With two weeks of the varsity high school football season in the books, here is a look at what Waverly, Piketon and Eastern will be facing this Friday night in week three battles.
For the first three quarters of Friday night’s game at Zane Trace, the Waverly Tigers found themselves in a battle with the hosting Pioneers.
Ultimately, the Tigers put the 49-14 win away by scoring 28 unanswered points in the last 15 minutes of regulation to move to 2-0 overall.
The two teams traded punts to start the game with the Pioneers punting twice and the Tigers punting once. After Zane Trace punted for the second time, Waverly was able to answer with a quick scoring drive, as quarterback Haydn’ Shanks connected with 6-foot, 5-inch sophomore Will Futhey for a 63-yard strike. Grayson Diener added the point-after, putting Waverly ahead 7-0 with 4:10 left in the quarter.
With the momentum in their favor, the Waverly defense forced another punt and responded with a second passing touchdown. This time, Shanks connected with Phoenix Wolf, who covered 57 yards to score. After Diener’s kick, the Tigers led 14-0 with 2:25 left in the opening quarter.
Shoemaker ended the ensuing drive for the Pioneers, picking off a pass from quarterback Gabe Shanton. But the Tigers couldn’t turn the turnover into points.
The Pioneers didn’t go away, as they scored using a long drive that began at the end of the first quarter and midway through the second. With 6:12 left in the half, Shanton scored on a one-yard keeper, cutting the lead to 14-6 with the missed extra point.
Waverly came back with another scoring drive, closing it with a two-yard run from Shoemaker. Diener added the kick, increasing the advantage to 21-6 heading into the break.
Another close range scoring opportunity came for Waverly as the third quarter started. Shoemaker collected the kickoff from Zane Trace’s Kyle Stonerock and returned it 57 yards to the Pioneer 21-yard line. However, the Tigers did not pick up a first down, turning the ball over to the Pioneers.
It didn’t take long for Waverly to get the ball back. Zane Trace’s Cougar Stauffer gained one rushing yard before losing the ball on a fumble with Waverly’s J.T. Barnett recovering. Once again, the Tigers couldn’t move the ball. Diener attempted a 36-yard field goal that was just wide right.
The Pioneers took the momentum and turned it into points with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that consumed nearly six minutes of clock. They scored when Shanton completed a 15-yard pass to Caden Fry. Then Shanton ran for the conversion, making the score 21-14 with 3:44 left in the third quarter.
That was as close as Zane Trace could get. The Tigers were frustrated, responding with a roar by scoring 28 unanswered points in the next nine minutes. It was just 35 seconds after Zane Trace scored when Shoemaker broke a 69-yard run to the house, crossing the goal line with his second rushing touchdown of the night. Diener added the point after, increasing the lead to 28-14.
Zane Trace looked to answer, driving into Waverly territory. Stauffer broke a 17-yard run and made it to the Waverly 30-yard line, but Tiger Penn Morrison forced a fumble at that point and Barnett recovered the ball.
Waverly worked quickly on offense, using a 39-yard pass from Shanks to Will Futhey to start and move the ball into Pioneer territory. Shoemaker followed with a run of six yards. Then he took the handoff from Shanks and covered 25 more yards to score his third touchdown of the night as the clock expired for the third quarter. Diener connected on the kick again, making the lead 35-14.
The Tigers scored twice more in the fourth quarter. Futhey hauled in his second touchdown catch of the night on a 38-yard strike from Shanks. Diener connected on the point-after, extending the lead to 42-14 with 7:54 to play.
Then Diener had the opportunity to secure his first career touchdown pass, snagging a 30-yard throw from sophomore quarterback Wade Futhey. Diener then added his final kick of the night, putting Waverly up 49-14 with 4:48 to play.
Waverly (2-0) will look to continue the success this coming week against another opponent from the Scioto Valley Conference. The Tigers are preparing to square off with the Unioto Shermans (1-1) in a game that received much hype in the pre-season. However, Unioto is off to a slow start, having scored just 14 points in each game to start the year. The Shermans won their opener at Vinton County 14-13 before suffering a 32-14 loss to the Amanda-Clearcreek Aces last week.
At this point, Unioto is averaging 14 points per game on offense, while giving up 22.5 points per game on defense. In contrast, Waverly has scored 79 points in two games for an average of 39.5 points per game, while giving up 20.5 points per game. The game will be played at Waverly’s Raidiger Field Friday night at 7 p.m.
After winning their first opener since the 2012 season at South Point, the Piketon Redstreaks suffered a rough home opener against Wellston Friday night.
The Redstreaks will look to bounce back on the road as they travel south to Lucasville Valley this Friday night. Valley has had Piketon’s number in a lot of matchups, but the Redstreaks hope this time will be different.
Both teams enter the game with 1-1 records. Valley started the season with a 32-27 loss at Portsmouth before winning at Coal Grove last week 34-19. Those results translate into an average of 30.5 points per game on offense, while giving up 25.5 points on defense. This week will be Valley’s home opener.
Piketon has scored 53 points in two games, translating into an average of 26.5 points per game on offense. Defensively, the Redstreaks have given up 29 points for an average of 29 points per game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Valley.
After falling 52-46 in a scoring festival with Huntington this past week, the Eastern Eagles will be facing an uphill battle this week.
The Eagles are preparing to face their third straight Scioto Valley Conference team. This week’s foe is the Southeastern Panthers, led by standout senior quarterback Lane Ruby.
The Panthers are off to a strong start, winning 36-7 against Northwest to start the season before rolling off a 35-0 victory over the Vinton County Vikings last week. In two games, Southeastern has scored 71 points for an average of 35.5 points. Defensively, the Panthers have given up just seven points for an average of 3.5 points per game.
Most of the scoring for Southeastern came on the ground in the battle with Vinton County. Eastern’s young roster has had trouble stopping the run thus far. Offensively, the Eagles have scored 59 points for an average of 29.5 points per game, while giving up 108 points on defense for an average of 54 per game.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Eastern.