Williams run

Vinton County’s Elijah Williams is tackled by a Unioto defender last season. Williams could play a factor using his speed on the outside as the Vikings travel to play Fairfield Union on Friday and aim for their first win of the season.

Note: This sports column appears in the Wednesday, Sept. 11 newspaper on Page B5.

This is the week where one of two things are going to happen.

Either your season is going to be on the rebound and a chance at the playoffs still hangs in the balance, or the season is hanging by a literal thread.

Vinton County and Oak Hill each sit at 0-2 in must-win situations, Wellston at 1-1 could put itself in a good position with favorable match-ups coming up and Jackson aims for a 3-0 start for the third straight season.

Here are the previews for the week three area slate of games:

Game of the Week

Vinton County (0-2) at Fairfield Union (0-2)

Friday, 7 p.m.

Players to watch: Vinton County — QB Braylon Damron, RB Jacob Wells, WR Elijah Williams; Fairfield Union — QB Blayde Patton, RB Isaac Daughtery, WR Jaden Miller

Vinton County on offense: Ride the legs of Jacob Wells and the running game until you can’t anymore. Wells was the only thing working in the Vikings’ shutout loss to Southeastern as he racked up 130 yards. Fairfield Union will give up chuck plays and Wells can make them pay. Also, use the speed on Williams on the outside whether it’s the vertical passing game or jet sweeps.

Vinton County on defense: Fairfield Union is a running team with not much size on the outside, so control the edges. Blayde Patton ran for two touchdowns last week against Lakewood so he’s not afraid to take off once things breakdown. Keeping the Falcons in a shoebox almost guarantees a negative play is imminent.

Fairfield Union on offense: The Vikings defense gave up over 171 yards on the ground to Lane Ruby last week, so they can be ran on.

Fairfield Union on defense: Stop the running game. Because Damron is still getting feet wet as just a sophomore quarterback, the running game is 90 percent of the Vikings’ offense. Forcing Damron to throw and make quick decisions has worked for Unioto and Southeastern so far, it could work again.

Rock Hill (0-2) at Oak Hill (0-2)

Friday, 7 p.m.

Players to watch: Oak Hill — RB Noah Donley, RB Triston Diltz, RB Keaton Potter; Rock Hill — RB Zak Adkins, RB Logan Hankins, RB T.J. McGinnis

Preview: You might not find two teams who mirror each other more than this match-up. Both are power running teams whose goal is to wear you down physically for 48 minutes and break your soul. But it hasn’t exactly worked out that way for either team this season. The Oaks have given up 77 points and the Redmen have surrendered 87 points. Someone has to get their first win, first team to 20 points wins.

Logan (0-2) at Jackson (2-0)

Friday, 7 p.m.

Players to watch: Jackson — QB Jared Icenhower, RB Brice Graham, WR Tristan Prater; Logan — QB Braeden Spatar, RB Caden McCarty, RB Connor Ruff

Preview: For the 95th time and the first time since 2016, Logan and Jackson meet on the gridiron. Although Logan leads the overall series 46-45-4, Jackson has won the last three straight match-ups. The Ironmen have used a heavy dose of Brice Graham and Jayden Spires in their first two games. Logan goes with a power running game as well, but has scored just 14 points all season. Shut down the Chieftains’ running game, and Jackson should have an easy night.

Wellston (1-1) at Lakewood-Hebron (1-1)

Friday, 7 p.m.

Players to watch: Wellston — QB R.J. Kemp, RB Rylan Molihan, WR Hunter Smith; Lakewood — QB Connor Vierstra, WR Colt Vierstra, RB Connor Roesink

Preview: It’s amazing what happens when the playbook is opened up and players to make plays. The Golden Rockets spread the wealth on the ground and threw the air, leading to 44 points being put up. Lakewood has struggled to put up points all season, scoring just seven against River View, who has won five games in the last five seasons, before picking up a one-possession win over Fairfield Union. The Lancers can be scored on, and a heavy dose of Molihan should get the job done.

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