Jacob Winters (copy)

Jackson’s Jacob Winters will be a major factor in the running game as the Ironmen travel to Mount Orab on Friday for a showdown with Western Brown.

I think I can speak for everyone around the world when I say that COVID-19 can go away at any time now.

While I’m beyond thrilled we’re not all cooped up like we were last March-July roughly, we’re also not completely over this just yet, so continue making smart choices.

As for the action on the gridiron this Friday, there’s questions surrounding all three area teams.

Can Jackson slow down or keep up with Western Brown’s uptempo offense? Will Wellston turn things around? Is this Oak Hill’s week to get its first win?

This almost feels like make or break week. Here’re the capsules for the area’s week of games.

Note: As of Tuesday at 1:30, Vinton County does not have a scheduled game following a cancelation with Meigs.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Jackson (2-1) at Western Brown (2-1), 7 p.m.

Three Players to Watch: Jackson — QB Evan Spires, QB/RB Jacob Winters, RB Cade Wolford; Western Brown — QB Drew Novak, WR Logan Campbell, WR Dylan Novak

Preview: Let’s start with this. Western Brown is averaging 54.3 points per game and Jackson’s defense is allowing just 7.6 points. Something has to give. The Broncos’ offense is a well-oiled machine where no snap is wasted, and it runs as fast as ... well, a bronco. Drew Novak has totaled 20 touchdowns this season (11 passing, nine rushing) and thrown touchdowns to six different receivers. Jackson’s offense has had its share of problems, but expect a strong running game to melt the clock. Broncos can’t score if they’re not on the field.

West (1-2) at Wellston (1-2), 7 p.m.

Three Players to Watch: West — QB Mitchell Irwin, RB Ryan Sissel, WR Jeffery Bishop — QB Jeremiah Frisby, RB Isaac Molihan, WR Zach Wilbur

Preview: Both teams need this win even more than they already believe. Falling to 1-3 could possibly be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and recovery will be a tough road ahead. Wellston has a turnover problem, while West has a finishing problem. It couldn’t finish against Fairland and committed six turnovers to Portsmouth, with two inside the five-yard line. Two years ago, Wellston embarrassed West in a 33-point drubbing. The Senators want revenge.

Northwest (1-2) at Oak Hill (0-3)

Three Players to Watch: Northwest — QB Austin Newman, RB Brayden Campbell, RB Evan Lintz; Oak Hill — RB Max Gentry, RB Braylon Howell, RB Nate Clutters

Preview: Oak Hill has scored a grand total of 13 points this season, while Northwest is coming off back-to-back one possession losses to Valley and Huntington. To say that both need a win is a vast understatement. Both teams are going to run the ball heavily, so don’t expect the ball to be flying through the air very much. If there’s a a week for Oak Hill to churn out a win, this is it. First to 17 wins.

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