|Unioto Barely Edges out Vinton
County in Dramatic 14-13 Finish
CONNECTING THE CLASSROOM TO OUR COVERAGE
|Zeb Downs, Unioto High School (9th Grade)
After multiple weather delays, the fans got what they wanted – a dramatic game for both Unioto and Vinton County. A
game originally set for 7:00 was played more than an hour later last Friday, and it was definitely worth the wait.
Unioto was able to sneak away with a close and thrilling victory on the Vikings’ home field to open up the season with
After a back and forth first quarter where both teams couldn’t seem to get going, Vinton County rallied together on
the last play of the quarter to score the first TD, taking the lead 7-0. Unioto responded with a dominant 14
unanswered points in the second quarter. Unioto was able to capitalize on two turnovers by Vinton County to close
the half. The second of those VC miscues allowed Unioto a two-play drive –both completions by Isaac Little.
After halftime both teams came out for a slow third quarter. Each team exchanged small drives in which no real
progression was made the entire quarter. The slow atmosphere of the third carried over to the fourth quarter as both
teams started by punting on their first two drives. Near the end of the second half, with the score still standing at 14-
7, the Vikings were able to make a great play when their running back found the end zone for VC’s second
touchdown. The game ended with a still unknown hero tipping Vinton County’s extra point, giving Unioto a tough win
and preventing a tie that would have led to overtime.
The Unioto victory was highlighted by an outstanding performance by Little. The junior quarterback was the key
contributor to 203 of the total yards for the Tanks. Little had a hand in both Unioto touchdowns, one of which
connected with Chris Scaggs, who found the end zone after the initial catch. Jamarcus Carroll was also able to do his
part gaining 41 yards on eight carries.
Little and the offensive play was not the only thing going for the Shermans. The Tanks defense, highlighted by their
ability to read Vinton County’s QB extremely well, was able to hold off the Vikings offense from passing and running
the ball on most drives. The great defense helped ease most of the pressure on the Unioto offense and secure the
The Unioto win allows the Shermans to start the season at 1-0, and it adds to the SVC’s 5-3 record in the opening
week. Unioto will host Amanda this week hoping to capitalize on a good start to the new football season.
Unioto- 247 Total Yards, 106 Rushing, 141 Passing, 2 Touchdowns
Vinton County- 173 Total Yards, 163 rushing, 10 passing, 2 Touchdowns
Unioto Top Performers
Isaac Little- 7-13 or 54% passing, 141 yards, 10.8 yards per attempt, TD. 18 rushes, 62 yards, 3.4 yards per
Jamarcus Carroll- 8 rushes, 41 yards, 5.1 yards per carry
Byrd Green- 3 catches 79 yards
Chris Scaggs- 1 catch, 19 yards, TD
Throughout the year, the website hopes to connect our coverage of sports with the classroom. Our first member of
our high school internship team is Unioto’s Zeb Downs. Zeb is a freshman, and he is eager to learn more about
sports journalism. Zeb’s passion has been tremendous in his first three weeks. We encourage our fans to remember
these are high school writers, and although not every aspect of their writing will be perfect, we are confident the
improvements made throughout the year will be positive steps for our local schools.
Here is a look at Zeb’s take of Unioto's big win over Waverly. You can also scroll down to see his articles for
Unioto/Amanda (Week 2) and Unioto/Vinton County (Week 1).
|SHERMANS ACQUIRE FIRST LOSS, BUT
THEY SHOULD STILL BE CONFIDENT
The Shermans prove yet again that the score is deceiving. Unioto might have lost 32-14, but they played amazing
football for the first three quarters against a state powerhouse in Amanda Clearcreek. The thing going for Unioto was
their defense, but Amanda was able to outlast the dog fight in the first three quarters. The Shermans main problem
was the outside run consistently giving Amanda big yardage, despite the defense stopping almost everything else.
The Shermans started out the game with a tricky short kick that almost worked in their favor, but the ball would
roll out of bounds before any Sherman could capitalize. Amanda took advantage of the stellar field position and
scored in 1:28 to take the lead 7-0. Despite Unioto eventually getting on the board in the opening quarter, the Tanks
did have multiple three and outs. Unioto slowed Amanda’s momentum thanks to an interception, but Amanda would
later end the quarter on a nine-play scoring drive to take a 14-7 lead.
Unioto’s first-quarter score was setup by turnovers. After a punt by Unioto, Amanda began a terrible second
quarter as an INT would only be the beginning. Two more fumbles would be all that Amanda could manage for the rest
of the half. Unioto’s Isaac Little would capitalize on the defense’s amazing play by completing a pass to Jamarcus
Carroll to put the Tanks on the board.
The Sherman defense would start the third quarter off right with forcing another Amanda turnover and
capitalizing on a 29-yard gain to push it through the very next set of downs for a TD to tie the game at 14-14. Amanda
would push back on their final drive of the quarter and get to the red zone only to be stopped by that monster
Sherman defense. Amanda would settle for a FG to take the lead 17-14. It is something to note that Little had a great
first three quarters completing 7-11 and having a TD.
The fourth quarter and the continuing drive of the Sherman offense to begin the quarter would be the instance
where the Sherman offense and a little bit of the defense collapsed. A fumble led Amanda on more than an 80-yard
drive to secure the TD and a two-point conversion (off a fake) to go up 25-14. Unioto’s offense had a tough final
quarter as the final three possessions ended by throwing an INT, turning the ball over on downs, and throwing
another INT. Meanwhile, Amanda was able to add one final score ending the game with a 32-14 score.
The Unioto defense played great but couldn’t adjust to the run on the outside. This killed Unioto’s chances of
winning the game. Penalties were also a major factor. There were some tough calls for both sides (mostly pass
interferences and one late hit), but all in all, a loss is a loss. The Tanks shouldn’t keep their heads down. They played
three quarters of amazing football and put up a great fight against a tough Amanda team that has gone far in the
state playoffs in recent history. The Shermans have another tough opponent in Waverly to try to improve on their 1-1
record. Against Waverly the only thing I suggest, for the Shermans to not have a repeat of Amanda, is not to lose
|Sherman Underdogs Win Big
at Waverly and Improve to 2-1
The Shermans, coming off a tough loss to Amanda, were ready to roll against Waverly. The Tigers, led by
Payton Shoemaker, represented what some considered the toughest game on Unioto’s schedule. The Shermans
jumped out to an early lead and were able to sustain that momentum throughout the game, leading to a 41-14 victory.
Led by Jamarcus Carroll and Isaac Little, the Sherman offense was able to dominate the Waverly defense and
avoid a repeat of the fourth quarter against Amanda.
“It felt amazing” Carroll said in response to his four touchdowns. “Especially coming off of a knee injury, it felt so
amazing. I think we are ready to take on the SVC next week.”
Of course the offense wasn’t the only thing the Shermans had going for them as the defense, for the second
straight game, forced four turnovers. It also marked the second game this season that the defense allowed only two
“We executed the playbook successfully on both offense and defense” said Unioto head coach Jeff Metzler
when asked about the keys to victory. “We also controlled the line of scrimmage, and I think this is a great stepping
stone going into league play.”
When the first half began, the Shermans were able to hold Waverly and make them turnover the ball on a fourth
down. The Shermans decided to open up the playbook on offense and use some trick plays to help their campaign,
giving them two TDs on their first drives. Unioto would take the lead 13-7 in the first quarter because of a fumbled
snap on one of the extra points. The Shermans would score one more TD after a fumble recovery by Logan Stanton
but fumbled another snap on the kick to take the lead 19-7 going into halftime. It is also important to note that
Waverly’s QB went down with an injury early in the game.
Entering the third quarter, the Shermans failed to get a first down and allowed Shoemaker to find the end zone
to cut the Unioto lead to five at 19-14. The Shermans would respond by scoring another touchdown and converting
the two-point conversion right before a weather delay. After the weather delay, the Tigers put together an impressive
18-play drive that would be thwarted by an amazing goal line stand by the Shermans. On the first play of their next
drive Waverly would throw an INT.
This is when the Unioto offense put the game away for good. Little made an immaculate 69-yard run on a 3rd &
15 to get Carroll in position to score increasing the Sherman lead to 20. The Shermans ended even the slightest
hope of a comeback for Waverly when Chris Scaggs recovered a fumble and ran it in for a TD to finalize the score 41-
14. Unioto improved to 2-1 after the huge win and will face Piketon next week.
“I want to evaluate who is hurt tomorrow and the film” said coach Metzler as he stressed taking things one game
at a time when asked about Piketon. “Our goal is to win every week, and for this week that means focusing on
Unioto Top Performers
Isaac Little: 10-13 passing, 143 yards, TD; 12 rushes, 96 yards
Jamarcus Carroll: 21 rushes, 85 yards, 4 TD; 2 receptions, 60 yards
Byrd Green: 3 receptions, 43 yards, TD
Chris Scaggs: 12 tackles, fumble recovery & TD return (45 yards)
|Zeb Downs, Unioto High School (9th Grade)