Updated Fri, Oct 25, 2013 8:36 am
The SEOAL crown is up for grabs this week as four of the five teams in the SEOAL still have a shot at the throne. Battles between Logan at Gallia Academy as well as Portsmouth at Warren headline the conference matchups this week.
Title implications may bring energy to these teams that fans haven’t seen all season. So let’s take a look at what it’s going to take from each team to clinch an SEOAL title.
1. Logan Chieftains (4-4, 2-0 SEOAL)
Logan controls its own destiny this week, as a win over the Gallia Academy Blue Devils would clinch the Chieftains’ 26th SEOAL title. A win on Friday would lock up their first league title since 2009 and extend their lead on most SEOAL titles ever. Head coach Billy Burke could potentially win his first SEOAL title in his first season as the Chieftains head coach.
The Chieftains have scored the least amount of points in the SEOAL, but the Blue Devil defense has really struggled in recent weeks. Gallia Academy has given up an average of over 40 points per game in its last three games. Expect Nick Kost and Isaac Schmeltzer to attack the ground with a chip on their shoulder. If Logan is going to get its offense rolling, this is the week to do it.
Logan’s defense is the key to success in Friday’s game. Gallia’s high-powered offense will be the biggest challenge for the Chieftains in week 9.
2. Jackson Ironmen (4-4, 2-1 SEOAL)
Jackson’s main focus this week is to be as prepared as possible for Gallia Academy next week. The Ironmen take on McClain Friday in an out-of-conference showdown that has no implications on their SEOAL standing. Winning or losing to McClain can’t affect Jackson’s mindset towards Gallia Academy and their shot at the SEOAL title. If Jackson is able to take the title, it would be their third championship in the last four years.
Despite allowing 225 points this season, Jackson’s has the SEOAL’s best scoring defense. The Ironmen have given up 22 points per game in their last three contests, and extending this trend would give Jackson a great opportunity to reign supreme in the SEOAL again.
Watch out for junior linebacker Reagan Williams to make his presence felt in Jackson’s final games as he tries to stamp his own name on the SEOAL crown.
3. Gallia Academy Blue Devils (5-3, 1-1 SEOAL)
Gallia Academy’s road is simple: win. In order for the Blue Devils to have a shot at the SEOAL title, they must beat Logan this week and knock off Jackson the week after. The Blue Devils and first year head coach Wade Bartholomew are trying to defend last year’s SEOAL title. The key for Gallia this time around is improving the defensive play. The Blue Devils’ high-octane offense and can score very quickly, but that can only keep them in the game so long.
Gallia Academy finishes off the season at home against Logan and on the road at Jackson. A loss in either game will end its shot at retaining the SEOAL crown. The Blue Devils, led by 2012 Gridiron Glory Player of the Year and 2013 GGPOY semifinalist Wade Jarrell, look to crash Logan and Jackson’s party on top of the SEOAL.
4. Warren Warriors (3-5, 1-1 SEOAL)
The Warren Warriors also still have a shot at the SEAOL championship. Head coach Andy Schob has two conference opponents left in Portsmouth and Logan. Similarly to Gallia Academy, a loss in either matchup would effectively end the Warriors’ title run. Warren hasn’t won the SEOAL since a three-way tie in 1995 with Gallia Academy and Jackson. A huge win last week over the Blue Devils kept Warren’s title hopes alive. The Warriors also have to win their final two games in order to finish the season without a losing record.
Warren must take last week’s energy and power it through the next two weeks. Schob will focus on keeping the offensive productivity up with quarterback Austin Klintsworth, running back Jared Isner, and wide receiver David Ryan.
5. Portsmouth Trojans (2-6, 0-3 SEOAL)
The Trojans are going to have to wait until next year – their final year in the SEOAL – for a chance to win the conference. Portsmouth has played three tough in-conference games and proven that they are no push over. Expect the Trojans to play like they have something to prove next year as they will be in the hunt for their second SEOAL title ever. The Trojans rejoined the conference in 2006 after taking a 79-year absence. Next year will be Portsmouth’s last shot at an SEOAL trophy as they are leaving for the Ohio Valley Conference after next season.
Portsmouth finishes the season with a game in Vincent against the Warren Warriors and a home contest against Chillicothe. The Trojans can play spoiler as a win over Warren would end the Warriors shot at an SEOAL crown.