CEDARVILLE — Cedarville has a chance to make a statement and gauge its true growth as a team this week when one of the state’s top ranked teams comes in for a visit.
Catholic Central is ranked No. 2 in this week’s Division VII state AP poll and is undefeated at 6-0, but has not won every game it has played comfortably. Twice the Irish have needed overtime to prevail and also got a late touchdown while trailing in the fourth quarter at Triad to escape with the win.
Daniel Kamara is the team’s and Ohio Heritage Conference’s rushing leader with 972 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman. Tyler Young is the top receiving target and leading scorer for the Irish.
Catholic Central’s pass defense should get a test against Jackson Pyles of Cedarville. Pyles has three times thrown for more than 200 yards and CC has allowed 274 against West Jefferson and a 60-yard touchdown a week ago to Madison Plains.
The Indians are 3-3 overall, but it’s the latest in the season the team has hit the .500 mark since 2014. Cedarville followed its early blueprint of jumping on the opponent early during last week’s win at Greenon and could gain the confidence as the game plays out if they’re able to do so once again against the Irish.
Cedarville hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2013 and would be in position in D-VII, Region 28, to qualify this season if it started this week, but a win against Catholic Central could all but lock up a spot for the Indians.
Xenia at Butler
Establishing itself at the top of the MVL after last week’s win against Tippecanoe, Xenia will now be the hunted team in the league for the remainder of the regular season. Butler may be an immediate sneaky trap spot.
The Avaitors mostly play close games with four of its six contests finishing withing two scores. Butler is coming off wins in consecutive games played for the first time since 2018.
The defense has been a solid unit, ranking in the top half of the MVL in most categories, notably fourth in total yards allowed and tackles for loss, and despite allowing the second most passing touchdowns they rank near the top in interceptions. Butler’s rush defense has only allowed seven touchdowns on the ground, but Xenia’s attacking strength may be too much as it was able to score for the first three rushing TDs Tipp has allowed all season a week ago.
Xenia, currently No. 1 in the D-II, R-8, computer rankings, will clinch a playoff berth with a win.
Fairborn at Stebbins
A battle of quarterbacks who can do it all for their offenses may decide this one.
JT Smith for Fairborn and Adrian Norton of Stebbins both lead their teams in passing and rushing yardage this season. Both have relatively similar numbers on the ground, but Smith has the edge in passing yardage and accuracy.
Stebbins’ defense has been the MVL’s best against the pass though, and doesn’t allow many points overall.
The Fairborn defense will need to improve on the 15.1 yards per play it allowed a week ago facing an offense which has only scored seven points in each of its last three games.
Both teams are currently on the edge of a spot in the playoffs and the winner will get a big increase in their chances.
Centerville at Beavercreek
Despite allowing two scores in the fourth quarter a week ago for the Elks’ first loss, the Centerville defense is one of the best in Southwest Ohio allowing 7.8 points per game.
The Elks get after the quarterback, producing 12 sacks on the season and have 10 interceptions to go with six fumble recoveries.
Drake Wells has thrown for over 1,100 yards and had spread the wealth between six receivers. Emable Wakilongo is the primary rusher.
Bellbrook at Madison
The Golden Eagles pass defense met the challenge late last week to fend off Waynesville and get a big SWBL win to remain unbeaten. Now a tough stretch to close the regular season begins with three of the team’s final four games coming on the road.
Elijah Brooks grabbed ahold of the league rushing lead and is averaging 172 yards against SWBL opponents.
The youth at Madison has struggled this season and hasn’t scored in two games. The Mohawks are balanced on offense but don’t produce many yards.
Carroll at Chaminade Julienne
Despite its 3-3 record, CJ has been a statistical marvel. The team is averaging more than 500 yards rushing per game this season and have three of the top-five rushers in the GCL.
The Eagles’ defense also has the league leader in total tackles, sacks and interceptions.
Carroll has allowed the most points amongst GCL teams.
Greeneview at Madison Plains
Greeneview is averaging 36 points per game this year, while Madison Plains hasn’t scored more then seven points in its last five games.
Week 7 Rankings
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.