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Dyer: Nine storylines to watch in Week 4 of Ohio high school football

Posted at 12:00 PM, Sep 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 23:47:22-04

CINCINNATI -- Week 4 of the Ohio high school football season is upon us.

And before we enter yet another significant weekend of games, let’s take a look at nine storylines, including some that involve the statewide and national spotlight.

Also, keep in the mind the season’s first official Ohio High School Athletic Association computer points standings -- those used for determining each team’s playoff chances -- will be released at 2 p.m. Sept. 20. Let the projections begin.

1. Colerain No. 5 in the country: The Cardinals (3-0), ranked No. 5 nationally by the MaxPreps computer ratings, plays at Princeton (3-0) Friday in the Greater Miami Conference opener for both teams this season. Colerain coach

Colerain linebacker Dan Bolden. (Mike Noyes/TriStateFootball.com)

Tom Bolden enters the game with a 99-16 coaching record so the Cardinals would like nothing more than to give him the game ball for No. 100. Colerain is No. 1 in the Division I Region 4 standings.

RELATED: Colerain football has special meaning for Bolden family.

Princeton is 3-0 for the first time since the 2011 season when the Vikings started 5-0. Watch for Princeton’s offense versus Colerain’s defense in this game. Princeton has scored a conference-high 104 points the first three weeks. Senior quarterback Solomon Reed threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another score in a win over Dayton Dunbar last week. Princeton is No. 2 in the Divsion II Region 8 standings this week.

2. CHL showdown: The Wyoming (3-0) at Indian Hill (3-0) matchup is quite possibly the best area game to watch Friday night.

“It’s a big one and it means a lot to both schools,” Indian Hill coach Tony Arcuri said. “I am certain it will be a playoff atmosphere.”

The Braves are ranked No. 2 in the Division IV, Region 16 standings, according to JoeEitel.com, an unofficial ranking site. Wyoming is No. 4 in those standings.

Indian Hill senior quarterback Reed Aichholz has thrown for 734 yards and eight touchdowns. He was named the weekly LaRosa’s High School MVP Tuesday. Arcuri said Aichholz is in mid-season form and has felt great running downhill. Watch for senior running back Zarian Hunter-Cure, who has been explosive in the backfield and has rushed for 366 yards and six touchdowns.

Wyoming hasn’t allowed more than 10 points in a game this season. Senior quarterback Andrew Marty (Northwestern commit) has thrown for 573 yards and seven touchdowns including 18-of-24 for 320 touchdowns and five touchdowns in a 40-10 win over McNicholas last week.

3. Welcome to the Pit: Elder (2-1) plays host to Lakewood St. Edward (3-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday in an intriguing early season matchup.

St. Ed’s, the reigning two-time Division I state champions and ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press statewide poll, plays at Elder for the first time since 2014 when the Panthers upset the then-national No. 1 Eagles 21-14. St. Ed’s leads the all-time series 7-6, according to the school.

Elder returns home for the first time this season. Junior quarterback Danny Nieman continues to play well -- he was 16 of 23 passing for 244 yards and a touchdown in a win at Scott County last Friday. Elder coach Doug Ramsey said the Panthers must limit big plays from the Eagles, convert first downs and work the clock.

Elder quarterback Ryan Nieman. (Mark Pinto/TriStateFootball.com)

“You would think after losing the classes they have the last couple of years they may fall off in talent a little bit, but that’s not the case,” Ramsey said. “We talk about opportunities. You have a chance to play the No. 1 ranked team in the state. Elder has a history of beating these kinds of teams.”

4. Visit to the Garden State: Moeller (2-1) plays Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) at 7 p.m. Saturday in the final game of a home-and-home agreement.

Don Bosco is 0-2 for the first time in 22 years and coach Greg Toal is going for his 300th career win, according to NJ.com.

“We are sort of walking into a lion’s den,” Moeller coach John Rodenberg said.

Both teams are a bit banged up with injuries. Rodenberg has been impressed with the Don Bosco offense, especially at the running back position.

Moeller defeated host Mason 17-14 last week. Moeller senior quarterback Evan Ernst was 13-of-23 passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Don Bosco defeated Moeller 31-14 in 2015.

5. Another road trip for St. Xavier: St. X (1-2) travels to the Indianapolis area to face Cathedral at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Cathedral (4-0) is ranked No. 1 in the Indiana Class 6A state poll.

The Bombers defeated host Mentor 20-7 last week after a long drive up to the Cleveland area.

St. X senior quarterback Sean Clifford (Penn State) told WCPO.com he will return this week. St. X coach Steve Specht said he will decide on the starting quarterback later this week. Junior Chase Wolf has played the past two weeks and filled in nicely in the season opener against St. John Bosco.

6. Nice start for Big Blue: Hamilton is 3-0 for the first time since 2001 and the Big Blue is using its solid skill positions this season for success. Senior quarterback Eric Jackson has thrown for 507 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 331 yards and five touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Vince Sanford has 17 receptions for 293 yards and two touchdowns.  

Hamilton travels to Sycamore (1-2) at 7 p.m. Friday. Sycamore senior running back Ra’Von Bonner has rushed for 394 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Aviators have scored 103 points through three games.

7. Bron Bacevich Stadium update: Roger Bacon officials are still working to get Bron Bacevich Stadium ready after flood damage prevented the football and soccer teams from playing there starting in August. Roger Bacon Athletic Director Steve Rossi said Tuesday he is hopeful the stadium will be ready for the Oct. 7 game against Chaminade Julienne.

Roger Bacon played Indian Hill at St. Xavier last week. The Spartans are at McNicholas at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Roger Bacon’s Bron Bacevich Stadium was submerged after heavy rains at the start of the season. (Provided)

8. College recruiting: Iowa State offered Kings senior defensive end Dan Sichterman (Ball State commit) on Monday. He will visit the Cyclones in two weeks.

UC’s showdown with Houston Thursday night at Nippert Stadium figures to attract some of the area’s top recruits. CHCA senior running back Kesean Gamble is among those scheduled to visit. He has rushed for 506 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

Valparaiso offered Walnut Hills senior center Kai Kramer (6-2, 275), according to Walnut Hills coach Brian Lainhart.

9. Extra points: Keep an eye on Anderson (2-1) at Kings (2-1) Friday night. This is an important Eastern Cincinnati Conference game given the fact that Turpin and Walnut Hills are undefeated entering this week. ...Harrison senior quarterback Frankie Young’s 501 passing yards against Anderson is 38th on the OHSAA’s all-time single-game passing yards list. …North College Hill dedicated Bruce Baarendse Memorial Stadium last week in memory of the late longtime coach. ...The City Gospel Mission has continued its “Kicking Hunger” program this season. The past four years have raised more than $16,000, which translates into food and care for more than 8,300 people in need.

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