The big game in the South Central Ohio League is undoubtedly Clinton-Massie at Wilmington.
Both teams have league and playoff aspirations on the line as they hook up at Alumni Field 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Falcons and Hurricane sport 7-1 overall records and 5-0 marks in the SCOL.
The winner will have at least a share of the league crown. A Massie win and the Falcons will likely also host a playoff game. A Hurricane win gives them a foot in the playoff door but they may need to secure a win in Week 10 against Chillicothe to assure themselves a date for Week 11.
Either way, Alumni Field will be packed and fans and players alike will be up in the bit.
Elsewhere, East Clinton (0-5) travels to Greenfield to face the McClain Tigers (0-5); Chillicothe (4-1) visits Gardner Park to face the Washington Blue Lions (3-2); and Miami Trace (2-3) heads to Richards Memorial Field to meet the Hillsboro Indians (1-4).
All SCOL games kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Miami Trace at Hillsboro
Trace head coach Steve Bartlett lamented his squad’s five turnovers in last week’s loss to Wilmington.
“Wilmington is a good team,” Miami Trace head coach Steve Bartlett said. “They came over here and did what they had to do to win.
“The turnovers really hurt us. You’re not going to win many football games with five turnovers. We shot ourselves in the foot many, many times. That’s what we’ve got to take care of. That’s what it boils down to.”
Bartlett sees an Indian squad that continues to get better each week.
“It looks to me that Hillsboro is a much-improved team,” Bartlett said. “We need to make sure we continue to try and get better. We need to hang on to the football. We need to shut down their running game, especially their No. 30 (senior Lane Hester). I don’t think there is any secret. We’re going to have to play better football than them.”
Chillicothe at Washington
Coach Corey Dye wasn’t surprised his squad struggled a bit in last week’s triumph over winless McClain.
“We knew going in that it was going to be a battle,” Washington head coach Corey Dye said. “It’s a natural rivalry. The Hollar kid is one of the best backs in the league, by far. We really had a hard time defending him. He broke quite a few tackles and hit some big plays on us. It was one of those crazy games.”
Dye said Chillicothe is a scary team.
“Chillicothe’s speed concerns everyone they play,” Dye said. “They have several fast players. (Nate) Rosenbauer, he’s a slippery guy. I think he already has over 1,000 yards rushing. He’s one of those backs that you can never really get a good shot on. Defensively, they’re one of the quickest defenses we will have played. They really get to the ball well. The big thing is, what I told the kids, we can’t give up the big, long play. The last couple of weeks, that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Dye is hoping his seniors step to the fore as they play their final game at Gardner Park.
“The kids are really excited for the challenge,” Dye said. “For our seniors, this is the last time they will play at Gardner Park. That has a lot of meaning to it. I really feel like our kids are going to be ready to play.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.