Dyer: Nine storylines to know for Week 3 of Ohio high school football

CINCINNATI -- As the Greater Miami Conference embarks on the first week of its new eight-game league football schedule, tonight marks a renewal of a rivalry.

Mason (2-0) and Sycamore (2-0) have played in Week 10 since the Comets entered the conference in the 2007-08 school year. This year’s game is Week 3 -- the GMC opener for both teams.

“Opening with Mason is exciting but different,” Sycamore coach Scott Dattilo said. “They have been our Week 10 opponent since 2007. I am very impressed with them thus far. We will need to play much more consistent. It will be a great game as always.”

Mason coach Brian Castner said the two schools don’t care for each other too much but there is a great deal of respect from both football programs.

The “Battle for the Skies” Trophy is at stake starting at 7 p.m. Friday at Sycamore Junior High School. Sycamore leads the all-time series 7-3.

Mason coach Brian Castner hopes to capture the “Battle of the Skies” Trophy Friday night at Sycamore Junior High School. (Tony Tribble/WCPO contributor)

The GMC went to an eight-game schedule due to the difficulty of finding non-league opponents in the early portion of the season. The conference will use the eight-game schedule in a four-year trial run and then evaluate it after that.

Let’s take a look at nine other storylines to watch this Week 3 in Ohio:

Watch this matchup

Anderson (2-0) plays at Harrison (2-0) in one of the most intriguing games of the week.

Harrison won this Week 3 game 48-47 in 2016 with quarterback Frankie Young throwing for 501 yards and six touchdowns in that game. This season, Harrison has won its first two games by a total of six points.

Anderson defeated McNicholas 39-0 last week. Anderson senior quarterback Jay Volpenhein has throw for 624 yards and five touchdowns. He’s rushed for 314 yards and five touchdowns. Young has thrown for 571 yards and four touchdowns this season.

“What I like the best about our team right know is the chemistry,” Harrison coach Derek Rehage said. “We have a great group of guys who have bonded with each other and are willing to put the team first.”

Elder on the road

Elder travels to Gahanna Lincoln Friday night in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.  It is the first of a home-and-home series that will continue at The Pit in 2018.

The Panthers defeated visiting Oak Hills 41-12 last week. Junior running back Luke Massminster rushed 17 times for 110 yards and four touchdowns for Elder (2-0). Senior quarterback Danny Nieman was 16 of 19 passing for 180 yards and a touchdown.

“I thought we played well overall,” Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. “We were balanced on offense. We tackled well on defense.”

Gahanna Lincoln (2-0) has outscored its opponents 58-3 the first two weeks.

“Gahanna is a pretty big and athletic team,” Ramsey said. “They have good speed at the skilled positions; they are aggressive on defense.”

Count on the Cowboys

Wyoming has scored 113 points through the first two games and allowed just 12. The Cowboys (2-0) are at CHCA (1-1) Friday night in one of the premier matchups of Week 3.

“I like the way our team competes,” Wyoming coach Aaron Hancock said. “This group enjoys competing and they work hard to get better every day. It will be a playoff game atmosphere against two good football teams.”

Wyoming junior wide receiver Pierson Rogers (five touchdowns), sophomore quarterback Evan Prater (five touchdowns) and junior defensive lineman James Smith (four sacks) are among the statistical leaders for Wyoming.

You can’t stop him

Roger Bacon freshman running back Corey Kiner set a single-game school record with 302 yards rushing in a 47-12 win over Western Hills Sept. 2. He also scored five touchdowns.

“We didn’t know he broke the school record until an hour or so after the game,” Roger Bacon coach Mike Blaut said Tuesday. “We knew he was close but needed to verify it.”

The previous school record for most rushing yards in a game was held by Jerrett Dean, a 1999 Roger Bacon graduate who had 295 yards against Chaminade Julienne in 1998. Dean scored a school-record six touchdowns in that game. Dean visited the Spartans’ practice Monday and spoke to the team. Dean and Kiner gave a nice shout-out to the wide receivers and linemen for making the record possible for the freshman.

Roger Bacon (2-0) plays at Indian Hill (1-1) in an intriguing non-conference matchup Friday night.

Roger Bacon freshman Corey Kiner set a school record with 302 yards rushing last week. (Graphic courtesy of Brandon Spaeth/Roger Bacon athletics)

Best player in the state?

Yes, it’s very early but Winton Woods sits atop the Division II, Region 8 unofficial computer points rankings, according to JoeEitel.com.

The Warriors defeated Northmont 45-36 in Week 1 and won on the road at West Clermont 25-2. Winton Woods had no turnovers against the Wolves.

“I loved my team’s focus going on the road in the rain against a well coached and physical football team,” Winton Woods coach Andre Parker said. Several players have stepped up for the Warriors including senior quarterback Kenny Mayberry, who has been solid since halftime of Week 1.

Defensively, senior linebacker Christopher Oats, senior defensive back Quinn Smith and senior defensive lineman Maurice Chapman have played well. Oats, one of the state’s top players in the 2018 class, has 30 tackles (four tackles for loss) in the first two games.

“He is playing like the best player in the state right now,” Parker said. Winton Woods plays at Springboro (1-1) Friday night.

Winton Woods senior linebacker Christopher Oats is one of the state’s top players in the 2018 class. (Photo courtesy of Mark Porter/ScoutingOhio.com)

Crossing the river

Kings (1-1) plays host to Covington Catholic (3-0) Friday night in the first-ever meeting between the programs.

Kings coach Andy Olds wants his squad to be more consistent offensively. The Knights put up 21 points in the second quarter against Lakota East but lost the game.

CovCath, ranked the No. 1 team in the TriStateFootball.com Northern Kentucky rankings, is known for its prolific offense led by senior quarterback AJ Mayer (Miami University commit).

“They are the most offensively balanced team we will have placed to date,” Olds said.

CovCath wants to limit Kings’ big-play ability and allow the Colonels’ defense to get off the field on third down.

Kings junior running back Nak’emon Williams is capable of a big play at anytime. He’s rushed for 435 yards and six touchdowns this season.

“Anytime we cross the Ohio River, we know it will be a challenge, so we have to stare that challenge in the face and be as prepared as possible,” CovCath coach Eddie Eviston said.

Rankings

St. Xavier is ranked No. 3 in the USA Today Super 25 Computer Midwest Regional Rankings. The Bombers are ranked No. 14 nationally by the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 (editorial) and No. 15 by the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings (computer).

Extra points

The season’s first OHSAA playoff computer points will be released Sept. 19. …West Clermont will be in Region 4, the Ohio High School Athletic Association confirmed Tuesday morning. The official classification of new football programs happens in September. …UC sent an official letter of interest to Moeller junior quarterback Miles McBride. Moeller coach John Rodenberg said if McBride takes a campus visit it is likely he will receive a scholarship offer.

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