CINCINNATI – The area’s Division I high school football scene continues to be unpredictable this season -- maybe even crazy.
With two surprising Greater Catholic League South division scores Friday night and Colerain’s rally of a first-quarter deficit, Week 7 is primed to bring more anticipation next week.
Let’s take a look at nine takeaways from Friday night and a capture a first glimpse into the homestretch of the regular season:
1. La Salle earns emphatic win: The La Salle football team -- two-time Division II reigning state champions -- had quite an evening at Lancer Stadium in a 55-14 win over visiting Moeller Friday night. It was the most points La Salle scored against Moeller in program history, according to La Salle athletic director Keith Pantling. The most points overall in a single game was 69 against Purcell Marian in 2004.
La Salle junior quarterback Griffin Merritt threw for a school-record six touchdowns for the Lancers Friday night. The previous school record was five touchdown passes by 2016 graduate Nick Watson against Oak Hills in 2013. “Griffin was accurate,” La Salle coach Jim Hilvert said Saturday morning. “The guys played with a lot of confidence. It was good to see them play with some swag.”
La Salle (4-2, 1-0 in GCL South) has won two straight games and has an opportunity at a share of the GCL South title when St. Xavier (4-2, 2-0) arrives at 7 p.m. on Friday.
2. Colerain continues GMC dominance: Colerain defeated visiting Mason 30-16 Friday night to extend the Cardinals' winning streak to 55 consecutive GMC regular-season wins and 56 overall against the conference (including playoffs). Colerain (6-0, 3-0 GMC) is No. 5 nationally by the MaxPreps computer rankings and No. 1 in the AP Ohio Division I state poll.
Mason led Colerain 9-0 at the end of the first quarter Friday night. It was the first time Colerain has trailed after the first quarter since Sept. 11, 2015 when it lost in overtime at La Salle. Colerain trailed 7-0 after that first quarter. It was the first time Colerain trailed a GMC opponent after the first quarter since Week 10 of 2013 (3-0 deficit at Oak Hills).
The Cardinals’ most recent loss in the GMC was at Middletown Oct. 3, 2008 (42-39). Colerain defeated Hamilton in the playoffs Nov. 6, 2010, which is included in the 56-game conference win streak.
3. St. Xavier captures share of GCL South title: St. X captured at least a share of the GCL South title with its 31-7 win over Elder Friday night at the Pit. The Bombers have had at least 11 injuries this season but have shown a great deal of perseverance.
After the past two regular season matchups between the schools went into overtime the past two years, Friday was the most points the Bombers scored at the Pit since 2012 (35-26 win). It was the largest margin of victory for St. X at the Pit since 2010 (35-10).
The Bombers can win the GCL South outright with a win over La Salle Week 7.
“I think that last night’s win proved to people that we are a team that is going to fight,” said St. X senior quarterback Sean Clifford, who had three touchdown carries including a 41-yarder. “Despite all the adversity we have faced, I’m proud that my teammates don’t back down. We are extremely excited to go for the GCL title next week.”
4. Fairfield sitting well for playoffs: Fairfield defeated Sycamore 35-27 Friday night and the Indians are No. 5 in the Division I, Region 4 computer points standings, according to JoeEitel.com.
Senior quarterback Aaron Carmack was 22 of 31 passing for 356 yards and four touchdowns. “He’s making steady progress each week,” Fairfield coach Jason Krause said. “He’s strong and physical. He’s big and has a real strong arm. He’s understanding our concepts and what we want to do.”
5. Wyoming remains undefeated: Wyoming defeated Mariemont 38-0 to remain undefeated (6-0) this season. The Cowboys are No. 1 in the Division IV, Region 16 standings, according to JoeEitel.com.
Senior quarterback Andrew Marty (Northwestern commit) threw for 230 yards and four touchdowns Friday night. Senior Garyn Prater had 111 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
6. CHCA continues MVC dominance: Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy extended its Miami Valley Conference winning streak to 24 games with a win over Clark Montessori Friday night. The Eagles (6-0) are No. 2 in the Division V, Region 20 standings.
Over the past 10 seasons, CHCA is 60-7 in MVC play, according to team statistician Drew Baker.
7. Back to the future: Franklin is 6-0 for the first time since the 1989 season when the Wildcats went 10-0 in the regular season, according to coach Brad Childers. To put it in perspective, Franklin boys’ basketball coach and athletic director Brian Bales was in middle school at the time.
8. Spectacular catch: Turpin senior Jack Campbell made one of the best receptions this season on a 38-yard pass play from junior quarterback Lucas Smith late in the third quarter against Kings Friday night. Surrounded by defenders, Campbell made a one-handed catch for 38 yards past midfield.
“That was one of the best high school catches I’ve seen,” Kings coach Andy Olds said.
9. Extra points: Longtime playoff projections analyst Steve Shuck will provide commentary on the area playoff scene for WCPO.com starting next week. …Central Michigan offered St. Xavier junior quarterback Chase Wolf this past week. That is the first offer for Wolf, who is the son of Xavier University men’s basketball television analyst Steve Wolf and the grandson of former Cincinnati Royals coach and St. X standout athlete Charley Wolf. …The United States Naval Academy offered St. Xavier senior wide receiver Micah Farrar this week. …Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware was inducted into the Princeton High School Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night. The Vikings’ defeated visiting Lakota West 26-7.