October 20, 2011

Prep Preview: Week Nine

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1. Division title on the line for Epitropoulos

Since being stunned by Tri-Valley in the season opener, Frank Epitropoulos and his Upper Arlington squad have reeled off seven consecutive wins and are in line for a playoff berth. The Golden Bears face their biggest challenge of the season on Friday night as they make the short road trip over to Hilliard Davidson.

Davidson (7-0) is tied with Upper Arlington at the top of the OCC Central division and this game will be a division championship game of sorts as the winner locks up at least a share of the division title. As if that wasn't enough, the winner of this game will more or less be assured of a home game in the first round of the playoffs and may even land the number one seed in Region 3.

2. Intriguing Saturday night match-up in Cincinnati

Coming off a tough loss last week to Dayton Dunbar, Cincinnati Taft is on the ropes and needs a pair of wins over the last two weeks to have a chance at the playoffs. Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford will need to come up big for their team these next two weeks and the biggest hurdle of the two will come on Saturday night as Taft hosts Western Hills (5-3).

Western Hills boasts a pair of Division I caliber prospects in senior wide receiver Josh Smith and senior athlete Dion Dawson. Dawson has become a bit of an internet legend as his junior highlight film surfaced and at 6-foot-1, 290-pounds, is the biggest running back in the state of Ohio and perhaps the nation. Simply put, Washington, Stanford, and company will have their hands full, particularly on the defensive side of the football as they try to slow down the offensive weapons from Western Hills. BuckeyeGrove.com will be there on Saturday night to capture all of the action.

3. Big game for Big Red

Steubenville defensive back Najee Murray holds the distinction of being the only Ohio State commit currently playing on an undefeated high school football team. Murray and Steubenville are off to an 8-0 start and have been absolutely rolling in recent weeks.

Things are about to get much more difficult as historical power Massillon Washington (7-1) rolls into town. Massillon is a much bigger school than Steubenville but the Big Red has never been a program that backs down from playing big-time competition.

With Steubenville having a stranglehold on a playoff berth as well as a first round home game, this game is more of a statement game than anything for Murray and company. Massillon is probably the best team Steubenville has faced to this point and a win in this game would more than prove that this team is a serious contender for the Ohio Division III state championship in December.


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