Area teams to battle new faces in playoffs
The first round of the playoffs is here and a lot of new faces will go up against the local teams.
In Division 5, the Chesapeake Panthers (2-4) visit the Portsmouth West Senators (3-3) and the South Point Pointers (0-5) travel to play the Wellston Golden Rockets (4-2).
Chesapeake faces a West team that relies on its defense.
The Senators limited Wheelersburg to its lowest point total of the season (28) and held SOC champion Waverly to its third lowest total.
West’s last playoff appearance was a 52- loss to Wheelersburg in 2018.
Wellston made the playoffs last season and won their division of the Tri-Valley Conference with a 4-0 league record.
The Golden Rockets averaged 26 points a game and allowed 12.8 points a game. One of the Rockets losses for 19-14 to Division 4 Gallipolis who finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference.
In Division 6, the Rock Hill Redmen (2-4) host the Crooksville Ceramics (2-4), the Symmes Valley Vikings (4-2) entertain the Southeastern Panthers and the Coal Grove Hornets (3-2) host the Granview Heights Bobcats (0-6).
The Redmen will host their first playoff game when the Crooksville Ceramics visit on Saturday in the 7 p.m. Division 6 matchup.
The Ceramics are 2-4 and led by senior running back David Chapman (5-9, 175), junior quarterback Noah Dickerson (6-0, 190), wide receiver Ethan Sprankle (6-1, 170) and all-around threat Brayden Cavinee (6-0, 205).
In a 20-14 win over Morgan last week, Dickerson had a 49-yard touchdown run against and then threw a 15-yard swing pass to Sprankle for a touchdown.
Morgan had 235 total yards to just 118 for Crooksville. The Ceramics had 40 yards passing and 78 on the ground.
The Ceramics have a strong corps of skilled players but will need their offensive and defensive lines to provide the real difference.
Crooksville does not have great size. The center is Kaleb Taylor (5-10, 175), the guards Avery Prouty (6-1, 225) and Bradley Ray (6-1, 215) and the tackles Lane Kinney (6-0, 275) and Sky Moore (6-1, 200).
The defense is led by Cavinee and Chapman at the linebacker spots with Kinney the top lineman.
Symmes Valley is in Division 6 for the first time after always in the smallest school division for football and faces a Southeastern team that is only 1-5 after going unbeaten four years ago.
The Vikings are coming off a heartbreaking 10-8 loss to Division 5 Northwest due to an inadvertent whistle that wiped out a missed field goal and gave Northwest a second chance on which they converted for the win.