The Oak Hill Oaks will host the Rock Hill Redmen at Davis Stadium on Friday night in the annual "Battle of the Hills between the two former Ohio Valley Conference opponents.
Friday's confrontation will be the 64th meeting between the two schools with the Redmen holding onto a slim 31-30-2 edge in the series. Rock Hill has won the last two confrontations including a 33-14 victory last year and a 17-14 win when the two last met at Davis stadium in 2015.
This year's confrontation will enable Rock Hill to draw even with the Wellston Golden Rockets as the top team with which Oaks have played the most games (64). With the exception of the years 1986 and 87 the two teams have met on the gridiron each year since 1952, making Friday's game the 30th straight year two teams have played since that two-year lull.
Both teams will come into the contest off victories. Rock Hill defeated the Northwest Mohawks 48-6 at home after opening the season with a 22-21 loss to the Minford Falcons the previous week. The Oaks knocked off the Falcons 14-7 last Friday night at Davis Stadium in overtime, this after a 28-21 opening season loss to the Chesapeake Panthers.
The two teams mirror each other offensively in that they both run out of the full T backfield as well as other various formations. Rock Hill, like the Oaks are a run oriented team. They will come into Friday's contest having amassed nearly 750 total yards of offense in the first two games.
They are led in the backfield by Zack Adkins, who has nearly 400 rushing yards in those first two contests. Rock Hill's ability to run the football concerns Oak Hill head coach Nathan Dugan.
"We have to stop them on first down," said Dugan. "They are a team that has to stay on a schedule, so you have to limit them on first down to no gain or one or two yards. If they get five-yards on first down, we're going to be in trouble because they are going to be able to pound the ball on us.
"They have decent size up front but they will all come out and block hard, so it's all about aggression and being tough from the snap. If you win first down it puts you in a better situation for the rest of the series."
According to Dugan the main goal is to win the game, but the smaller goal is to win first down and get them to come out of the T which will take them out of their comfort zone.
"This is going to be a tough four quarter game that will come down to the wire and hopefully in our favor," he said. "Nonetheless, we know it's going to be a war in the trenches and our guys are going to have to step up."
Oak Hill will come into the contest at pretty much full strength. With the exception of a few bumps and bruises and the return of Leighton Maynard to the offensive and defensive lines making them stronger up front on both sides of the ball.