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Princeton High School football team earns impressive start through two games

Vikings shut out Colerain in the Greater Miami Conference opener
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Posted at 12:28 PM, Aug 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 10:11:39-04

CINCINNATI — The Princeton High School football team is having quite the impressive start to this season.

A week after the Vikings scored among the most points (61) in the state against Anderson, Princeton earned another memorable performance to open the Greater Miami Conference on Friday night.

Princeton started the season with a 2-0 record for the fourth consecutive season, after a 28-0 win over visiting Colerain in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.

"I thought the kids played hard," said Princeton coach Andre Parker late Friday night. "I thought they were really physical."

The Princeton defense limited Colerain to 116 yards of total offense — including no passing yards — as the Vikings led 21-0 at halftime.

"We were able to be in attack mode and not back on our heels," Parker said of the defensive effort.

Senior linebacker Breeon Ishmail had a team-high eight tackles to lead the Vikings.

Princeton had 374 yards of total offense. Senior quarterback RJ West was 12 of 14 passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns.

Parker said the team has put a lot on West's shoulders, and he's responded in a significant way during his first season with the program.

Senior wide receiver Riley Woods earned MVP honors as he had three receptions for 72 yards including a 65-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He also had a two-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter.

"He is an unbelievable player and young man," Parker said.

Parker said the offensive production has been consistent, and the Vikings are learning to trust each other during a game.

"It's been pretty fun," Parker said.

Princeton (2-0, 1-0 GMC) plays at Lakota East (0-2, 0-1) on Sept. 2.

RAREFIED AIR: Western Brown senior quarterback Drew Novak moved into 11th place on the Ohio High School Athletic Association's all-time career passing yards list Friday night.

He threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns in the Broncos' 54-40 win over host Washington Court House. Novak has 10,683 yards passing for his career. He is 745 yards away from tying Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (Athens High School) for sixth place all-time.

Novak has 104 career touchdown passes — which is also on the state list in that category.

"Our kids fought for 48 minutes and never quit," said Western Brown coach Nick Osborne. "We faced adversity and we were able to overcome that. I'm very proud of this group for their toughness and effort."

SPEAKING OF OFFENSE: Anderson had 533 yards of total offense in a 42-0 win over host Loveland. Senior quarterback Griffin Scalf was 22 of 30 passing for 466 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Santos Alvarez had four receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

A PICK-SIX TO REMEMBER: Winton Woods senior cornerback Cameron Calhoun had officially a 100-yard interception return early in the second quarter against Walnut Hills Friday night. Calhoun, who is verbally committed to the University of Cincinnati, intercepted the ball in the end zone and sprinted down the Winton Woods sideline where no opposing player was close for the last 30-plus yards.

It is officially a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown due to high school football statistics, but could be determined to be more than 100 yards for the OHSAA state record book.

The OHSAA state record book allows for interception returns greater than 100 yards. Three 108-yard interception returns are tied for the state record.

Winton Woods defeated Walnut Hills 52-0. It was the most points for Winton Woods since a 52-20 win over Anderson during the 2018 playoffs, according to Winton Woods statistician Linda Schiltz.

GREAT START: Oak Hills defeated host Sycamore 20-15 as the Highlanders won back-to-back games for the first time since October 2020.

"I'm thrilled," said Oak Hills coach Justin Roden on the bus ride back to school late Friday night. "This team is resilient, they're scrappy; they want to win."

Roden continued to emphasize the off-season weight room and conditioning efforts for helping the Highlanders early this season. Roden said he doesn't want the team to be content, but he's very happy for the early success.

Opposing Greater Cincinnati coaches sent congratulatory text messages to Roden Friday night, including one from Moeller coach Mark Elder whose Crusaders defeated Oak Hills in the first round of the 2021 playoffs. Oak Hills was 0-11 in 2021.

"I respect the heck out of him as a person and a ball coach," Elder said. "He's a no-excuse guy."

SOARING EAGLE: Milford senior wide receiver/defensive back Jacob Smith did a little bit of everything in the Eagles' 42-39 win over visiting Lebanon.

He had an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown, 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and earned 232 total return yards. He had 10 tackles and an interception to seal the win for Milford.

"Jacob Smith showed that he is one of the best players in the city," Milford coach Tom Grippa said.

Senior wide receiver Cam Livingston's 16-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Austin Hardin with 51 seconds left gave the Eagles the win.

MUSTANGS' MOMENTUM: Western Hills is 2-0 for the first time since 2010 after the Mustangs defeated Deer Park 20-14. Junior wide receiver/running back Rashon Hutchinson scored two touchdowns for Western Hills. Senior quarterback Omar Beckley also scored a touchdown. Coach Charles Boyd said the team would celebrate for 24 hours but get to work on preparing for Sept. 2's visit from New Richmond.

ECC ROYALTY: Kings has won 21 consecutive regular-season games after a 42-3 win at Turpin to open the Eastern Cincinnati Conference schedule. Senior quarterback Will Kocher threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 76 yards including a 69-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter.

Senior running back Jay Holubetz had seven carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 30-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter. Senior wide receiver Michael Musari had four receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.

PRIME-TIME PERFORMANCE: Badin improved to 2-0 after a 27-14 win over Columbus St. Francis DeSales at Fairfield in a game that was televised by Spectrum. Junior quarterback Alex Ritzie was 16 of 22 for 208 yards passing and two touchdowns, according to Rams coach Nick Yordy.

Senior running back Carter Russo had 20 carries for 100 yards. Senior wide receiver Braedyn Moore — a UC commit — had eight receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown.

"It was a big win for us, our kids and our program," Yordy said.

WOLVES WIN: West Clermont coach Nate Mahon earned his first career victory with the ECC program as the visiting Wolves defeated Little Miami 21-16. Mahon said he was pleased with the strong effort of running the football and playing sound defense.

Senior Zach Moats had 20 carries for 152 yards. Sophomore Hayden Jones had four receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Mahon said he enjoyed his return to Little Miami where he led the Panthers to one of their most successful seasons in program history in 2018.

MEMORABLE VICTORY: Mount Healthy coach Jordan Stevens earned his first career head coaching win after a 42-7 win over Ponitz Tech Thursday night.

"The first one is always the toughest one," Stevens said. "We have a ton of first-year varsity players so it meant a lot to me that they got to get their first win as a varsity player as well."

Sophomore quarterback Jahmeir Spain was 18 of 30 passing for 245 yards and three touchdowns. He also had six carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. Junior Mike Watson had 18 carries for 164 yards.

"After the game I simply told the team that I'm very proud but to continue to live out our motto which is to want more," Stevens said. "To continue to win in the classroom and in the community and the wins on the football field will come. We can't be satisfied because our families, our school and our community deserve it."

NOTES: Moeller defeated Louisville Trinity 28-3 for the first win over the Shamrocks since 2018. Moeller had lost the previous two matchups to Trinity by a combined score of 85-7. Moeller coach Mark Elder said he was pleased with all three phases of the game Friday night at Shea Stadium.

  • Fairfield junior quarterback Talon Fisher rushed eight times for 156 yards and a touchdown and threw for 106 yards and another score as visiting Fairfield defeated Middletown 42-14.
  • Simon Kenton senior quarterback Chase Crone rushed 21 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns as the Pioneers defeated Highlands 42-20. Crone also threw for two touchdowns.
  • Lakota West defeated host Lakota East 49-6 in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown. The Firebirds lead the all-time series, 17-9.
  • Elder senior quarterback Ben Schoster was 13 of 16 passing for 167 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers defeated visiting Pickerington Central 17-7. Senior linebacker Ben Volkerding had a game-high 12 tackles including two sacks and three tackles for loss. Pickerington Central's only points came from a pick-six. "We beat a good team," Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. "We took control early and our defense shut them down." Friday night was a celebration of Elder's 100th anniversary.
  • Beechwood defeated visiting Paintsville 46-7. Mitchell Berger rushed 13 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns. Beechwood has a 25-game win streak.
  • La Salle defeated Royal Imperial College/Canada Prep 70-7 at Lancer Stadium. It was the most points for the Lancers since Sept. 14, 2012 in a 70-20 win over Indianapolis Northwest, according to La Salle statistician Paul Hummel. "We had a lot of guys play and play well," Lancers coach Pat McLaughlin said. Senior running back Jaylen Grant had three touchdowns.
  • Summit Country Day defeated Cincinnati Country Day 34-17. Several players performed well for the Silver Knights including senior quarterback Alex Davis, senior running back/linebacker Eric Deal, senior fullback/defensive back Jerome Goodloe and junior wide receiver/safety Donovan Matthews, according to coach David Wirth. "It was a gutsy performance, that’s what I liked the most," Wirth said.
  • Woodward coach Jeremy Pflug won his debut with the program as the Bulldogs defeated Shroder 54-12. "I'm just so proud of my young men and how far they've come," Pflug said. "They have bought in wholeheartedly which is the cause of the instant turnaround. It's created an excitement at our school that hasn't been been there in quite some time."
  • St. Xavier arrived in Chicago Saturday morning as the Bombers prepare to play Loyola Academy at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.

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