The FOX19 Friday Prep Rally continues its 2010 tour with a stop at Winton Woods as the Warriors play host to their rivals, the Fairfield Indians.
Both teams are off to 1-1 starts, making this tilt even more important for each of their playoff aspirations.
Bragging rights on the line on Friday night as these two teams collide for what promises to be an entertaining match-up.
FAIRFIELD (1-1) AT WINTON WOODS (1-1)
Charlie Fredrick Stadium – Cincinnati, OH
7:30 p.m. kickoff
TV: LIVE Pregame Show FOX19 (6:30 – 7:00)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Winton Woods is expected to get quarterback Thomas Owens back this week after he sat out a week ago. The versatile playmaker will help get the Warriors' offense moving. Junior running back Aaron Kemper has already scored five times on the early season after taking over as Winton Woods' primary running back. Fairfield will look to counter with stellar defense, headlined by Division I recruits Marquise Vann and Robert Mincey.
TEAM TRENDS: Winton Woods is coming off its first state championship in school history. The Warriors are 3-2 in their last five games against the Indians, but have won three straight by a combined score of 91 to 18. Both teams focus on a powerful ground attack. Winton Woods averages 287 yards per game while Fairfield has only picked up 177 rushing yards per contest. Fairfield scored just 12 points per game a year ago, but has put 21.5 points per game early this season. The Indians are 8-4 under second-year head coach Aaron Fitzstephens.
WINTON WOOD'S KEYS TO VICTORY: While the Warriors' offense continues to get healthy and find an identity, the team's defense remains its strong suit. The unit has several members back from last year's state championship squad, including three-star linebacker Antonio Poole. If the front seven can create pressure expect senior corners Chuck Wynn and Courtney Webber to take advantage and capitalize on any Fairfield mistakes. Getting an early lead will help the Warriors' cause as Fairfield is not built to come from behind.
FAIRFIELD'S KEYS TO VICTORY: The Indians have been involved in two close games early on this season, winning one and losing another. In order to come out on top versus Winton Woods, the team will need to mix things up offensively and keep the chains moving. Running back Tyler White can help the offense by picking up positive yards on first down and keeping the team out of third-and-long situations. Quarterback Jordan Ammon needs to avoid costly mistakes and handle himself under heavy pressure. Special teams are going to be a huge factor and the Indians have the edge with All-TriStateFootball.com kicker Josh Pfaff.
FINAL TAKE: If the first two games are any indication Fairfield will need to keep the game close and grind out the clock. However, with Winton Woods getting many of its key players back from injury the Indians will struggle to keep pace with the Warriors' high-octane offense. Look for Fairfield to keep it close early, but in the end Winton Woods wins this one by double digits assuming they are indeed 100 percent healthy.
Written by: Dan Clasgens, TriStateFootball.com