September 17, 2010 at 11:29 AM EST - Updated June 21 at 11:50 PM
The high school football season is in full swing across the Tri-state area. Many teams are off to fast starts while others are still trying to find their groove.
The margin for error is slim, making some of this week's matchups very intriguing on all sides of the river.
We get you ready for kickoff with a look at some of the area's top games.
Bishop Fenwick at McNicholas This Week 4 matchup features two surprisingly undefeated squads. The McNick defense has given up 10 points on the season and is working on back-to-back shutouts. The Fenwick starting offense has scored at least 12 points in seven of their last nine full quarters in which they played. Special teams play may just be the difference in the final with Rockets return specialist Dillon Stanfield and Fenwick kicker Tanner Coffman answering the challenge.
Bishop Watterson at Winton Woods Winton Woods (2-1) appears to have gotten things back on track after posting 102 combined points over two Division I squads (Fairfield and Withrow). The Warriors will try to solve a Bishop Watterson (3-0) defense that has yielded just 13 points on the year. Winton Woods which finished with the sixth highest point total in Ohio in 2009 has picked up where they left off with 18 touchdowns to date.
Chaminade-Julienne at Roger Bacon This is a great test for both schools. Roger Bacon (3-0) is off to its best start since 2001 they can really make a statement with wins at home this week and next against Carroll (3-0). The cards are in their favor for a big year. The Eagles are in need of a signature victory. They really haven't established an identity yet and this is the perfect opportunity to set good things in motion for them.
Goshen at Clermont Northeastern A pair of tough losses by three and five points for Goshen (0-3) has left them in a must-win situation. Clermont Northeastern (3-0) is in rare territory. Prior to this season the Rockets started the last three years at 0-5, 0-6 & 0-6. The team that establishes the running game will be the one that comes out victorious in this affair.
Lockland at Summit Country Day For the first time in some years Summit Country Day has the right mix of talent to have a big year. Friday night is the Knights' first step on letting MVC members know that they are for real in 2010. Lockland just keeps on trucking their rushing attack is fantastic. The Panthers have their focus of getting back to the playoffs and winning games, something their senior class has yet to achieve in three tries.
Oak Hills at Hamilton Racking up quality wins at this point of the season has eluded Hamilton and Oak Hills the past several years. Both teams can put their pursuit of the post-season in good standings with a victory in this one. The Big Blue is averaging 311 yards per game rushing. The Highlanders must keep that offense off the field if they are to have a shot in this one.
St. Ignatius at Centerville It is a great year for Centerville (3-0) to catch St. Ignatius (2-1) as their defense is at the top of its game. The Elks must avoid a letdown after their huge win over rival Alter. The Wildcats can help their cause in this one if can force quarterback Jon Overstreet into passing situations. The Elks senior has yet to prove he can be a factor through the air.
Trotwood-Madison at Wayne This contest hopes to live up to its "World's Greatest Track Meet on Turf" moniker. With such superior athletes on each side of the ball the game promises to be loaded with big plays. The contest means more to Wayne in the victory column than it does for the Rams. Expect the Warriors to come out very focused.
Withrow at Taft The battle for CMAC supremacy happens in Week 4. It is hard to believe these two squads come into this contest at 1-5 combined. Brutal schedules for both schools have proven to be a bit much for the squads but as the year continues it will only make them both better. The Taft secondary will need to come up big against Tigers quarterback Blake Moore, who is averaging 300 yards per game passing.
Middletown at Lakota West Lakota West head coach Larry Cox saw his young Firebirds offense come to life last week. The challenge will be more difficult as you can bet the Middies will be bringing all kinds of pressure on sophomore quarterback Jordan Darling. How we handles it might just be the difference in the outcome of this game.
Carroll at Badin Division V Badin (2-1) had impressive victory over Division II Ross last week they can pick up another one this week if they can knock off Carroll (3-0). The Patriots will control the clock with their running game. The Rams have gotten ahead early in games and when that happens they can unleash pass rushers and force quarterback mistakes and create opportunities for their fine secondary. The Patriots will not abandon the running game no matter how far down they are.
INTERSTATE Bishop Chatard (IN) at Elder A heart-breaking loss last week for Elder (1-2) should quickly dissipate in their home opener at The Pit. Quarterback Ben Gramke is completing 67.5 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. He should have another god day against a Chatard (2-2) defense that has given up 60 points in the last two weeks.
St. Xavier at Louisville Trinity Trinity (3-0) looks to claim the mythical GCL South title as they look to beat St. Xavier (2-1) after rallying on the final play last Friday to beat Elder. The Bombers are punching people in the mouth on both sides of the line. Running back Conor Hundley has 431 yards rushing the past two weeks. Look for the defense to be the difference as the St. X linebacker's are on top of their game right now.
Dixie Heights at Ryle Dixie Heights must learn to stop teams in the second half of games if they want to be considered one of Northern Kentucky's top teams. The Colonels will have that opportunity against the bigger Ryle Raiders. Endurance could easily be the difference in the outcome because of how many two-way players Dixie Heights plays.
NewCath at Campbell County It is the Campbell County battle between the private and the public schools. NewCath will be up for this one, but expect the home team Camels to be sky high. Quarterback Michael Kremer will need to play flawless. Both programs hunger for this win. The team that makes the fewest mental and physical errors will come out on top.
Highlands at Boone County You can bet that Highlands will be well prepared to play this week after a rough performance against Withrow. That doesn't bode well for Boone County. The Rebels will have the home crowd behind them. They will need to get ahead early to make the Bluebirds start doubting themselves. Expect Highlands to pull away sooner rather than later and continue their impressive winning streak.
Simon Kenton at Henry Clay This tilt pits two teams against each other that have plenty of questions to answer. Simon Kenton looks to improve on their line play on both side of the ball. If they don't show improvement Henry Clay's (2-1) high-powered offense will take advantage of it. When push comes to shove in a close affair bet on Pioneers' quarterback Chad Lawrence to be the difference.
The EIAC schedule is loaded with scintillating Indians Week 5 matchups as Batesville is at East Central, Lawrenceburg travels to Franklin County and South Dearborn hosts Greensburg. East Central appears to be the front runner for the league title. For the other five programs there is very little on paper that distinguishes one from the other as the league's top contenders. This is an important game to begin the process of separation from the pack