The conference du jour this weekend is the GCL co-ed. We are only half way through the season and the conference has so many battles with big time impact to be had. It just goes to show the depth of the league and how impressive their wins were during non-conference play. Now they get to beat up on each other. You can bet there are going to be some feelings hurt come Saturday night.
Here is a look at this week’s Best Bets
Alter (4-1, 2-0) at Badin (5-0, 2-0) – 7:30 p.m - The jury may still be out on how good Badin really is. Alter will give the Rams far more to handle than they have seen to date. Both squads are giving up less than 12 points per game. The lower the score the more it favors Badin. If this contest comes down to a kick, Alter’s Michael Ruffalo and Badin’s Tyler Williams are both capable of delivering a knockout blow.
Bishop Fenwick (3-2, 0-2) at Purcell Marian (3-2, 1-1) – 7:30 p.m. - Purcell Marian finds themselves in the rare position of playing in a game that has playoff implications and big ones at that. We will find out if the Cavaliers can stay grounded from their early-season success as they are in a foreign place for this program under Brian Miller. Bishop Fenwick is dealing with their own adversity after losing two in a row after that great 3-0 start. The Falcons, who need this win just as bad as the Cavs, have seen a separated shoulder to star Frank Catrine and a change at quarterback impede their progress.
Chaminade Julienne (4-1, 1-1) at McNicholas (4-1, 2-0) – Saturday, 1 p.m. - Two of the league’s most exciting underclassmen quarterbacks will be on display Saturday afternoon at Penn Station Stadium. To say the game has slowed down for Chaminade Julienne sophomore Jacob Harrison in his second year as a starter would be an understatement. Harriosn has thrown for 1,203 yards and accounted for 19 touchdowns (12 passings, seven rushing). McNick junior Luke Sulken is a dual threat under center. The converted wide receiver has rushed for 336 yards in the Rockets’ last three wins. This affair could turn into a track meet which both coaches would like to avoid but if that can’t corral the offenses this game promises to be highly entertaining.
Elder (4-1) at St. Xavier (3-2, 0-1) – 7:30 p.m. - The injury bug has hit Elder hard, but the Panthers continue to see players step up and perform admirably. This is a squad that is going to be much better come post-season play. A win on the road over St. X would make for a huge early-season statement by the purple and white. Take away Ben Glines’ 251-yard rushing performance against Cathedral in a driving rainstorm and the Bombers are averaging just 100 yards per game on the ground. The line has to give better push and sustain blocks longer if this team wants to be a regional contender.
LaSalle (3-2) at Moeller (5-0, 1-0) – Saturday, 2 p.m. at Lockland - Playing in the tough GCL South, Division II LaSalle can ill-afford to give away games like they did last week to Division IV Bishop Watterson (2-3). Quarterback Nick Watson has regressed the last two weeks with five interceptions and just three touchdown passes. The sophomore had 10 scoring strikes and no picks in the Lancers’ three wins to start the season. He has to connect with his great receivers downfield to open up some running lanes for the ground game. Moeller has gotten great and athletic play from their defensive from all season long. Expect them to make big plays when the Crusaders need them the most.
Kenton Ridge (5-0, 1-0) at Springfield Shawnee (5-0, 1-0) – 7:30 p.m.- If ever there was a time for Kenton Ridge to validate how far their program has come Friday night’s game would be it. Shawnee has set the bar for excellence in the CBC over the past four years. The Braves are 31-4 during the regular season in that span. The combined record of the teams that KR has beaten to this point is 5-20. Shawnee is averaging 530 yards a game of total offense, with 420 of it coming on the ground. Jalen Nelson, Clay Phillips and quarterback Saalih Muhammad have combined for 1,578 yards and 29 touchdowns rushing. Kenton Ridge’s biggest challenge is to slow down that train.
Loveland (5-0, 2-0) at Anderson (3-2, 1-0) – 7:30 p.m. - October turns our focus toward fall and Halloween. It is only appropriate that two of Division II, Region 6 hottest teams that wear orange and black kick off the month. The Anderson offense is averaging 38 points during their current three-game winning streak. The Redskins’ offensive front has to keep a Loveland defense that has 28.5 sacks off of quarterback Kevin Rogers. Giving him time to either run or throw is going will keep the Tigers honest. Loveland is going to score points and move the football. The Loveland ground game behind Luke Waddell and Nate Slagel is state championship caliber at this point.
Mount Healthy (4-1, 2-0) at Ross (3-2, 1-1) – 7:30 p.m. - Tyree Elliott is back and that could mean bad news for Ross. The Rams had no answer for Elliott
last fall as he ran for 223 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries in the Owls’ victory. This year is different as Ross will have the home crowd behind them and Elliott has become injury plagued. Mount Healthy’s speed on defense gave the Rams’ big line fits last year it could very well be the difference in the final score in this contest.
Northmont (4-1) at Beavercreek (3-2) – 7 p.m. - Beavercreek’s only two losses are to Fairfield and Hilliard Davidson, who are 10-0 combined. Northmont has won four straight while averaging 41.25 points in that span. The return of Allen Lawrence to the Battlin’ Beavers backfield has provided a big boost. The 5-foot-9, 240 pound Lawrence has 641 yards and eight touchdowns rushing as Beavercreek has been a pleasant surprise. After a disheartening loss in Week 1 to Thurgood Marshall, the Thunderbolts have played like the playoff contender everyone thought they would be.
Western Brown (5-0, 1-0) at Goshen (4-1, 1-0) – 7:30 p.m. - Western Brown continues to roll they currently sit at #1 in the latest Region No. 10 Harbin rankings. The Broncos are averaging 40 points per game. Goshen will have their hands full trying to stop this aerial attack. The common denominator for these two teams is Ross. The Warriors lost at home to the Rams 42-7. Western Brown beat Ross 34-31 at WB.
Lakota West (4-1, 2-0) at Mason (2-3, 1-1) – 7:30 p.m. - As tough as the season has been for Mason opportunity is looking at them square in the eye with four of their last four games against Lakota West, Colerain, Fairfield and Sycamore, who are a combined 18-2. It is up to the Comets to take it to the next level and they have enough talent to do so. The Firebirds have other intentions with the x-factor being Kentucky commit Mikel Horton, who has become a threat as a receiver. Horton has had catches of 27 yards or more in each of the last three tilts to go along with his 299 yards rushing in that span. Classmate and quarterback Malik Grove has become a perfect compliment antagonizing opposing defenses with his ability to throw the deep pass or run with the football.
Mariemont (3-2, 1-1) at Taylor (4-1, 1-1) – 7:30 p.m, - Both teams could pick up a much needed quality win in this affair. A jolt to the Harbin Points is what a victory would do. It will be interesting to see how the Taylor defense responds after giving up 54 to Wyoming. The Yellowjackets held their first four victims to a grand total of six points. A pair of seven point losses has put Mariemont’s back up against the wall as they battle for one of eight post-season spots in Region 18 with 13 other teams that have records just as good if not better than theirs. The Warriors need to get help from someone other than Ryden Lewis running the football. Taylor will key on Lewis if he doesn’t get some aid it could be a very long night for the Warriors.