This is the last week of non-conference play for many high schools in Ohio. Teams are still auditioning amongst their peers as they jockey for Harbin Points. It will be one last tune-up before the intensity gets taken up another notch.
Meanwhile, Indiana league play begins and the EIAC couldn’t ask for better matchups to start with. Northern Kentucky has seen its strength lie in their squads at the Class 4A & 5A levels with Highlands, CovCath, Cooper and Conner looking like the region’s upper echelon. Class 6A Campbell County and Simon Kenton will have something to say about that this weekend.
Here is a look at this weekend’s Best Bets:
Cooper (3-0) @ Campbell County (2-1) – 7:00 PM – Cooper is off to first 3-0 start in school history. The Jaguars have the top scoring defense in NKY allowing just 4.3 points per game. The game features a rarity with the reigning Class 5A, District 5 Player of the Year in Tyler Morris of Cooper and the reigning Class 6A, District 6 Player of the Year with Campbell County’s Tyler Durham. Durham has rushed for 215 and 219 yards in his last two games. Since being shutout in their opener vs. CovCath, the Camels have averaged 38.0 points per game in their two wins.
Holmes (2-0) @ Simon Kenton (3-0) – 7:30 PM – When the season started no one has this game pegged as a battle of undefeated teams. Simon Kenton has put themselves in a position to win 10 games for a fourth time in five years. The Pioneers are doing it with defense allowing just 10.3 points per contest in their three victories. Holmes is looking for their third 3-0 start in the last four years.
Walton-Verona (2-1) @ Lloyd (2-1) – 7:00 PM – This is the third time over the last 12 games that these two squads have squared off. They split a pair of tilts in 2011. Lloyd begins a gauntlet of games that will tell us if they have enough in their tanks to make a deep run in the playoffs. Walton-Verona hasn’t had a problem replacing the 5,000 plus yards they lost out of their backfield a year ago as they are averaging over 330 yards per game on the ground behind Cory Bennett, Logan Foley, Chris Lattimore and William Lattimore.
Trotwood-Madison (1-1) @ Wayne (1-1) – Thursday, 7:30 PM – Neither team wants the pressure that dropping to 1-2 leaves them. Wayne quarterback Javon Harrison was stymied by the Canton McKinley defense if Trotwood-Madison can take advantage of what they saw the Bulldogs expose on film then the Warriors are going to be in for a dogfight.
Badin (2-0) @ Edgewood (2-0) – 7:30 PM – Both teams come into this affair averaging over 50 points per game thanks to excellent rushing attacks. A victory means an undefeated run through the non-conference schedule which is a major plus as the schools surge toward the post-season. Badin has to play up in class and steps up here against the Cougars and competing with that massive Edgewood line could cause problems as the contest wears on.
Withrow (1-1) @ Centerville (0-2) - 7:30 PM – A win at Centerville would be a huge step in the evolution of the Withrow program under Jim Place. It won’t be easy as the Elks are in survival and desperation mode. This game is going to come down to intestinal fortitude as both teams so badly want this victory.
LaSalle (1-1) @ Princeton (0-2) - 7:30 PM – The bus is sitting with two wheels over the edge of the cliff for Princeton. The Vikings are in desperate need of a victory to keep their playoff dreams alive. Six turnovers in two games haven’t helped Princeton’s cause. LaSalle has a bunch of nice pieces on offense but they are still struggling on how to get them to fit together. The Lancers have a chance to really make a move over the next three weeks if they can find consistency.
Madison (2-0) @ Wyoming (0-2) – 7:30 PM – Madison comes into this contest having not allowed a point in two games. Winless Wyoming is averaging 30.5 points per game against a tougher strength of schedule than what the boys from Middletown have played. Nevertheless the Mohawks are oozing with confidence right now, a road victory and tilts remaining with Milton-Union and Waynesville has Madison position to control their own destiny for the program’s first-ever playoff berth.
Madeira (1-0) @ North College Hill (1-0) – 7:30 PM – Each school knows how important winning this battle is as far as Region 16 Harbin points go. After shaky openers both squads rebounded with Week 2 victories. Madeira’s Grant Hopewell is one of the few receivers in Cincinnati to start the season off with two 100-yard games catching the football.
McNicholas (2-0) @ Turpin (2-0) – 7:30 PM – Are the McNicholas Rockets for real? We will find out on Friday night at Turpin. The McNick balance on offense has been very good averaging 200 yards rushing and 150 passing. They will need that to continue it will keep the Turpin defense on their heel and honest. The Spartans are playing through injuries and adversity so having a leader like quarterback Connor Jansen is a huge