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Vikings host Oaks in pivotal SOC matchup

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

It’s that week again.

The Symmes Valley Vikings are hosting the Oak Hill Oaks and there’s plenty on the line as usual.

The Vikings need a win to stay in the hunt for a possible share of the Southern Ohio Conference I title.

They could also use a win to bolster their postseason playoff chances.

Symmes Vallley is 4-3 and 2-1 in the SOC. Oak Hill is 6-1 and 2-0 in the SOC. The Oaks have won four of the last five SOC titles and own an 11-game SOC winning streak.

The only team to win an SOC during the past five years was Symmes Valley in 2011. The Vikings are 1-7 against the Oaks since 2006.

Oak Hill’s losses this season were 54-7 to Wheelersburg and 28-21 in overtime to Minford.

“This is the kind of game you look forward to playing. It’s a big game against a good team,” said Vikings’ coach Rusty Webb.

The Oaks’ offense revolves around quarterback Clayton Christensen who is 61 of 108 (57 percent) for 1,165 yards and 15 touchdowns. He had thrown only six interceptions.

Christensen has completed at least six passes in each of the last six games and he has thrown for 185 yards or more in each contest.

On the bulk of the receiving end is Jonathon Harrison with 35 receptions for 760 yards and 10 touchdowns. Chase Burdine is second on the team in receptions, yards and TDs.

“This is another good Oak Hill team. They have good depth and good size. They can run and throw the ball. They’re very disciplined on defense,” said Webb.

Oak Hill has a balanced running game led by Chris Coy and Willy Harris. Coy has missed the last three and one-half games with an injury but has been cleared to play.

Harris ran for more than 100 yards last week in a 41-13 win over Portsmouth Notre Dame, the first Oak Hill back to do so since Coy did it in the season opening win over Chesapeake.

The Vikings have a balanced offense that doesn’t allow defenses to focus on just one or two players.

Tanner Mays leads the running game with 39 carries for 326 yards and he has scored three touchdowns. He also has three kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Brandon Craft has 42 rushes for 226 yards and five scores, Collin Webb 53 attempts for 212 yards and three TDs while Payton Hayes has 52 carries for 193 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Derrek Smith is 37 of 68 for 570 yards and four touchdowns. He has been intercepted three times.

Seven different players have caught passes led by Webb with eight receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Cameron Meadows had six catches for 98yards and a touchdown, Craft five grabs for 32 yards, Mays five catches for 66 yards, Hayes three for 40, Dillon McFann three for 42 and a score, and Jarod Sheppard one catch for 16 yards.