CINCINNATI -- The halfway point of the regular season Friday night continued to reinforce that the strongest area football teams are primed for the postseason in November.
And while conference play continues for most teams, let’s take a look back at Week 5 from Friday night and take a first glimpse of some of the top games for Week 6.
1. Colerain continues GMC dominance
Colerain coach Tom Bolden watched the first half of Mason's win over Hamilton Friday, a day after the Cardinals defeated visiting Sycamore 52-7.
The Cardinals (5-0, 2-0 GMC) have won 55 consecutive conference games. While the Cardinals have plenty of standouts on both sides of the ball, the offensive line is getting stronger as September concludes this week. Just one starter returned for the offensive line this preseason, but the Cardinals are quickly exerting their force upfront.
Colerain had 302 yards rushing Thursday night. Junior quarterback Gunnar Leyendecker went down early with a re-aggravation of his ankle injury but will be evaluated this weekend, Bolden said. Sophomore Deante Smith-Moore filled in nicely for the second straight week -- he threw for a touchdown and rushed two more Thursday night.
Colerain senior defensive back Amir Riep (Ohio State commit) is expected to return for the Sept. 30 game at Colerain after he missed the past few weeks with a hamstring injury.
2. Mason wins back-to-back games
The Comets have scored a GMC-best 162 points through five games, and Mason (4-1, 2-0 GMC) is No. 5 in the JoeEitel.com Division I, Region 4 rankings.
Coach Brian Castner said Friday’s win over Hamilton was a collective effort. Junior Matt Sora rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the 34-14 win over the Big Blue. “Matt has been good,” Castner said. “He has been a workhorse.” The Mason defense hasn’t allowed more than 17 points per game this season and has put the Comets in good position. Castner knows the challenge ahead of playing at Colerain but says the team just wants to focus on things one week at a time and not get overwhelmed with the remainder of its schedule.
3. The right Reed
Princeton had 441 yards of offense in a 45-17 win at Oak Hills Friday night. The Vikings were led by senior quarterback Solomon Reed, who was 17 of 18 passing and five touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Raymond Kozlowski had four receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.
"We got out to a good start, and we had a good week of practice," Princeton coach Pat McLaughlin said. "Our offense, defense and special teams played well."
Several players stepped up defensively, including senior defensive lineman Jamal Hines (UC commit), junior linebacker Elijah Harris (one sack), sophomore defensive lineman Levaughn Wilson (one-and-a-half sacks) and junior outside linebacker Quincy Dawson.
Princeton (4-1), ranked No. 2 in the Division II, Region 8 standings, plays host to Lakota West (0-5) at 7 p.m. Sept. 30.
3. Great Scott
Fairfield senior cornerback Josiah Scott, a Michigan State commit, had a memorable night at Lakota West Friday. Not only did he pick up his fifth interception of the season, but Scott had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter.
"He's an absolute stud and the best kid you could imagine," Fairfield athletic director Mark Harden said.
Fairfield defeated Lakota West 29-7. Fairfield (4-1) is No. 6 in Region 4, according to JoeEitel.com. Fairfield plays host to Sycamore Sept. 30.
4. Wyoming remains undefeated
Wyoming is 5-0 for the first time since the 2009 season after a 54-0 win at Taylor.
Senior quarterback Andrew Marty (Northwestern commit) was 18 of 25 passing for 236 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for a 22-yard touchdown. Senior Jake Edmonds had seven receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown.
The Wyoming defense held Taylor to 69 yards. Wyoming is ranked No. 1 in the Division IV, Region 16 computer points standings.
5. Ready for an ECC showdown
Turpin (5-0) plays host to Kings (4-1) Sept. 30 in a game that will be heavily anticipated.
Turpin defeated host Walnut Hills 20-0 in a game that featured two undefeated teams. Turpin sophomore quarterback Lucas Smith was 9 of 17 passing for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
"Lucas is absolutely fantastic," Turpin coach Rob Stoll said. "I like the word 'cool' because the thing to me about what’s special about Lucas is he is so intelligent."
Senior inside linebacker Lang Evan had four tackles for loss (13 total tackles) and one sack.
"Incredibly impressive," Stoll said.
Kings defeated Glen Este 48-14. Senior quarterback Tyler Knecht had 297 yards passing and four touchdowns.
6. Eye-popping numbers
Anderson junior quarterback Jay Volpenhein was 31 of 45 passing for 341 yards and six touchdowns in a 49-20 win over visiting Withrow. He also had 16 carries for 108 yards.
7. GCL South showdown
Elder (4-1) plays host to St. Xavier (3-2) Sept. 30 in what will be another heavily-anticipated Week 6 matchup.
"Our kids are always excited about league play," Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. "We had a good first half of the season, but now things get serious."
The Panthers posted their second shutout of the season with a 42-0 win over Pittsburgh University Prep. Sophomore Michael Bittner continues to shine for the Panthers. He had 12 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
8. CHCA remains undefeated
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy defeated Goshen 33-15, and the Eagles are 5-0 for the fourth time in five seasons.
Quarterback Danny Vantasky was 12 of 15 passing for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Kesean Gamble ran for two touchdowns and made a safety for the Eagles. Justin Peck had 11-and-a-half tackles on defense.
9. Indian Hill eyes playoffs
Indian Hill is third in the Division IV, Region 16 computer points standings after the Braves defeated Mariemont 42-14 Friday night.
"We play one week and one opponent at a time, but our ultimate goal is to play and win in November," Indian Hill coach Tony Arcuri said.
Indian Hill (4-1) plays host to Taylor Sept. 30.