|IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS
By Shayne Combs, SVCsportszone
Forecast at Kickoff
49-degrees, light wind with clear skies
SVC championship, gold football, and playoff opportunities are all on the line Friday night when Adena
travels to Westfall for a battle of SVC unbeatens. Adena, who is perfect not only in the SVC but overall
as well, is a lock for the postseason but still fighting to earn a playoff home game, and Westfall, winners
of six straight after losing its first two games, will need a win to even have a chance at Week 11.
As mentioned on our podcast â€“ SVC Sports Talk â€“ this past week, it is hard to think of this match-
up without starting with the names Reid Hutchison and Trent Williamson. Hutchison is on the verge of
rewriting the SVC record book as he enters Week 9 already over 2,000 yards on the ground.
Williamson is destroying defenses with both his feet and his arm. The Westfall quarterback is on pace to
rush for over 1,000 yards and throw for more than 2,000.
A year ago, Westfall committed some first half turnovers that led to Adena points as the Warriors beat
the Mustangs 40-7 in Frankfort. In that game, Hutchison carried it 32 times for 268 yards and three
touchdowns. On the night, the Warriors rushed for 427 yards. Williamson did throw for 189 yards and a
touchdown, but the before mentioned miscues stalled drives and gave Adena too many extra
I thought a big key in this match-up a year ago was Adenaâ€™s defense and their ability to make
Williamson one dimensional. Early in the game, the Adena front seven were so anxious to get to the
Westfall quarterback that they left some open lanes for Williamson to escape the pocket and make a
variety of plays. Later in the second quarter, the Adena D-line started to play with better discipline which
really made it tough for Williamson to elude the pressure when no receivers were open down field.
Now, these two special athletes are going to get a lot of well-deserved media attention, but this game will
come down to far more than just Hutchison and Williamson. For Adena, I believe Kirk Yates is going to
be big. At some point in this game, Yates is going to have a chance to make a big play with his arm as
TE Devin Nesbitt is going to have some chances to run free as Westfall is probably going to start
creeping more and more defenders up in the box. The senior quarterback has also influenced games on
defense, special teams, and earlier this year, even as a wide receiver when he caught a TD from
Hutchison. This is all made possible by a big, strong, experienced offensive line. Seniors Isaac Ost, Ryan
Mickle, Taylor English, and Matt George are joined by junior Trenton Bartley as they all have played a
significant role in Hutchisonâ€™s incredible season.
As for Westfall, the keys are simple to say but will probably be harder to do. First, I believe they must
avoid allowing Adenaâ€™s defense and special teams to make big plays. Last week, Unioto did a solid
job against Adenaâ€™s offense, but a special teams and defensive touchdown for Adena put the game
out of reach. Westfallâ€™s offense will have opportunities to move the ball and score, but they are going
to have to avoid penalties and turnovers. Tim Staten, A.J. Gifford, Taylor Salmons, Jon Thomas, and
Eben Flournoy have all proven capable of making big plays in the passing game.
Westfallâ€™s defense has shown signs in recent weeks as well. Last week, Luke Cline â€“ one of the
best pure athletes in the entire league â€“ produced two defensive touchdowns. Names like Barnes,
Schmitzer, and Bowling have also made some big plays for the Westfall defense. As far as tackling
Hutchison, they just have to contain the Adena star. I have watched Adena several times in the last two
years, and I feel you just have to compete as hard as possible from start to finish. Adena is going to
score points, but you have to try to limit him to about five yards per carry (which is about half his average
per touch) and force Adenaâ€™s scoring drives to be longer. This will accomplish two things: one, it will
help run the clock and shorten the game which is always key in upsetting a team, and two, it gives Adena
more chances on a wet field to make mistakes.
It will also be important for Westfall to get off to a fast start and play out in front. If it gets to the point
where they just canâ€™t stop Hutchison, I look for Westfall coach Scott Keller to pull out all the tricks
from onside kicks, fake punts, or simply going for it on every fourth down.
I mentioned on SVC Sports Talk that I do think Adena will win the game; however, Westfall is the one
team that can simply outscore them if they play well offensively. In the end, the reason I pick the two-
shade blue is I believe the Adena defense is more capable of containing the Westfall offense than
Westfallâ€™s defense is of slowing down Hutchison and the Adena ground game.
Overshadowed by the SVC showdown at Westfall is a slate of great games throughout the league.
Huntington travels to Paint Valley as the rivals play for the Maple Leaf Trophy. Mark Clifford and the
PV running game appears to have an advantage on one side; whereas, the Brice Vickers to John
Mainers connection will be equally difficult on the other side of the ball. In other action, Unioto welcomes
Zane Trace in a battle of two great defenses, and finally, Southeastern travels to Piketon for a battle of
two very athletic offenses that should be able to post some points.
Check back to SVCsportszone late Friday night or early Saturday morning for a total recap of Week 9.