Week 5 gets an early start on Thursday with an intriquing matchup - one of the area's top running backs, Sycamore's RaVon Bonner, against one of the area's top defenses, No. 1 Colerain.
There are plenty of other great matchups as well, including undefeated Turpin and Walnut Hills in the ECC, St. Xavier hosting Moeller in the start of GCL South conference play, the battle of the Country Days in the MVC and Reading-Madeira in the CHL with both entering Friday with 3-1 records.
Here are the Best Bets for Week 5 of prep football in Ohio:
Sycamore (2-2) at Colerain (4-0), Thursday, 7 p.m. – Sycamore suffered back-to-back overtime losses to La Salle and Covington Catholic to open the season but beat Fairmont by 28 and previously-unbeaten Hamilton, 41-20 last Friday. Bonner has been all the rave of the Aviators’ offense, leading the GMC in rushing yards with 682 and having scored 15 touchdowns on the ground - including five last week against Hamilton. But Colerain is holding opponents to 87.0 rushing yards per game and has surrendered just seven points the past two weeks. It’s been all about the defense for the Cardinals thus far, as they have thrown for fewer than 300 yards and no Colerain rusher has gained more than 250 yards. The Cardinals gave coach Tom Bolden his 100th win last week, beating Princeton, 38-7.
Turpin (4-0) at Walnut Hills (4-0), 7 p.m. – The last two unbeaten teams in the ECC hook up in the second week of conference play. Turpin won easily last week, 38-8 over Milford, while Walnut Hill coasted to a 42-17 victory at Glen Este. Nathan Hooper and Will Hausfeld are both averaging over 8.0 yards per carry and have combined for seven Spartans touchdowns. The Eagles have also had two rushers with red zone success, as Robvae McDonald and Peyton Doughty have 11 rushing scores between them.
Moeller (3-1) at St. Xavier (2-2), 7 p.m. – Moeller is playing its fifth of six straight road games to open the season and has won its last two games by three and six points. Evan Ernst threw for a season-high 186 yards last week in the Crusaders’ win in New Jersey and has 600 passing yards for the season. St. Xavier lost at Nippert and at home to open the year but has won the past two weeks on the road, pulling out a fourth-quarter decision in Indianapolis last week. The Bombers have struggled to establish their running game, as they average just 54 ground yards per game. Cameron Specht has led the receiving corps with 14 catches for 239 yards.
Cincinnati Country Day (3-1) at Summit Country Day (2-2), 7 p.m. – It’s opening week for MVC play, and both teams are coming off blowout wins, as Cincinnati Country Day beat Lockland, 42-0 while Summit Country Day took down Dohn, 58-12.
Indian Hill (3-1) at Mariemont (4-0), 7 p.m. – Indian Hill lost its first CHL game to Wyoming in double overtime last week but had scored at least 48 points in its three wins. After winning by one in Week 1, Mariemont has allowed just 14 points the past three weeks. It’s a battle of QBs, as the Braves’ Reed Aichholz has thrown for 734 yards, eight touchdowns and no picks. The Warriors' Wally Renie has 791 passing yards and 12 scores with no interceptions for a 66.7 percent completion percentage.
Reading (3-1) at Madeira (3-1), 7 p.m. – Reading has allowed 12.8 points per game, and Madeira is No. 1 in the conference, surrendering an average of just 10.8 points. Alex Wachendorf has intercepted six passes already to lead the Blue Devils’ defense. The Mustangs’ Greg Corn has a CHL-best 768 rushing yards and 15 TDs, so how well Madeira is able to run the ball will be a key to the game.
Mason (3-1) at Hamilton (3-1), 7 p.m. – Mason’s only loss was to Moeller, and that was by three points. The Comets are averaging 253 rushing yards per game and have scored 14 TDs on the ground. Matt Sora leads the team with 459 rushing yards, and Michael Kopaygorodsky has five scores. Hamilton was 3-0 entering last week but lost to Sycamore by three touchdowns. Eric Jackson is 38 of 65 for 648 yards and five touchdowns, and he has run for 514 yards and found the end zone seven times.