Winter-like temperatures are scheduled to hit Ohio Friday evening, but will that be enough to cool off the red-hot West Jefferson High School football team?
Coach Shawn Buescher’s Roughriders (11-0), the No. 5 seed in the OHSAA Division V, Region 20 playoff standings, will tangle with No. 8 Reading (8-3) in a regional semifinal Friday night at Xenia High School. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
West Jefferson rolled past Bethel-Tate 48-18 last week by using an army of various players on the offensive side of the ball. Having multiple players capable of being able to make plays is one of the things that makes this West Jeff team so potent.
“We pride ourselves on being balanced,” Buescher said. “We have a multitude of kids who get touches every week. We’re just more difficult to defend when we have that type of balance.”
West Jeff will rely on senior standout quarterback Lance Lambert, the Central District Division V Offensive Player of the Year. Lambert has been the trigger man in a Roughriders offense capable of putting up big numbers.
“Lance has been very accurate this year,” the coach said. “He’s a senior and has done a great job helping lead this team.”
West Jeff will face a Reading team that upset region top seed Miami East 27-25 last week.
Reading is led by quarterback Johnny Miller who’s thrown for over 1,400 yards to go with 16 touchdowns. He has however thrown 10 interceptions this season. He’s a strong-armed player not afraid to challenge defenses. Reading will be like no other team the Roughriders have met this season.
“They’re extremely athletic, probably the most athletic team we’ve seen all season long,” Buescher said. “Offensively they have a lot of weapons. They’ve got a good quarterback, a good running back and three really strong wide receivers on the outside.
“They’re a good football team and we’re going to need to be ready to play.”
Reading has a 1,000-yard quarterback (Miller), a 1,000-yard running back (Adryian Simmons) and a 700-yard receiver (Mancini Jackson).
West Jefferson’s defense will be tested but Buescher is confident in his defense unit.
The winner of the West Jeff-Reading game will face the winner of No. 2 Madison Senior (9-2) and No. 3 Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (8-2) in a D-V regional final Nov. 17.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.