NO. 1 EC INVADES OAK HILLS

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EAST CENTRAL At

CINCINNATI OAK HILLS

 

KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Friday at Oak Hills, 3200 Ebenezer Road, Bridgetown (artificial turf).

RECORDS: Trojans 1-0, Highlanders 0-10 in 2017.

FAVORITE: East Central.

LAST WEEK: No. 1-ranked (Class 4A) EC defeated Class 3A No. 8 Lawrenceburg 38-7.

TEAM HIGHLIGHTS:

East Central - Trojans can add Cincinnati westside public rival Oak Hills to the list of Ohio schools they’ve faced with Friday’s first-time matchup. With a Sagarin rating of 87.37 this week - No. 2 in 4A and 19th in the state overall - EC is coming off a solid 38-7 win over Lawrenceburg to break in the new synthetic turf at Trojan Field last week. Final numbers were deceptive, with the hosts registering only slight advantages in total offense (366-342 yards) and rushing (291-255) and deficits in first downs (16-25), possession time (14:46-33:14) and passing yards (75-87). Each team had one turnover. EC’s physical advantage in the trenches became more apparent as the game wore on, with senior RB Eric Rosemeyer rushing for 196 yards on 11 carries and QB Alex Maxwell running the show for 57 rush yards (8 attempts) and 3 TDs. Maxwell was only 4-10 passing for 75 yards, with a 40-yard bomb to WR David Badescu and Trevor Becker 2-19. LB Kyle Krummen led the D with 10 tackles (2 solo), DB Devon Donawerth had 4 solos and 8 total stops. DB Nathan Griffin grabbed a pick to go with 5 tackles (4 solos).

Oak Hills - Highlanders, despite their 0-10 finish in the Greater Miami Conference basement in 2017, averaged 39 points per game against a nightmare schedule that included Elder, Lakotas East and West, Princeton, Sycamore and Game 10 vs. Colerain. All-GMS wide receiver Jacob Berkemeier, a rangy 6’4” and 195 pounds, who will also run the football, is the top offensive repeater. He led the team with 52 catches for 551 yards (10.6 avg.), 4 TDs last year. Senior QB Ethan Meyers (6’3”, 175), a backup last year was 33-74 for 442 yards passing, 4 TDs, 4 Int. in relief last fall. Junior RB Aaron Frick (5’11”, 165) is the top returning rusher, with 75 carries, 228 yards, 2 TDs in 2017. Senior K Zachary Moeller booted 2 field goals and 16 XPs last year and P Gavin McCarthy averaged 31.5 yards on 10 attempts. Senior OLB Andy Lawson is the top returning tackler on defense (32 stops, 1 sack).

COACHES' QUOTES:

Don Stonefield, East Central (10th year) - "We will need to continue to alignments, assignments and adjustments. This is Ohio's opening week so the unknowns of going to the first game with them are still there. We do have scrimmage film, but no numbers or rosters. So we will need to be flexible. I was very pleased with the kicking game in the Lawrenceburg game. Browndyke is a real weapon that we will need in big games. I thought (OT Cole) Rosfeld and (TE Luke) Collinsworth had outstanding games. Our O-line opened huge holes for Rosemeyer to exploit. Maxwell does what he does, and that is control the offense. The defense played a good solid game, not giving up the big play.. and making Lawrenceburg drive the ball on us. An area where we need continued improvement is situational awareness in long yardage, defensively. Oak Hills plays in the GMC, and they play good football schools. They had several closes losses last year while averaging 39 points a game. They run the spread offense and the 50 defense. They have an all-conference receiver in Jacob Berkemeier who will also rush the football. They will run multiple screens, draws and quick passing game. We will have to play well in all three phases again. Our offense will need to control the game and keep our defense off the field. Special teams will need to win field position and force Oak Hills to drive the field. We have to eliminate negative plays and turnovers on offense. Our defense cannot give up big plays and special teams will have to execute to win the hidden yardage.”