XENIA — It’s one of the those games where the records don’t matter.
Like Bears-Packers, Buckeyes-Wolverines, or Longhorns-Sooners, the Alter-Carroll rivalry is always a highlight on the schedule.
Both teams enter tonight’s game 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed. The Knights won their first game last week, a 49-12 thrashing of Fenwick, while Carroll lost to Cincinnati McNicholas, 28-7.
Caroll won, 17-10, last year ending a streak of lopsided losses dating back to 2013.
The Patriots are among the best in the league at throwing the ball, as Ryan Chapman has completed 39 of 71 passes for 509 yards, the second-most in the GCL. A good chunk came in a week two win at Chaminade-Julienne. Sam Severt (230) yards and Steven Chapman (136) yards are in the top five in the GCL.
Alter, meanwhile, does what it almost always has done — run, run, and run some more. Branden McDonald leads the league with 242 yards, while Brian Shane is third with 177 yards.
Both teams feature some of the best defensive players in the GCL. James Keighley Jr., leads the Knights with 21 tackles; Carroll teammates Andy Walker (30) and Ethan Braun (26) are in the top five. Carroll’s Sam Severt (25) and Alter’s Matt Sciarretti (24), CJ Hicks Jr., (21), and Aidan Plate (20) are in the top 10.
Bellbrook, ranked No. 2 in Division-III in the first state poll (this writer voted them No. 1), will look to avoid a letdown at 1-2 Eaton. The Golden Eagles topped Southwestern Buckeye League rival Valley View in overtime, while the other Eagles are coming off a 30-23 loss at Monroe. Eaton has the league’s top passer in Dawson Blaylock, who has thrown for 586 yards, and the No. 3 receiver in Trevor Long, who has 181 yards. The Eagles are averaging 311 yards per game bur are near the bottom of the league at 13.3 points per game. Eaton has allowed the third-most points in the league.
Xenia looks for its first win hosting 1-2 Sidney in another game of contrasting styles. Sidney has the Miami Valley League’s top passer in Ced Johnson, who has 502 yards and four touchdowns and three interceptions, and the top receiver in Sam Reynolds, who has 12 catches for 169 yards and one score. The Yellow Jackets also feature two more solid options in Jacob Wheeler (132 yards) and Avante Martin (131 yards), who each have nine catches. Martin has two TDs, while Wheeler had one. E.J. Davis has 214 rushing yards and six TDs — four in the season opening win over Greenville.
Xenia has been ground and pound, featuring Ramon Browder, who has 285 yards, good enough for third in the MVL. He has two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bucs have been pretty stingy with yards, allowing 240 per game, third in the league. Sidney allows 319 per game, eighth.
Other games in our coverage area include:
Beavercreek (0-3) at Wayne (2-1); Cedarville (0-3) at Greenon (2-1); and Greeneview (2-1) at Springfield Catholic Central (0-3).
After three weeks, here are the Greene County rankings. Rankings are determined by margin of victory, location and opponent.