Jacob Winters

Jackson’s Jacob Winters ran for 136 yards in the Ironmen’s 13-10 loss to Ironton. He’ll shoulder another heavy offensive load as the Ironmen welcome D-IV powerhouse Licking Valley to town on Friday.

I’ve slipped up by not having these in the first two weeks when I should have, especially since nothing brings out more emotion than high school football.

Let’s recap the first two weeks really quick.

Vinton County is 2-0 for the first time since 2013, and Jackson is dominant as ever despite coming off a heartbreaker at the buzzer to Ironton.

Wellston and Oak Hill are both figuring things out as it’s breaking in a new core of players, though the Golden Rockets are 1-1 and the Oaks are 0-2.

All caught up now? Good deal. Let’s dive into the week three matchups across the area:

GAME OF THE WEEK

Licking Valley (1-1) at Jackson (1-1), 7:00

Three Players to Watch: Licking Valley — QB Hayden Rodgers, RB Isaac Barsotti, WR Ayden Stalnaker; Jackson — QB/RB Evan Spires, QB/RB Jacob Winters, LB Grant Mastin

Preview: This Licking Valley group of seniors and juniors were apart of the 2018 and 2019 teams that made back-to-back state semifinals alongside a state championship appearance. However, its struggled out of the gates with a loss to Sheridan and needing a fourth-quarter comeback to beat London. Both teams could use a big signature victory. It’ll mostly be about the running game, expect a low scoring, hard hitting showdown.

Vinton County (2-0) at Zane Trace (2-0), 7:00 p.m.

Three Players to Watch: Vinton County — QB Braylon Damron, RB Zayne Karr, RB Broc Moore; Zane Trace — QB Ben Nichols, RB Blake Phillips, TE Nalin Robinson

Preview: This was a Tuesday afternoon switch since Trimble had to cancel the game, so the Vikings travel north to Kinnikinnick for a matchup with the Pioneers. The Vikings have forced eight turnovers this season,

so the defense has been very opportunistic. This one is all about contain since Zane Trace QB Ben Nichols will take off and run if he sees an opening. This could come down to the wire and who has the ball last.

Wellston (1-1) at Minford (1-1), 7:00 p.m.

Three Players to Watch: Wellston — QB Jeremiah Frisby, RB Isaac Molihan, WR Zach Wilbur; Minford — QB Devin Parker, RB Jeffery Pica, WR Trenton Zimmerman

Preview: Both teams are breaking in new players at key positions, so it’s very possible the points could rack up in a hurry. Both teams have lost to Piketon and struggled to move the ball. The one thing Wellston has in its favor is it takes care of the football, only committing a pair of turnovers this season. Minford will ride the legs of Pica, Wellston will do the same with Molihan. Now it’s all about who turns the ball over late.

Rock Hill (0-0) at Oak Hill (0-2), 7:00 p.m.

Three Players to Watch: Oak Hill — QB Darrick Boggs, RB Max Gentry, TE Braylon Howell; Rock Hill — QB Trenton Williams, QB Brayden Adams, RB Owen Hankins

Preview: Oak Hill already has a big advantage just due to the fact it’s played two games. Its figured a couple things out and understands what it needs to work on. Rock Hill has been canceled on twice due to COVID. So there’s no film to watch on the Redmen, they’re a complete mystery, which could be good or bad. Who knows what to make of this game, but Oak Hill will be better prepared.

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