Unbeaten teams square off in six Greater Cincinnati matchups this weekend. Here is a look at the Best Bets around the area:
Colerain (3-0) @ Lakota East (2-1) – 7:30 PM: If ever there was an opportunity for Lakota East to catch Colerain in a letdown game, this would be it. The Thunderhawks have to find a way to stop the run and establish it on offense. The Cardinals have been incredibly impressive, rushing for 396 yards a game and allowing just 70 yards per game on the ground against pretty stellar competition.
Madeira (3-0) @ Wyoming (1-2) – 7:30 PM: The battle for first place and a potential CHL title are on the line in this league opener. Wyoming has lost two heart-breaking games. With their backs against the wall, the Cowboys need this victory or they could see their playoff hopes go down the drain just four weeks into the season. Madeira will need big plays out of itd special teams. The Mustangs have not seen a defense as tough as Wyoming's.
Western Brown (3-0) @ New Richmond (3-0) – 7:30 PM: The battle for SBAAC American supremacy is at stake as two undefeated squads face off. New Richmond has to find a way to slow down the Broncos’ passing game. That means showing that they have depth in the secondary. It won’t be easy as three Broncos – Jarred Haggerty, Christian Dawson and Eaan Hornung – have more than 200 yards receiving apiece. Western Brown has done a great job of staying out of third-and-long situations, which has benefited the passing attack.
Princeton (1-2) @ Fairfield (3-0) – 7:30 PM: The Indians can’t let their good start go to their heads as Princeton has the talent to take them down. The Vikings won’t be in that position unless they clean up their sloppy play and mental mistakes that plagued them a week ago versus LaSalle. Fairfield, 3-0 for the first time in 20 years, has shown it has the horses to compete on both offense and defense.
Bishop Fenwick (3-0) @ Badin (3-0) – Saturday, 7 PM: It’s a battle of GCL unbeatens in the league opener. Every win in league play is going to be huge for playoff pushes. No one has been able to stop Bishop Fenwick’s Frank Catrine in any phase of the game. The Falcons senior continues to show why he is one of the premier Division IV players in the state. The Rams need to corral him and make Fenwick throw the ball.
St. Bernard (3-0) @ Summit Country Day (3-0) – Saturday, 2 PM: No one thought that upstart St. Bernard would have such a meaningful first game in the MVC. The Titans have played well, but Summit Country Day is far better than any team they have faced. The Silver Knights have won 17 consecutive regular-season games. They have held their last 11 foes to 10 points or fewer. This is a game in which SCD defensive lineman Michael Barwick could dominate if St. Bernard doesn’t get double teams on him.
Elder (3-0) @ Lakewood St. Edward (3-0) – Saturday, 7 PM: One of the best intrastate rivalries in Ohio will put Elder to the test on the road. The Panthers have to get mistake-free football out of the quarterback position from Peyton Ramsey and Nick Peters. If they can do that, Chris Schroer will handle the rest of the load. Schroer has been a workhorse for Elder, averaging 32 carries and 173 yards per contest. He has carried the ball 30 or more times in six of his last seven starts.
Lebanon (2-1) @ Centerville (3-0) – 7 PM: This affair will come down to whether or not Lebanon can stop Centerville’s ground game, which is in high gear right now. The Elks are averaging 47 points per game and have scored 18 of their 19 offensive touchdowns via the run this season.
Butler (2-1) @ Miamisburg (2-1) – 7 PM: This is a battle between two teams that love to run the football. Butler is flying high after a pair of wins over lesser CBC opponents. The Aviators have owned Miamisburg the last three seasons, outscoring the Vikings 100-34 in a triad of victories.
Springfield Shawnee (3-0) @ Springfield Northwestern (3-0) – 7:30 PM: This is the ultimate barometer for Northwestern to see how far the program has come under Seth Whiting. For Shawnee the key to victory will be containing Warriors’ quarterback Hunter Houseman, who has accounted for 1,428 yards of total offense (959 passing, 469 rushing) and 14 touchdowns (seven passing, seven rushing) in three games. Shawnee has seen a new cast of character step in and not miss a beat as the Braves continue their winning tradition.
Waynesville (2-1) @ Carlisle (1-2) – 7:30 PM: Despite their 1-2 record Carlisle is still a playoff-caliber squad. The Indians can beat you via the run or the pass. Waynesville has shown they can play defense as well as anyone in the SWBL. The Spartans will come out on top if they can hold Carlisle to 33 percent on third-down conversions.
Louisville St. Xavier (1-1) @ Moeller (3-0) – 7:30 PM: Moeller is playing like a defending state champion. The Crusaders are averaging 48.7 points and 468 yards of total offense per contest. That’s not a good sign for St. Xavier, which has show a propensity to give
up points to the better competition they have faced this season. The Tigers will have to play Moeller straight up.
Indianapolis Cathedral (2-2) @ St. Xavier (2-1) – 7:30 PM: Both teams enter this affair feeling pretty good about where they are headed, but there is still work to be done. St. Xavier has to establish the run. The Bombers have yet to have a runner go for more than 75 yards in a game. A win here would be big. Cathedral has to figure out a way to sneak out with a victory as their schedule still includes Louisville Trinity, Bishop Dwenger and Moeller.
Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (4-0) @ LaSalle (3-0) – 7:30 PM: LaSalle will be hoping to catch a very good Bishop Dwenger team with “jet lag.” The Lancers have plenty of weapons on offense, including “Mr. Clutch” in Alabama-bound receiver Derek Kief. When the Lancers need a big play, the senior consistently delivers. His number will be called quite often, so the Saints need to find a way to stop him.