Friday, September 29, 2000

Fearless Predictions: Cincinnati games

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer


        No. 1 Colerain (5-0) vs. Middletown (1-4)
        WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, Barnitz Stadium, Rt. 4, Middletown.
        WHAT TO WATCH: On paper, this game appears to be an easy victory for the Cardinals.
        Hwoever, if Colerain gets caught looking toward next week's game against Fairfield, the Middies have the tool to dislodge the Cardinals, especially at home.
        The Cardinals prefer keeping the ball on the ground with John Mohr (6003 yards rushing) and Maurice Johnson (383 yards) but junior quarterback Sean Jones is capable of striking through the air.
        Middletown's offense moves the ball well, averaging 270 yards per game with Tremaine Thompson (419 yards rushing) the major offensive threat.
        It's the Middies defense steps it up to next level, the Cardinals will have to be at their best to prevail.
        PICK: Colerain

        No. 2 Moeller (5-0) vs. No. 6 St. Xavier (3-2)
        WHEN/WHERE: 7:30p.m., today, 7:30 p.m., Galbreath Field, Kings Island Drive, Kings Mills.
        WHAT TO WATCH: This is the year that Moeller would like to pay back St. Xavier for two setbacks last year, the first during the regular season and second in the playoffs.
        Tailback Marcus Blanks (874 yards rushing) and quarterback Tony Cunningham (44-of-69 for 589 yards), along with tight end Ryan Hamby (17 receptions for 284 yards), are on a roll for Moeller and will be tough for a solid Bomber defense to contain.
        While defense is St. Xavier's strength, the Bomber offense has struggled due to the lack of a proven running game. This puts extreme pressure on junior quarterback Marty Mooney (51-of-104 for 825 yards) and the offensive line.
        Moeller is performing like top Crusader teams of the past, especially on defense where linebacker Matt DePetro spearheads an aggressive unit.
        No one at Moeller is taking St. Xavier lightly, knowing the Bombers lost to Ohio's best team (St. Ignatius) and Indiana's best (Indianapolis Cathedral).
        PICK: Moeller

        No. 3 Elder (3-1) vs. No. 8 La Salle (3-2)
7:30 p.m., today, Elder Stadium, 3900 Vincent Ave., Price Hill.
        WHAT TO WATCH: There's no doubt that this is the biggest game of the season for a La Salle team that has lost successive games to Canton McKinley and Moeller after opening the season at 3-0.
        Coach Jim McQuaide's defense hasn't delivered the past two weeks and another subpar performance against Elder could set the tone for the remainder of the season.
        La Salle's offense has moved the ball well with quarterback Reggie Watson (45-of-105 for 623 yards), teaming with Christian Botts (390 yards rushing) and Matt Knueven (30 receptions for 439 yards), to rack up 300 yards an outing.
        Elder must guard against looking ahead to next week's showdown with undefeated Moeller, a game that will probably decide the GCL South championship.
        The Panther offense is tough with bruising tailback Kyle Koester rushing for 708 yards while quarterback Matt Scholl (40-of-71) has been equally as impressive.
        La Salle will have the speed advantage but Elder's too strong in the trenches.
        PICK: Elder

        No. 4 Fairfield (No. 6, 4-1) vs. Milford (2-3)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, 7:30 p.m., Milford Stadium, 1 Eagles Way, Milford.
        WHAT TO WATCH: Playing without the injured tailback Earl Haynes may be tougher than expected for Fairfield.
        Junior James Minor will fill in for Haynes which puts additional pressure on quarterback Brett Pogozalski (56-of-120 for 839 yards) who must complete some passes against the Eagles.
        Milford is a team that has come close to pulling several upset but the Eagles came up short. If tailback Gordon (447 yards rushing) and quarterback Adam Meranda sustain the offense, look for Milford to stay close with the Indians.
        PICK: Fairfield

        No. 5 Anderson (5-0) vs. Glen Este (3-2).
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, 7:30 p.m., Glen Este Stadium, 4342 Glen Este-Withamsville Rd., West Clermont.
        WHAT TO WATCH: Anderson coach Vince Suriano's wide-open, no holds barred, two quarterback, no huddle offense, has been unstoppable this season, averaging nearly 400 yards an outings.
        Redskin quarterbacks Kenny Riddell (36-of-64 for 413 yards) and Matt Dils (35-of-65 for 451 yards) continues to shine, rushing for more than 100 yards a game while throwing for nearly 150.
        Glen Este has been the surprise team in the FAVC Buckeye Division.
        Under first-year coach Zac Taylor, the Trojans are off to their best start in years. The key will be the Trojan defense that must find a way to slow the Redskin express.
PICK: Anderson.

        No. 7 Princeton (4-1) vs. No. 9 Lakota West (3-2)
        WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m.,today, 7:30 p.m., Lakota West Stadium, 8940 Union Centre Blvd, West Chester.
        WHAT TO WATCH: Tied with Fairfield and Colerain for first place in the GMC, Princeton faces its toughest obstacle of the season.
        The key for Princeton is moving the ball against a tough Firebird defense.
        This puts pressure on tailback Vashan Harrison, the leading rusher in the GMC with 719 yards on 76 carries, along with quarterback Rob Caress (six TD passes).
        Lakota West's offense has struggled. If the Firebirds can't move the ball consistently, the defense could wear down and allow Princeton another victory.
        PICK: Lakota West.

        No. 10 Western Hills (4-1) vs. Aiken (2-3)
7:30 p.m., today, 7:30 p.m., Western Hills Stadium, 2144 Ferguson Rd., Western Hills.
        WHAT TO WATCH: This will be an emotional night for Mike Irvin, an assistant at Western Hills before taking over as Aiken's head coach last season.
        Irvin is very familiar with the Mustangs offense and knows that stopping tailback Kevin Furlow (674 yards rushing) is the key to success against a West Hi team that is solid on both sides of the ball.
        PICK: Western Hills

        No. 10 Lebanon (5-0) vs. Loveland (3-2)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, Lebanon Stadium, 160 Miller Rd., Lebanon.
        WHAT TO WATCH: A running team in past season, Lebanon now blends the ground attack with an outstanding passing game with quarterback Charlie Rittgers, who completes nearly 65 percent of his passes.
        Loveland's biggest problem this season has been inconsistency. If the quarterback Phil Deis-led offense comes up strong, look for the upset.
        PICK: Lebanon

Divisions II-VI

        No. 1 Indian Hill (5-0) vs. Finneytown (3-2)
        WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, Finneytown Stadium, 8916 Fontainebleau, Finneytown.
        WHAT TO WATCH: The Wildcats defense must shake-off a 467 yard performance by Reading's DeShawn Wynn and come up big against an Indian Hill offense that averages over 30 points a game.
        Indian Hill averages nearly 400 yards offense a game with running back Jeremy Hamilton (457 yards rushing) and receiver Mike Sweeney (30 receptions for 393 yards) the major threats.
        PICK: Indian Hill

        No. 2 Edgewood (4-1) vs. Middletown Fenwick (3-2)
        WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m.,Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Barnitz Stadium, Rt. 4, Middletown.
        WHAT TO WATCH: The Cougars offense racked up 435 yards against West Carrollton and are capable of another performance this week.
        With fullback Matt Moore (493 yards rushing) becoming more involved with an offense that includes quarterback Brandon Osborne and tailbacks Ryan White (493 yards rushing), the Cougars will be tough to stop.
        PICK: Edgewood

        No. 4 Madeira (4-1) vs. No. 3 Wyoming (4-1)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, Madeira Stadium, 7465 Loannes Drive, Madeira.
        WHAT TO WATCH: It's do-or-die week for Madeira in the Cincinnati Hills League with a victory catapulting the Mustangs back into contention while a loss will result in virtual elimination.
        Tailback Drew Cloran is Madeira's major offensive threat while Wyoming counters with a potent running game that includes P.J. Pope, Jeff Davis and Anthony Wright.
        PICK: Wyoming

        No. 5 Purcell Marian (4-1) vs. No. 6 McNicholas (4-1)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30p.m., today, 7:30 p.m., Brown Stadium, Anderson High School, 7560 Forest Rd., Anderson Township.
        WHAT TO WATCH: This may be the best game of the weekend but predicting the outcome the toughest assignment.
        McNicholas is a team that liked to air it out with quarterback Bryan Cupito completing 82-of 166 passes for 1,151 yards while tailback Tony Pastura (544 yards rushing) is the major ground threat.
        However, Purcell Marian may again be without starting quarterback Adam White which will put the pressure on replacement Kevin Sanker, along running backs Vince Berry (331 yards) and Justin Blackley (248 yards rushing).
        Defense will determine the outcome of this game with the Cavaliers having the advantage.
        PICK: Purcell Marian.
        No. 6 New Richmond (5-0) vs. Clinton Massie (3-2)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, Clinton Massie Stadium, 2556 Lebanon Rd., Clarksville.
        WHAT TO WATCH: While the quarterback Matt Armburster (583 yards rushing) led New Richmond wishbone offense has been outstanding, the defense hasn't lived up to expectations.
        If the Lions fail to stop Clinton Massie's wishbone, it could spell defeat for the first time this season.
        PICK: New Richmond

        No. 8 Roger Bacon (4-1) vs. Kettering Alter (2-3)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, Centerville Stadium, Rt. 725, Centerville.
        WHAT TO WATCH: Coming off a loss to Badin, Roger Bacon must regroup with quarterback Nate Wyrick (24-of-74 for 418 yards) and tailback Casey Land (378 yards rushing) showing the way.
        However, if the Spartan defense doesn't step up, Alter could pull off another upset.
        PICK: Roger Bacon

        No. 9 Reading (3-2) vs. No. 10 Taylor (3-2)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m., today, Taylor Stadium, 36 Harrison Ave., North Bend.
        WHAT TO WATCH: With tailback DeShawn Wynn (467 yards rushing against Finneytown) in the lineup, Reading broke into the Top 10 for the first times this season.
        Taylor will be out to break a two-game losing streak and remain in contention for a playoff berth.
        PICK: Reading

        Other Games
        Mason over Amelia
        Winton Woods over Northwest
        Ross over Goshen
        Kings over Little Miami
        Wilmington over Norwood
        Hughes over Taft
        Mount Healthy over Woodward
        Walnut Hills over Withrow
        Hamilton over Oak Hills
        Sycamore over Lakota East
        Mariemont over Deer Park
        Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy over North College Hill
        Landmark Christian over New Miami
        Dayton Carroll over Dayton Stebbins
        Miamisburg over Franklin
        Talawanda over Lemon-Monroe
        Springboro over West Carrollton
        Batavia over Hillsboro
        Williamsburg over Bethel-Tate
        Western Brown over Clermont-Northeastern
        Blanchester over East Clinton
        Bellbrook over Middletown Madison
        Cedarville over Waynesville
        Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans over Lockland
        Last Week: 32-8, Season: 140-40.

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