One of the beautiful things about the high school football schedule is the wonderful rivalry games coupled with some outstanding non-conference affairs.
With only 10 weeks to prove yourself, every tilt is important and for many reasons. League titles and playoff berths will be on the line and we take a look at some of southwest Ohio’s most meaningful contest in 2013.
Anderson vs. Mount Healthy @ Sheakley Center, UC (Week 1 – August, 28)
The season kicks off on Wednesday night with a good one. Defense was not a strong suit for Anderson last season and right out of the gate they have to figure out a way to stop the reigning Division II Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year in Tyree Elliott. The DII pool of potential playoff teams runs deep in 2013 and a win for Mount Healthy is imperative as they will face four schools from lower Divisions this fall.
St. Xavier @ Colerain (Week 2 - September, 6)
The Colerain Cardinals look to complete the hat trick and beat St. Xavier for the third time in the last 364 days. It will mark the third meeting between the two schools in their last 14 games for the Cardinals seniors. Another loss by the Bombers to Colerain might just leave them doubting how good they really are.
Northmont @ Lakota East (Week 3 - September, 13)
It has been five years since Northmont made the postseason and a signature road win at the Hawk's Nest in Week 3 would go a long way toward ending that streak in 2013. Lakota East edged the Thunderbolts 17-14 on a last-second field goal last season. This matchup promises to be another nail-biting affair.
Thurgood Marshall @ Alter (Week 3 - September, 13)
Thurgood Marshall shocked the football world when they knocked off previously unbeaten Alter in the first round of the Division III playoffs two Novembers ago. The Cougars have been riding high ever since and now the Knights get a shot at their revenge.
Western Brown @ New Richmond (Week 4 – September, 20)
Conference play begins on the east side of town and New Richmond ushers in a new era with head coach Josh Stratton. Western Brown collapsed last year after starting off 8-0; they gave up over 1,000 yards of combined yards in a pair of losses to Batavia and Norwood to put a nail in the coffin of their playoff dreams. Beating the Lions is the first step back on the road to recovery.
Sycamore @ Lakota West (Week 5 – September, 27)
The scoreboard operator in this contest is going to have his hands full with these two explosive offenses. Sycamore has won four of the last five meetings between the two schools, but they did not face each other in 2012. The Aviators eclipsed the 40-point mark six times last season. Lakota West post 30 points or more eight times a year ago.
Carlisle @ Milton-Union (Week 6 – October, 4)
A great contrast of styles in this SWBL Buckeye matchup. Milton-Union will look to pound the ball behind their mammoth offensive line. Carlisle will look utilize its speed and the arm of quarterback Levi Boyer as it is an important tilt in the Division IV, Region 14 and Division V, Region 18 playoff pictures.
Loveland @ Winton Woods (Week 7 – October 11)
Loveland got the best of the Warriors, forcing five turnovers in a 14-0 shutout on a rain-soaked night last fall. The stakes are even higher for both schools as they will be fighting for survival and a spot in the Division II, Region 6 playoffs.
Moeller @ Elder (Week 7 – October 11)
Moeller may be the reigning state champions, but they still finished 1-2 in the GCL South last season. The Panthers broke a three-game losing streak to the Crusaders by holding them off 17-13 in 2012.
Centerville @ Wayne (Week 8 – October 18)
The Gem City’s top rivalry goes at it late in the season. Wayne has won three of the last four in this GWOC Central showdown. Centerville missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons in 2012.
Indian Hill @ Wyoming (Week 9 – October, 25)
In what has become one of the top late-season rivalry games the past few years both Indian Hill and Wyoming will be looking to nab one of the precious playoff spots in Division IV, Region 14. Four of the last five games in this series have been decided by a touchdown or less with Wyoming holding a 3-2 edge during that span.
Springfield Shawnee @ Tippecanoe (Week 10 – November 1)
A CBC Kenton division war battle will see both teams scratching and clawing for one of the coveted eight playoff spots in Division III, Region 10. Shawnee has been the class of Division III in southwest Ohio the past two years. The Red Devils drop down a level after being a staple in the Division II post-season for the last eight years.
Shoemaker is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region.