Fresh off Friday night's 44-0 loss to Wheelersburg, the Oak Hill Oaks will look to get back on the winning track this Friday night when they travel to McDermott to take on the Northwest Mohawks in SOC Division I play.
The Oaks had a four-game winning streak snapped by the Pirates, while at the same time the Mohawks were being defeated by the Sciotoville East Tartans by a score of 55-7.
While both teams come into the contest off losses Northwest remains winless on the campaign coming in with and 0-6 record overall and 0-2 in SOC Division I. The Oaks are 4-2 on the season and come in undefeated in division play at 3-0.
Northwest came into the conference in the 2014 season and finished in a three-way tie for the championship with the Oaks and Symmes Valley. They followed that with a 7-3 record in 2015 and went 5-1 within the conference with that lone loss coming to the Oaks by final score of 30-23 at Northwest.
The Mohawks come into Friday's game having lost seven in a row and 15 of their last 16 games including a 44-6 loss to the Oaks. Their last win came over Green (35-6) in the next to last game of the 2016 season. Overall the Oaks own a 7-4 lead in the series with five straight victories over the Mohawks.
The last time Oak Hill lost to Northwest was in the 1985 season by a score of 32-6. Following that game, the two would not meet again until 2007 when Oak Hill won 28-8 on the Mohawks field where the Oaks have a 3-1 record.
Northwest has struggled offensively through the first six games scoring just 50 points while allowing 252. On the offense of side of the ball the Mohawks return nine starters where they were riddled by injuries all season long. Eight starters return on the defensive side, where they have also struggled with the injuries.
Most of the season the Mohawks have run out of an I formation which is familiar to the Oak Hill Oaks coaching staff. However, last week they ran from a spread offense, and Oaks coach Nathan Dugan expects them to blend the two together to see which one will be more effective against the Oak Hill defense.
"Our biggest challenge coming into this game is being prepared for what they throw at us," said Oak Hill head coach Nathan Dugan. "Last week against (Sciotoville) East, they went into the spread offense with four and five wide and stayed in it for most of the game, and when you come out of the game against a team like Wheelersburg, it is going to be imperative that we stay focused on whatever type offense they throw at us."
If the Mohawks run out of the I-formation Dugan says the Oaks will have to key on tailback Austin Penrod, who unfortunately suffered an injury against the Oaks last season after coming into the game as their number one rusher. This season he has been the focus of their offense when they run out of the I-formation. Additional players they will have to watch for if they run out of the spread offense is there big tight end Kyle Leslie, and their split end Timmy Emmons, both of whom they like to get into one-on-one matchups.
"There is a lot of things they can do to put you in a situation where they have the advantage," said Dugan. "What we have to do is make sure we're lined up to whatever offense they throw at us."
Fortunately, the Oaks came out of the Wheelersburg contest injury free, but the one thing they cannot do this week is take the Mohawks too lightly.
Despite the fact that they come into the contest looking for their first win of the season, the Mohawks have everything to gain and nothing to lose. The Oaks, on the other hand, could lose everything including an SOC I title as well as a shot at playoffs.