Best Bets: Big matchups in league openers

Posted at 12:48 AM, Sep 18, 2015

CINCINNATI - Week 4 in Ohio means the beginning of league play in many leagues. The GMC, CHL and ECC feature key conference openers between some of the top teams in the area.

TriStateFootball takes a look at some of the best area matchups:

Colerain (2-1) at Mason (2-1) – Colerain suffered its first loss of the season, falling by three to La Salle. The Cardinals have not lost a conference game since 2008. Colerain’s first game was decided by 11 points, and just a field goal separated the Cardinals from their last two opponents. Mason has also played in close games, winning by seven in Week 1, losing by three the following week and topping Winton Woods by 14 last Friday.

Lakota East (2-1) at Hamilton (1-2) – Lakota East like to run the ball, and Tyler Glenn has been the focal point of the Thunderhawks’ offense. He has rushed for 511 yards and six touchdowns on just 63 carries – an 8.3-yard average. Hamilton likes to throw it, as QB Steve Cunningham is 43 of 66 for 640 yards and six TDs. Lakota East is third in the GMC in yards per game (385.0), and the Big Blue are first (418.7).

Fairfield (3-0) at Sycamore (1-2) – Fairfield enters league play as the only unbeaten team in the conference. In an out-of-area non-league schedule, the Indians edged Centerville by three before knocking off Dayton Northmont by 18 and Dublin Coffman by 21. QB Hunter Krause is 39-for-61 for 588 yards and three touchdowns. Sycamore has the second- and third-leading rushers in the conference in Clarence Dawson and RaVon Bonner, one yard apart at 385 and 384 yards. The Aviators’ two losses have been by one and six points, while their win was by 35 over CovCath.

Indian Hill (3-0) at Wyoming (3-0) – Four CHL teams are unbeaten heading into conference play, and these two face off in their league opener. Indian Hill has outscored its opponents, 137-40, and Wyoming has scored 104 points while allowing just 13. QB Reed Aicholz leads the league in passing yards by over 400, and the top three receivers in the CHL are all from the Braves. Opponents are averaging just 139.7 yards per game vs. the Cowboys.

Turpin (3-0) at Kings (3-0) – Another battle of unbeatens, this one to open the league schedule in the ECC. Turpin has thrived with a balanced offensive attack, as quarterback Bennie Stoll is 38 of 61 for 421 yards and five touchdowns and RB Luke Bohenek has rushed for 380 yards and three TDs on 40 carries. Kings also has a good balance. QB Tyler Knecht is 37-57-597, and Knights running back Avery Koller has rushed for 494 yards on 52 rushes. Kings’ Dan Sichterman leads the ECC with six sacks.

Loveland (1-2) at Glen Este (3-0) – Loveland lost to Lakota East by one to open the season and was drilled by Lebanon in Week 2 before picking up its first win of the season over Oak Hills last week. Tigers RB Luke Waddell is the league leader in rushing yards (641). Glen Este is scoring 50.0 points per game but allowing 33.3. Trojans QB Tyler Pilcher is the ECC passing yards leader with 637, having thrown seven TDs vs. just two picks. Loveland’s Waddell and Glen Este’s Jacob Hamilton are the top two in receiving yards in the conference.

Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) (1-1) at Moeller (2-1) – The Ironmen buried St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.), 55-21 after losing their season opener. Moeller’s only loss was to Wayne by two. The Crusaders pounded Xenia by 30 last week.