|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 year. 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 Southeastern's win over Unioto. Scroll down for previous articles from previous weeks.
|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 Piketon.”
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)
|Mistakes lead to Piketon’s 3rd loss and a Unioto victory
Piketon and Unioto went head to head to begin league play Friday night. The Shermans came out and dominated
the game over Piketon both on offense and defense. The only positive for Piketon was some success in the passing
game. Unioto responded by adapting and overcoming this, and late in the game, they were able to stop the Piketon
passing game. Jamarcus Carroll had another standout performance. Carroll recorded another four touchdowns, and
he broke 100 yards rushing for the first time this season.
“The team and I use that loss to Amanda as motivation,” responded Jamarcus after his second straight dominant
performance. “Since we lost that game, we have been moving forward and don’t plan to look back.”
As a note, Byrd Green, Unioto’s top receiver this season, sat this game out with an injury. This may have
contributed to Unioto’s run heavy offensive scheme.
Unioto and Piketon were two completely different teams. Unioto was consistently dominant scoring on seven of
their nine offensive possessions. The Piketon offense was plagued by unproductive plays, dropped passes, and
ineffective blocking up front. Piketon began to get going at the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the
third, but two turnovers in the span of three plays killed their confidence. The Piketon defense couldn’t contain the
offense of the Shermans and led to the final score of 47-7.
Most of the first quarter was spent with the ball being in Sherman hands. The Shermans yet again rallied behind
the duo of Carroll and Isaac Little as they capped off a 10-play drive with a connection resulting in the first TD of the
game. Unioto forced the Redstreaks to a three-and-out and charged down the field to get the second TD of the night.
The Streaks tried yet again and failed to score and gave the ball back to the Shermans right before the second
Starting off the second quarter, the Tanks kept rolling and scored the third TD for their offense. The Sherman
front seven kept constant pressure on the Piketon quarterback; however, one pass appeared to be a sure
touchdown for the Redstreaks, but ended up slipping right through the arms of their receiver leading to another three-
and-out. The Shermans received the ball but couldn’t do much, so they punted it back to Piketon who finished the
half with a successful drive cutting the lead to 21-7 at halftime.
Opening up the half, the Redstreaks started a 10-play drive that was fumbled away in the red zone. After the
Unioto fumble recovery, Carroll fumbled it right back to the Streaks on the first play of the possession.
“I was pretty upset,” Carroll responded. “I was really trying to have no fumbles all year, but the next play is always
more important. It was great when I was able to shake it off.”
The Shermans did shake off the turnover extremely well picking off Piketon’s QB and using that to score another
touchdown. That INT by Little seemed to be the nail in the coffin for Piketon. After that, Piketon would never get
anything rolling again. Unioto would continue to overwhelm Piketon as they scored a TD with three different people in
the fourth. Also the defense came up with another fumble recovery by Landon Gumm.
The Redstreaks fell to 1-3 and will be hosting the Paint Valley Bearcats next Friday. Unioto improved to 3-1 and
will be traveling to Adena to attempt to add to their two game win streak.
“Adena is going to be tough for us,” stated Carroll. “Our goal is to continue this great play over the last two
games; I don’t plan to take my foot off the pedal.”
|Zeb Downs, Unioto High School (9th Grade)
|SHERMANS BOUNCE BACK WITH
GREAT RUSHING ATTACK
ZT falls to 1-5
Unioto rebounded after the disappointing loss to Adena by defeating rival Zane Trace on Friday night. While
Unioto dominated on both sides of the ball, Zane Trace was able to create two interceptions and accumulate 240
total yards, which was only 105 yards less than the Sherman offense. This is surprising considering Unioto scored 46
more points than ZT. Jamarcus Carroll and Isaac Little highlighted the Unioto offense with three touchdowns each
and a combined total of 311 yards shared between both of them. Unioto’s tough loss and the injury of running back
Chris Skaggs made it more surprising when Unioto ran the ball 33 out of the 37 plays.
“We really needed this… this was a huge bounce back,” responded Carroll when asked about the importance of
this game. “This one feels good. We haven’t forgotten the 63 (points) Zane Trace put on us a couple years ago.”
Zane Trace won the toss to start the game and chose to receive. Zane Trace clearly had shaky special teams
play as the Pioneers would drop the ball on every kickoff except one. After the first special teams scare, ZT began by
throwing an interception straight into the hands of Isaac Little. Unioto would use the momentum to score the first
points of the game thanks to an 11-yard run by Little. Zane Trace would turn the ball over on downs on the two
following drives, and Unioto would score on two Carroll runs to finish the quarter up 21-0.
Zane Trace started the second quarter by turning the ball over on downs and allowing a 47-yard TD run by Little.
The Pioneers would fail to convert on a fourth down on their next drive then got the ball back off of an interception.
Zane Trace would punt it for the first time all game and intercept it again to get the ball back for the final drive of the
quarter. The Pioneers would make a huge play on third down and gained 62 yards off a Gabe Shanton pass
somewhat exposing a Sherman secondary. After the pass, Zane Trace was placed on the one yard line; however, the
Sherman defense would stop them on two run plays to complete the first half shutout as time ran out.
The third quarter started off huge for the Shermans with Little returning the kickoff for a 93-yard TD for Unioto.
Zane Trace would put some points on the board with another 67-yard pass from Shanton to Caden Fry for a TD. The
extra point was blocked by the Tanks. That would be ZT’s only score of the game, as after the blocked kick, they
really couldn’t get going and never captured momentum. Carroll would continue the dominate performance from the
first half by running the ball 23 yards to set up Little who would run 32 yards for the his last TD. Zane Trace would
get one last turnover on downs, and Unioto would put in most of the JV for the final quarter.
Unioto would go three and out and punt for the first time all game then proceed to grab the ball back after ZT
fumbled it away. The Shermans would score for the final time on a short run from freshman Cody Tuttle and succeed
at getting the two-point conversion to put the nail in the coffin at 50-6. Zane Trace would end the game by fumbling
their final drive away followed by the Shermans running out the clock.
ZT lost their fifth game of the year and fell to 1-5 and will play Southeastern next week hoping to pull off a huge
upset. Unioto improved to 4-2 and will have another tough opponent in Paint Valley next week.
“I owe that team a lot,” stated Carroll about next week’s matchup against Paint Valley. “I know it’s part of the
game, but I still hurt my knee against them, so we will be ready. We will be intense for it.”
|Paint Valley stays undefeated against SVC
opponents after stunning Unioto 41-7
Paint Valley may not be undefeated overall, but they sure played like they were on Friday. The Shermans
looked vulnerable as the Bearcats kept rolling all over the Unioto defense. Paint Valley’s Brayden Ison was a huge
contributor with an insane four touchdown game. Paint Valley dominated in almost every category in their amazing
victory which delivered the knockout blow to Unioto’s league title hopes. Left standing is Adena, Southeastern, and
themselves in the SVC championship race. The Bearcats came in with a great defensive game plan which was
mostly blitzing on the run heavy Sherman team causing the Sherman offense to slow down after the big scoring
night against Zane Trace.
The offensive stats told the story in this one. Unioto and PV had the same amount of rushing yards; the only
difference in total offensive yardage was 31 yards passing. In a 41-7 win you wouldn’t expect a 31 total offensive
yards difference. The score could have been more lopsided, but PV missed four kicks, two of which were FGs.
“We dictated the field position the entire night,” stated PV coach Pete Hollon. “Our defense and special teams
were able to create some turnovers, our offense did what they had to do, and the offensive line hung in there very
well. They really intimidated us with their size, but that’s just Paint Valley football at its finest”
The entire first quarter was scoreless, but PV did attempt a FG that was missed. The second quarter would see
PV get into motion by scoring on the first play from scrimmage. The defense for PV would intercept the ball and
score after another run heavy drive. Paint Valley would hold Unioto on another drive to go into the half up 13-0.
The third quarter opened up with the momentum shifting as Jamarcus Carroll led the Shermans down the field,
and after three straight runs would score the only Unioto TD. Unexpectedly, Carroll was moved to QB and will be the
starter at QB for Unioto until further notice. Paint Valley would be stopped by the Unioto defense until a roughing
the kicker call that ended up halting Unioto’s momentum as the PV offense would score after the Unioto mistake.
The two-point conversion would be successful, and PV would then get a pick-six making the score 28-7. The
Bearcats would get the ball back after a punt and score again. Then Carroll would turn over the ball one last time,
and PV would get a scoop and score ending the game at 41-7.
Paint Valley’s great defensive scheme, and their stunning running game, shows why they are undefeated in the
SVC and ranked first in their playoff region. Unioto had a great game from Carroll and Logan Stanton who seemed
to be everywhere in the back field. Paint Valley’s entire team did extremely well and executed in all phases of the
game. Paint Valley will play Zane Trace after improving to 6-1 and 4-0 in the SVC. Unioto travels to Southeastern
after falling to 4-3 and 2-2 in league play.
“We haven’t seen much of them on film,” said coach Hollon on Zane Trace. “Of course being a veteran coach,
we never underestimate a team, and we just happen to be 4-0 in the conference. Anything can still happen,”
|Lane Ruby leads Panthers to huge win to
continue momentum into the biggest SVC match
Southeastern and Unioto gave the fans what they came for, one of the best SVC games all season. Unioto,
bounced back from the Paint Valley loss led by a fantastic game by QB Isaac Little. Jamarcus Carroll was returned to
the tailback spot after a short stint at QB last week. Southeastern led by Lane Ruby dominated the 2nd half and won
28-21 on 22 unanswered points. Both teams played pretty well, but in the end the game was decided on two
questionable calls and two mistakes by the Shermans.
The first half was controlled by the Shermans as the first drive led to a touchdown from Carroll. Then SE would
score too on a great pass fromRuby to Jarrett McWhorter leading to the first TD for SE. SE missed the extra point
and would give the ball to Unioto who went down the field and scored off of a Little pass that connected with Caleb
Smith. Unioto would end the half up 13-6 after missing their own extra point attempt. The half finished with a three
and out stop by the Unioto defense and the offense taking a knee in the final seconds of the half.
The 2nd half began with a fumble by SE recovered by the Shermans. The Tanks would score off the turnover
on a Little to Carroll connection of 30 yards. The Shermans would convert a successful 2 point attempt making the
score 21-6. SE would immediately squash the double digit lead with a 55 yard TD run by Ruby and a 2pt conversion
making the score 21-14. After that the teams exchanged blows, but they never scored. Finally, a Unioto fumble led to
a score for SE, closing the gap to 21-20 after a failed 2 point attempt. On the drive, SE was aided by a questionable
pass interference call on a 4th down play in the end zone. From my angle, the ball was out of bounds and
uncatchable and the Unioto defender did not make contact with the SE WR until they both hit the ground diving for
the ball. Unioto would be stopped by SE’s defense followed by another running touchdown by Ruby. A successful 2
point attempt would put the Panthers up by a touchdown 28-21. Unioto would receive the ball with about 5 minutes
left. After a couple of positive Sherman runs, the drive would end with another controversial call as Carroll fumbled
trying to get a few extra yards at the end of a run. From that point SE was able to run out the clock for the victory.
SE stayed undefeated with the win and improved to 7-0. Next week, they will travel to Bainbridge to take on the
Paint Valley Bearcats in a matchup that will most likely decide who wins the SVC championship. The Shermans fell to
4-4 and a losing record of 2-3 in the conference. They will matchup against Westfall at home next week.