Vikings, Tartans meet in pivotal SOC matchup

Published 2:28 am Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jim Walker


WILLOW WOOD — It’s football season but Symmes Valley Vikings’ coach Rusty Webb sounds like he’s talking baseball.

The reason for Webb’s baseball jargon is the Sciotoville East Tartans 6-foot, 180-pound junior running back Akia Brown.

“East is big and they have Brown who can go the distance from anywhere on the field. He’s a home run hitter,” said Webb.

“They run the pistol so you don’t which way he’s going to go. They run him at quarterback some, too, so you don’t always know where he’s going to line up.”

Behind the home run hitting, er, running of Brown the Tartans are 5-3 overall and sitting at No. 5 in the Region 25 Division VII computer rating. East needs a win over the Vikings to qualify for the postseason.

The same is true for the Vikings who are also 5-3 and ninth in the region. They need wins over the Tartans and Northwest the final two weeks to enhance their playoff position.

Symmes Valley is 3-1 in the Southern Ohio Conference and still has a slim chance at sharing the SOC title. East is 2-2 in the league.

“There’s a lot at stake in terms of the playoffs, but there’s also a lot of pride on the line. You want to win any game you play,” said Webb.

While Brown is the hub of the Tartans’ offense, Webb said he is not a one-man show. He noted fullback Deshaun Martin (5-8, 170), quarterback Drew Lowe (6-2, 205), tight end J.D. Hatcher (6-2, 175) and wide receiver Dylan Wilson (6-1, 165) are all threats.

“They have some other weapons. You can’t just focus on one kid,” said Webb.

Oh yes, the size. The Tartans do have some size on the offensive and defensive line.

The center is Austin King (5-10, 300), the guards Tyler Aills (5-10, 300) and Justin Kritzwiser (6-0, 215), and tackles Blaine Scott (6-5, 301) and John Seibert (6-1, 175), the smallest player up front.

Other key players on offense are Ethan Gifford (5-11, 205) and Ethan Carver (5-9, 190).

Most of the players on offense flip over to the defensive side led by Gifford at linebacker and Scott on the defensive line.

“Defensively, they want to get pressure on you. They like to blitz and stunt. When we get the ball, they’ll have 11 men around the line of scrimmage,” said Webb.

In other area games, Ironton is at Chesapeake, Coal Grove at Portsmouth and South Point visits Rock Hill in Ohio Valley Conference games.

Fairland travels to Portsmouth West in a non-league game.

In the SOC, Northwest visits Green, Wheelersburg is at Lucasville Valley in a battle of unbeaten ranked teams, Minford goes to Waverly, and on Saturday Fayetteville is at Portsmouth Notre Dame and Oak Hill visits Beaver Eastern.

Future OVC member Gallipolis hosts Logan in an SEOAL game.