Dyer: Nine storylines to know for Week 4 of Ohio high school football

CINCINNATI -- Sixteen Ohio high school football teams in Greater Cincinnati are still undefeated entering Week 4.

While the season’s first Associated Press statewide poll was released this week, the focus shifts to the upcoming Ohio High School Athletic Association computer points standings which will be released Sept. 19.

In case you're wondering, the 12-team Southern Buckeye Conference leads the way with four teams with undefeated records.

The four-team Greater Catholic League South division has three schools at 3-0, including reigning state champions St. Xavier (Division I) and La Salle (Division II).

Here are the undefeated teams entering this week: Wyoming, Aiken, Anderson, Elder, La Salle, St. Xavier, Lakota East, Sycamore, Winton Woods, Cincinnati Country Day, Batavia, Franklin, Clinton-Massie, Goshen, Bethel-Tate and Little Miami.

Let’s take a look at other storylines to watch this week:

WCPO Game of the Week

Aiken (3-0) will travel to Stargel Stadium Friday night to play Taft (1-2) in the WCPO Game of the Week.

Aiken coach Jeremy Pflug believes this is the first time since 1978 that Aiken has started the season with a 3-0 record.  The Falcons have scored 108 points in the first three weeks and allowed just 26. Still, Aiken is taking nothing for granted especially against Taft.

“I have discussed this game as being the most important game of the past four years for our seniors and that this is first step towards achieving our goal -- to win the Southwest Ohio Public League and make a return to the playoffs,” Pflug said.

Aiken senior quarterback Tim Williams has thrown for 470 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 335 yards and five touchdowns. Williams is one of the most underrated players in the area. He’s scored three rushing touchdowns rushing, two passing touchdowns, returned a punt for a touchdown and has collected an interception.

“He’s an engine,” Pflug said. “When he goes, we go.”

Welcome to Cardinal Stadium

Colerain (1-2, 1-0 Greater Miami Conference) will play host to Sycamore (3-0, 1-0 GMC) Friday night.

Colerain has a 62-game home winning streak against the GMC including postseason wins over Hamilton in 2001 and 2010, according to WeAreColerain.com. The Cardinals haven’t lost at home to a GMC opponent since 1999.

Sycamore is 3-0 for the first time since the 2013 season when the Aviators opened the season 4-0.

"Friday's game will be a great challenge for us," Sycamore coach Scott Dattilo said. "As usual Colerain is very talented and is playing good football. While we have to prepare for their schemes, we have to take care of ourselves more.  Our competitiveness is the absolute key to the game."  

Key ECC matchup

Anderson (3-0) will host Kings (1-2) in an intriguing Eastern Cincinnati Conference for both teams.

Anderson has scored a conference-best 133 points through three weeks and allowed just 44. The Redskins lead the Division II, Region 8 unofficial rankings, according to Joe Eitel.

Anderson senior quarterback Jay Volpenhein has thrown for 1,049 yards and 10 touchdowns through three games.

Watch for the Kings defense in this game.

"This will be our fourth quality team we have faced to this point in our season," Kings coach Andy Olds said. "The four teams we have faced are a combined 9-1."

Junior defensive back Hunter Jessee has two interceptions. Senior defensive end Ethan Young has two fumble recoveries.

Anderson senior quarterback Jay Volpenhein has thrown for 1,049 yards in three games.

Elder is on the road again

Elder (3-0) will play Lakewood St. Edward (3-0) for the 11th consecutive season when the two teams meet at Bedford High School at 7 p.m. Saturday.

St. Ed’s (3-0), ranked No. 3 in the Division I state poll and No. 2 in the Cleveland.com area rankings, has only played one Ohio opponent (41-6 win over Glenville Week 2) so far this season.

"They are really good football team," Elder coach Doug Ramsey said of the Eagles. "Offensively they have a lot weapons. They have two really good backs and two really good receivers. They play two quarterbacks who both can play. They are very similar in style so it doesn’t affect game-planning much."

The keys for Elder will be to avoid giving up the big plays, no turnovers and having success in early downs. Elder, ranked No. 7 in the state poll, is on the road for the second straight week against a non-area opponent. Elder rallied to defeat Gahanna Lincoln 27-23 last week.

"I’m hoping playing in Columbus last week against a good team will help us this week with our travel preparations," Ramsey said.

Elder senior quarterback Danny Nieman has helped the Panthers to a 3-0 record.

Nice start for the Thunderhawks

Lakota East (3-0, 1-0 GMC) will go on the road for its first GMC road game this season when it plays at Fairfield (1-2, 1-0 GMC) Friday night.

Lakota East is 3-0 for the first time since the 2014 season. Junior Jack Dorbozsi has rushed for 516 yards and 10 touchdowns. Senior defensive lineman Sam Ballman has 2 ½ sacks, seven tackles and a fumble recovery for the Thunderhawks.

St. Xavier, La Salle atop state polls

St. Xavier (3-0) and La Salle (3-0) are ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Divisions I and II state polls, respectively

Elder (3-0) is ranked No. 7 in the Division I poll. In Division II, Anderson (3-0) is No. 3 while Winton Woods (3-0) is No. 4. Franklin (3-0) is No. 8 in Division III. Clinton-Massie (3-0) is No. 6 in Division IV while Wyoming (3-0) is No. 8.

La Salle junior linebacker Jarred Uran tackles Colerain senior quarterback Gunnar Leyendecker in the season opener at La Salle Aug. 25.

National rankings

St. Xavier is ranked No. 13 nationally by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 (editorial rankings) this week. The Bombers are No. 18 by the MaxPreps Freeman rankings (computer rankings).

The Bombers, which will host Indianapolis Cathedral Friday night, are No. 4 in the USA Today Midwest rankings.

La Salle, which will play host to Scott County, is No. 6. The Lancers have allowed just three points the first three weeks.

La Salle defeated West Clermont 30-0 Sept. 8 and beat East Central 13-0 Sept. 1. Junior Jarred Uran has 30 tackles and junior Garrett Bledsoe has 28 tackles.

"Our defense has been playing well and we need to again this week," Lancers coach Pat McLaughlin said. "Scott County is a Wing-T offense that is very good and physical. They have some good athletes and we must play assignment football."

Extra points

Former NFL player William (P.J.) Pope will be among the individuals inducted into the Wyoming High School Hall of Fame Class Friday night. Pope, a member of the Class of 2002, played football at Bowling Green. He later played three seasons in the NFL for Chicago, Green Bay and Denver. He is now the athletic director at Shroder High School. Wyoming plays host to Taylor Friday night. … Moeller plays Lafayette (Ky.) for the first time in program history Friday night. This is the third consecutive week the Crusaders (2-1) have played a Kentucky opponent but the first game at Lockland this season. ...La Salle senior defensive back Sam Hildebrand committed to Bucknell after his campus visit last week.

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