For the 12th consecutive year, Southwest Ohio will boast some of the
top matchups in the state during the opening weekend of high school
football. The annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown will start on Thursday and run through Saturday at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium and Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. Nationally-ranked teams and players will partake. These games are worth the admission – and then some.
For the 12th consecutive year, Southwest Ohio will boast some of the top matchups in the state during the opening weekend of high school football.
The annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown will start on Thursday night at Welcome Stadium in Dayton as Troy plays Chaminade-Julienne at 5:30 p.m., followed by Mason vs. Trotwood-Madison at 8 p.m. Both games will be televised live on FSN Ohio.
Troy posted a 6-4 record and was in the Greater Western Ohio Conference North division.
Chaminade-Julienne was 6-4 and second in the Greater Catholic League North division. The Eagles are ranked fifth in the Dayton Daily News Division III poll.
Mason is coming off a 2-8 season but has several starters back on defense. The Comets returns junior RB David Fulcher, son of former Cincinnati Bengals player David Fulcher.
Trotwood won the GWOC North division last year after a 4-6 overall record. The Rams are fourth in the Dayton Daily News Division II poll. They return several standouts, including senior TE Justin Favors.
There will also be a combined six games in Dayton and Cincinnati Friday and Saturday nights. Let’s take a look at some of the other games:
Cincinnati Oak Hills vs. Cincinnati La Salle, Friday: These two teams play in the Cincinnati opener at 6 p.m. Friday at University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. The two West Side rivals haven’t played each other since 2000 season, but there are plenty of bragging rights in this game. Oak Hills will reportedly be without senior OL Jeremy Ernst, who has a torn ACL, MCL, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Watch for senior QB Steve Gebing in this game. Junior LB Ben Russell is getting early college interest. La Salle returns junior QB Drew Kummer, who has big-play potential. Senior DB Cameron Cole, who has orally committed to Indiana. “I expect a tough, physical, hard-fought game that will be decided in the fourth quarter,” Oak Hills coach Kurry Commins said.
Colerain vs. St. Xavier, Friday: These two rivals play at 8:30 p.m. at UC. This game has been marked on the schedule ever since it was announced earlier this year. These two teams have been dominant programs in the Queen City the past couple of years. Colerain won the 2008 season opener against the Bombers 13-8 despite not being favored. This year, the Cardinals are clearly favored – being ranked in the top 10-15 teams nationally by some online polls. Colerain is ranked No. 13 nationally by USA Today. Colerain is led by senior QB Greg Tabar along with junior running backs Trayion Durham and Tyler Williams in the triple-option offense. St. X, which holds a 3-2 advantage over Colerain in the past five meetings, is led by senior QB Luke Massa (orally committed to Cincinnati) and senior OL Matt James, who is one of the top college prospects in the nation.
Clayton Northmont vs. West Chester Lakota West: These two teams play at 6 p.m. Friday at Welcome Stadium. Northmont is led by senior RB Korey Ringer, senior WR-DB Quintin Cooper, junior WR Josh McClain and senior free safety Ethan Zoellner among the top players. Lakota West is led by senior LB Jordan Hicks, senior TE Alex Smith (orally committed to Cincinnati), senior QB John Peters, senior DB Brandon Neal and senior OL Kevin Schloemer (Cincinnati commit). There are high expectations for the Firebirds, who have been in the national recruiting spotlight all summer. The key will be which team can avoid mental mistakes. “We have to establish a good offensive rhythm early and be very physical to set an early tone for how the game will be played,” Northmont coach Lance Schneider said.
Huber Heights Wayne vs. Cincinnati Princeton: These two teams play at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Dayton. Wayne is led by junior QB Braxton Miller has gotten a lot stronger and faster this year, according to Wayne coach Jay Minton. “He is working hard on being able to manage the game and not letting the game manage him,” Minton said. “Right now, he wants to do it all because he is such a competitor.” Wayne is also led by DB Terrence Talbott and his brother, DL Terry Talbott – both of whom recently made oral commitments to play at Michigan. Senior LB Josh Harrison (Wisconsin) is another player to watch. The Vikings feature senior QB Spencer Ware (LSU), who has the ability to take any game into his own hands. Ware had a very solid summer and is ready for the season, according to Princeton coach Bill Leach. “I do not think that anyone will contain Spencer Ware,” Minton said. “What we must do is not let him get the big ones on us. Make him work for it. He is one of the best players in the state so for us to say we are going to shut him down is crazy.”
Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller vs. Cincinnati Winton Woods: The two teams play at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at UC. Moeller is an early favorite in the GCL-South and they are loaded with talent. Look for senior QB Andrew Hendrix to have a strong offense. The defense is led by senior DE Marcus Rush and senior LB Nick Galvin along with junior LB Kendall Walker and junior DE Jesse Hayes. Galvin could miss the game with minor back issues, according to Moeller coach John Rodenberg. Winton Woods is led by senior QB Dominique Brown (Cincinnati commit) and senior RB Jeremiah Goins. “Brown and Goins just need to do what they have done for the last years,” Winton Woods coach Troy Everhart said. “The bigger issue is the offensive line – they must allow Brown and Goins to be successful.”
Cincinnati Elder vs. East St. Louis (Ill.): The teams play at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at UC. Elder, the Division I state runner-up in 2008, has plenty of expectations again this year. The Panthers are ranked fourth in the USA Today preseason rankings. Elder senior QB Mark Miller, senior TE Alex Welch (Notre Dame) and senior RB Adam Brown are among the leaders on offense for Elder. The defense is led by players that include senior LB Corey Mason, senior DL David Peters, senior DL Steve Newman and junior LB Jacob Lindsey. Senior DE Pete Bachman (Indiana) is another player to watch. East St. Louis is ranked No. 13 nationally by USA Today; the squad is the defending 7A champions in Illinois. QB Detchauz Wray, WR Keante Minor and RB Courtney Molton are among the leaders. East St. Louis (13-1 last season) is extremely athletic and very fast.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cameron Cole, La Salle: The senior DB had nine kickoff returns for 201 yards last season. He has orally committed to Indiana.
Jordan Hicks, Lakota West: The senior LB is rated the nation’s No. 2 player in the 2010 class, according to the ESPNU Top 150 ratings. He is reportedly considering Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Georgia, USC and Alabama.
Alex Smith, Lakota West: The senior TE has orally committed to the University of Cincinnati. He is also planning to visit other schools, including an official visit to Wisconsin the weekend of Sept. 5.
Braxton Miller, Wayne: The junior QB has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, West Virginia, Florida, Miami (Fla.) and others.
Josh Harrison, Wayne: The senior LB orally committed to Wisconsin about three weeks ago.
Andrew Hendrix, Moeller: The senior QB orally committed to Notre Dame this summer. He also had offers that included Tennessee, Louisville Virginia and Ohio State. He threw for more than 1,600 yards last season.
Darion Delaney, Trotwood-Madison: The senior DE has offers from Miami and Eastern Michigan, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Justin Favors, Trotwood-Madison: The senior TE has offers from Cincinnati, Colorado and Syracuse, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Marcus Rush, Moeller: The senior defensive end orally committed to Michigan State this summer.
Jesse Hayes, Moeller: The junior defensive end already has offers from North Carolina State and Kentucky. He is one of the top players in the state’s 2011 class.
Alex Welch, Elder: The senior TE orally committed to Notre Dame.
Tim O’Conner, Elder: The senior WR orally committed to Indiana. He had 71 catches for 1,003 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
A.J. Jordan, Trotwood-Madison: The junior WR has offers from several Division I programs, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Dominique Brown, Winton Woods: The senior QB has orally committed to Cincinnati.
Spencer Ware, Princeton: The senior QB has orally committed to LSU. He threw for 1,938 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
Luke Massa, St. Xavier: The senior QB orally committed to Cincinnati. He missed a majority of last season due to injury.
Matt James, St. Xavier: The senior OL is considering Notre Dame, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Florida and others.
Josh McClain, Northmont: The junior WR has early offers from Alabama and Colorado. He should be one of the top recruits in the country next year.
Quintin Cooper, Northmont: The senior has orally committed to Ball State. He is a three-year starter.
Ethan Zoellner, Northmont: The senior free safety is the Thunderbolts’ best player. He should receive early offers this fall.
Tyon Dixon, Colerain: The senior linebacker has orally committed to Louisville.
Brandon Neal, Lakota West: The senior defensive back has orally committed to Ball State.
Kevin Schloemer, Lakota West: The senior offensive lineman has orally committed to Cincinnati.