Every high school football team is fixated on that special opponent. Doesn’t matter if it’s Week 1 or Week 10, that game is a constant presence.
“Honestly, this is what we hoped and prayed for,” Northmont coach Tony Broering said about a Week 5 showdown at Wayne on Friday. “We’ve targeted this all year. … I kept pushing the staff all summer. Guys, we’ve got a chance here with these boys. It’s a special group and we could be 4-0 going over to Wayne.”
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Sure enough, unbeaten Northmont (4-0) secured its position as the area’s top-ranked Division I team following last week’s 43-16 win at Butler. Wayne (2-2) played its first area opponent at unbeaten Miamisburg and couldn’t stop the Vikings’ run-heavy offense, falling 30-13.
That sets up a do-or-die moment for Wayne and its bid for another Greater Western Ohio Conference divisional title and playoff bid.
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If Northmont wins, Wayne likely would have to win out to earn its seventh straight postseason. That would be a difficult task with Week 8-10 games against Fairmont (3-1), Springfield (4-0) and Trotwood-Madison (2-2). Should Wayne beat Northmont it’ll jump-start the Warriors’ season and vault them into D-I, Region 3 playoff contention.
Last season Wayne dodged host Northmont 38-35 in double overtime. Northmont hasn’t beaten Wayne since the 2012 season, 14-11.
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• That’s not the only high-end Week 5 GWOC game. Miamisburg (4-0) is at host Troy (4-0) in another great crossover matchup on Friday. Troy won 31-21 last season to snap a streak of five straight Miamisburg wins.
Both teams are in postseason contention. Troy was No. 2 in D-II, Region 8 of this week’s debut of the Ohio High School Athletic Association computer ratings. Miamisburg was No. 6 in D-I, Region 3.
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• Chaminade Julienne (4-0) and Carroll (4-0) are 1-2 in the D-III, Region 12 computer rankings. One of those Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North rivals will be the last remaining unbeaten team in that region following Friday’s showdown at CJ’s Roger Glass Stadium.
This is the best start for Carroll since Ben Rulli took over as head coach. The Patriots also face a back-loaded schedule, although it’ll help to host Alter (3-1) in Week 7 and Fenwick (3-1) in Week 10.
Alter has won three straight since falling at Fairmont in the opener. The Knights host Fenwick at Centerville on Friday.
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• Marion Local (4-0) has allowed just 21 points and has its most severe test to date against visiting Anna (3-1) in the Midwest Athletic Conference.
Mechanicsburg (4-0) allowed just 14 points to Kenton Ridge in the opener and hasn’t been scored on since. That includes last week’s 7-0 defeat of previously unbeaten Greeneview in an Ohio Heritage Conference crossover contest. Mechanicsburg is No. 3 in the D-VI, Region 24 computer rankings and Marion Local No. 4.
• There were two games scheduled for Thursday: Bethel (3-1) at Miami East (3-1) in the Cross County Conference and Belmont (0-4) vs. Thurgood Marshall (0-4) in the Dayton City League at Dayton’s Welcome Stadium.
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