175 Sr.

P Dylan Murphy 4 6-03 200 Jr.

2013 Results

Fairland 41 Ports. West 29

Fairland 33 Meigs 20

Fairland 38 Gallipolis 63

Fairland 32 Wheelersburg 55

Fairland 46 Athens 55

Fairland 74 South Point 43

Fairland 58 Chesapeake 20

Fairland 44 Coal Grove 27

Fairland 27 Rock Hill 0

Fairland 58 River Valley 32

Record: 7-3 (5-0 OVC)

Coach: Cullen Homolka

Wheelersburg Pirates’ Defense

Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

DE Cameron Parsley 22 6-02 205 Sr.

DT Michael Staggs 55 6-00 230 Jr.

NG Ian Salyers 50 5-11 215 Jr.

DT Mitchell Warner 53 6-01 225 Jr.

DE Andrew Conn 32 6-01 175 Jr.

LB Jacob Hutchinson 13 5-11 185 Jr.

LB Christian Ellis 42 5-10 165 Sr.

LB Conner Stone 44 5-11 185 Sr.

CB Kyle Davis 2 5-11 160 So.

CB Austin May 7 6-00 150 Jr.

S Tyler Claxon 3 5-10 155 Sr.

S Dylan Miller 1 6-04 180 Sr.

 

 

Wheelersburg Pirates’ Offense

Pos. Player No. Ht. Wt. Gr.

SE Austin May 7 6-00 150 Jr.

WR Tyler Claxon 3 5-10 155 Sr.

LT Chase Chambliss 71 6-02 280 Jr.

LG Wyatt Mingus 54 6-00 180 Jr.

C Sam Hall 67 6-04 250 So.

RG Michael Staggs 55 6-00 230 Jr.

RT Tim Adkins 61 6-00 210 Sr.

TE Cameron Parsley 22 6-02 205 Sr.

SE Dylan Miller 1 6-04 180 Sr.

RB Christian Ellis 42 5-10 165 Sr.

QB Eddie Miller 12 6-02 185 Sr.

PK Daylor Lewis 25 5-06 145 Fr.

2013 Results

Wheelersburg 49 Ironton 12

Wheelersburg 39 Coal Grove 20

Wheelersburg 42 Portsmouth 14

Wheelersburg 55 Fairland 32

Wheelersburg 49 Jackson 14

Wheelersburg 56 Northwest 0

Wheelersburg 54 Waverly 0

Wheelersburg 42 Minford 13

Wheelersburg 7 Lucas. Valley 10

Wheelersburg 44 Ports. West 23

Record: 9-1 (4-1 SOC)

Coach: Rob Woodward