This week’s Ohio installment of the Game of the Week takes us out to Ebenezer Road on the west side as Princeton travels to Betz Memorial Stadium to take on the pleasantly surprising Oak Hills Highlanders.
Oak Hills is in control of their own destiny with Princeton, Middletown, Lakota West and Colerain still in front of them. Princeton is pushed Colerain to the edge a week ago and beat Lakota East before that.
Both schools have played some pretty stiff competition, so nothing that either team sees will faze them on Friday night. The game should have its fair share of excitement as both teams have gamebreakers that can turn a contest around.
PRINCETON VIKINGS (2-4, 1-2) AT OAK HILLS HIGHLANDERS (3-3, 2-1)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Princeton quarterback Tyrell Gilbert has been on fire. The University of Cincinnati-commit has amassed 773 yards of total offense (470 passing, 303 rushing) and accounted for eight touchdowns (four passing, four rushing) the past two games. However, he has also had six turnovers in that same span. Receiver Elijah Ball is averaging seven receptions and 118 yards receiving over the last three contests.
Running back Demarco Ruffin has had quite a career at Oak Hills. The senior has 3,296 yards and 40 touchdowns rushing as a Highlander. He also has 4,154 all-purpose yards at the varsity level. Undersized defensive lineman Ryan Wimmer has had at least one sack in five of Oak Hills’ six outings.
TEAM TRENDS: Both teams have lost to LaSalle and Fairfield. Oak Hills has lost to undefeated Loveland as well. The most impressive thing about the Highlanders is their two GMC wins came on the road at Lakota East and Mason. Oak Hills has now won five of six league contests away from home under head coach Dan Scholz. Princeton has also lost to undefeated teams in Colerain and Pickerington North. The combined record of the squads they have fallen to is 21-3. The Vikings, like Oak Hills, have also taken down Lakota East.
PRINCETON’S KEYS TO VICTORY: The offense needs to get ahead by a couple of scores early. Oak Hills is not built to play catch up. Staying penalty free and letting Gilbert work his big-play magic will accomplish this goal if the Vikings can stay disciplined.
OAK HILLS’ KEYS TO VICTORY: Leadership at quarterback from Matt Elliott has been vital to this team’s success. He has thrown for more than on 130 yards with touchdown passes in five of the team’s six contests. The Highlanders do not force many turnovers meaning keeping Gilbert, who had five interceptions last week, contained is a must for the defense.
PREDICTION: OAK HILLS 28, PRINCETON 24