When Wayne and Trotwood lock up tonight at Heidkamp Stadium in Huber Heights, there will be no shortage of star power when it comes to HS Sports in Southwest Ohio.
Can "Shock" Hargrove lead Rams to W?
The 2 premiere teams in the GWOC will clash tonight with more than bragging rights, as Trotwood (8-1) & Wayne (8-0-1) will look to get a huge win and have some playoff momentum as we go into Week 10 of the HS football season.
Both teams have set the standards so high for football in the Miami Valley that we almost forget how good they really are.
With D-1 players littered all over the field, it almost feels like a All-Star Game.
Heres our breakdown of the positions, coaches, and who has the edge:
In QB Markell Stephens Peppers the Rams have a budding star. Stephens Peppers has gotten more and more consistent every week and now has 14 TD's and only 3 INTs.
On the Wayne Train side, new QB Rashad McKee has had a great first season throwing for 1575 yards, 17 TD's and only 5 INTs while running the vaunted Wayne Train offense.
Both players have had remarkable seasons for their teams under pressure situations and circumstances.
TROTWOOD - For Ram Nation it starts with the running game, as Top Junior RB Raveion "Shock" Hargrove (11 TDs) leads a powerful offense, and with the addition of William McDaniel (423 yds, 5TDs), it has given Trotwood a potent 1-2 running punch; With the standout Junior tandem of WR Caleb Johnson and Dallas Daniels having good years, a steadily improving line, the Rams have the package to get to State.
WAYNE - The Wayne Train has been unstoppable due to a balanced attack. With 2 of the top WR in the state in Senior Matt Wilcox and Junior L'Christian "Blue" Smith (7 TDs) , a beast of a running back in Fred Pitts (875 rushing, 9 TDs) and a solid season from Josh Foster (515 yds rushing) they have created opportunites for the passing game as well. Throw in Raymond James, Trey Davis, and Steven Victoria and you have the best WR Quintet in all of Ohio, bar none. And possibly in the entire country.
TROTWOOD - The Rams defense has been rock solid all year, and usually play their best ball come playoff time. The front seven has been very good led by James Parker, DL Devon Smith, LB Mikeyion Hunter and Kennedy Coates; but the secondary has been special as Kobe Vinegar and Daylon Duverglas have been lights out. The Rams have always prided themselves on D, and this year is no different.
WAYNE - With 2 way Star Matt Wilcox joining the D, it boosted the already tough Wayne D to another level. With D-Line star Matt Reigelsperger and sack leader Wendell Wheeler (6 sacks), along with Mazone Walker and Joseph Crain creating havoc, it has been a nightmare for opposing offensive lines. Add stud LB Nyem Wilson to the mix and you have a D which could lead the Warriors back to the state title match.
TROTWOOD - Trotwood has a experienced staff with Coach Jeff Graham leading the troops.
WAYNE - Coach Jay Minton has lead the Wayne Train into a National elite level. Although they haven't won state, they have won almost every other big time game, including dominating the Cincy circuit the last 5 years.
As good as both teams are, the only difference in this game will be Home Field advantage, which goes to the Warriors. Also note that it's senior night, so and this class has been very successful.
Look for a Warrior win, albeit a close one.
No matter the results, the level that the Ram Nation and the Wayne Train have risen the High school football ranks in Southwest Ohio has been remarkable.