High school football: Southeastern 3-0 first time in 13 years

SOUTH CHARLESTON — After nine straight losing seasons, the Southeastern High School football program became fed up with losing — and got to work.

“The kids have worked their tails off to get where they’re at,” said Southeastern football coach A.J. Woods. “We’ve got a long way to go. I tell the kids it’s a marathon. We talk about trying to go 1-0 every week. That’s the big thing.”

The hard work is paying off in a big way so far this season in South Charleston. The Trojans are 3-0 and for the first time since 2009 — the last time the program finished the season with a winning record and earned a playoff berth.

Southeastern, which is ranked No. 7 in this week’s Division VII state poll, earned a signature win on Friday night, beating Fairbanks 20-13 in an Ohio Heritage Conference crossover game. The Trojans trailed 6-0 at the half, but scored 14 points in the second quarter and never looked back. Sophomore Hayden Davis rushed for 121 yards and two TDs in the game, while junior Zach McKee threw a TD pass to sophomore Brennan Workman in the win.

With the victory, the Trojans eclipsed last year’s two wins. The program hasn’t won more than four games in a decade.

“It was a big win for us as far as setting the tone for the program and setting the tone for the rest of the season,” Woods said. “Obviously, we’ve still got a lot of work to do. Mechanicsburg’s got a heck of a football team.”

While Southeastern is happy to be 3-0, they’re still hungry for more success, Woods said. The Trojans travel to Division VII top-ranked and unbeaten Mechanicsburg at 7 p.m. Friday night. Southeastern hasn’t beaten the Indians since 2012.

“We’re excited to be in a game like this,” Woods said. “It’s No. 1 vs. No. 7 in the state. Our boys haven’t been in a game of that caliber. It’s going to be a great learning experience for our young men. We’re going to work our tails off to get the job done.”

Defensively, the Trojans have allowed just 20 points, including a Week 2 shutout of Ridgemont. Junior linebacker C.J. Wilt leads the team with 33 total tackles, while Davis, junior Dallas Coffey and sophomore Cole Dent each have 23 tackles. Davis also leads the team with five tackles for loss.

“They’re getting after it,” Woods said.

The power running game has also become a trademark for Southeastern, Woods said. The Trojans are averaging 224 yards rushing per game and 5.7 yards per carry as a team. Davis leads the way with 414 yards and nine TDs. It starts with the offensive line who’ve done a great job taking pride in their run game, he said.

“You’ve just got to be tougher than the guy across from you, fire out low and get off the ball,” Woods said.

Southeastern knows it will take a big effort to beat Mechanicsburg in what should be a great atmosphere on Friday night in Champaign County, Woods said.

“Our boys have worked their tails off to earn to be in this position,” he said. “This is what it’s all about.”

WEEK 4

Friday’s games

Wayne at Springfield

Triad at Catholic Central

West Liberty-Salem at Greenon

Southeastern at Mechanicsburg

Madison Plains at Northeastern

Indian Lake at Shawnee

Graham at Tecumseh

North Union at Kenton Ridge

Northwestern at Jonathan Alder

Urbana at London

West Jefferson at Cedarville

Greeneview at Fairbanks

(All games 7 p.m. start)

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