Week 11 Preview: East Clinton at Roger Bacon


Roger Bacon is about as balanced an offense as you’ll see in today’s high school football.

The Spartans passed 199 times while running the ball 214 times.

East Clinton head coach Steve Olds is worried less about the how and more with the who when it comes to Roger Bacon.

“I’m more concerned about the level of talent that Roger Bacon has than the scheme they are running,” Olds said.

The Spartans and Astros will square off in the first round of the Division V Region 20 playoffs. Kickoff for the post-season tilt is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at Roger Bacon High School.

”The boys are excited about the opportunity to play in Week 11 and are looking forward to getting a taste of the playoff atmosphere,” said Olds. “They’ve put a lot of hard work into getting here so it’s nice to see them rewarded for their efforts.

“We are a little banged up but we are hoping to get some of those guys back this week. It’s going to come down to how they respond to treatment (prior to the game). It’s also a playoff game, so some of them will just have to gut it out on Saturday.”

Roger Bacon, a member of the Miami Valley Conference, finished 7-2 this season, losing only to unbeaten Badin (30-17) and one-loss McNicholas (31-6). The Spartans have a win over Region 20 No. 1 seed Cincinnati Taft (24-20) in the season opener.

The Spartans are led by running back Jah’Mal Hutsell, a 5-6, 170-pound dynamo who had a 126-890-19 rushing line this season. He also caught 27 passes for 270 yards and two more scores. Olds said Hutsell is “the best we have faced all season” among running backs. But this is a team that is much more than Hutsell.

”Roger Bacon is clearly well-coached and their talent jumps off the screen,” said Olds. “They will spread you out and get their athletes the ball in space. It will be important that we tackle well and keep the play in front of us. Defensively, we think they will give us a 50 (look) and load the box to stop our run game. We are going to have to make some plays in the passing game to loosen that box up if we are to be successful.

“Part of the beauty of high school football is that you may have to prepare for a Wing T team like Williamsburg one week, then a spread team like Bethel-Tate the next. And we’ve faced a little bit of everything this year, so I believe we’ll be ready for the different styles of play that the postseason may offer.”

East Clinton was a run-heavy team this season. The Astros passed the ball 102 times while running the ball 327 times for 1,957 yards. Jared Smith and Isaiah Conger combined for 263 rushes, 1,579 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground.


• Mariemont or Blanchester awaits the Roger Bacon-East Clinton winner in the second round of the playoffs. In the other quarter bracket on the bottom half of Region 20, is Preble Shawnee, Greenon, Brookville and Williamsburg. The upper bracket is Taft, Madeira, Purcell Marian, Springfield Shawnee, Reading, Carlisle, Versailles and Summit Country Day.

• Roger Bacon played five playoff teams on its 2021 schedule, going 3-2. Those teams were Taft, Badin, McNicholas, Purcell Marian and Summit Country Day. East Clinton had five playoff teams on its schedule — Minford, Bethel-Tate, Williamsburg, Fayetteville-Perry and Blanchester.

• The Spartans played two Division III teams, two Div. IV teams, five Division V teams and one Div. VII team (Newport Central Catholic from Kentucky). The Astros played three Div. IV teams, four Div. V teams, one Div. VI team and two Div. VII teams.

• Bacon kicker Dylan Rolfert had eight field goals to go along with 36 extra points this season as one of the best kickers in the area.

• Kyle Guyer caught five touchdown passes among his 16 receptions while returning four kickoffs for touchdowns among just six returns.

East Clinton coaches Nick Anderson and Bryan Floyd along with Max Crowe (25) celebrate a win in Week 7 over Fayetteville-Perry.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/10/web1_FB7_ecWin1001mel-3.jpgEast Clinton coaches Nick Anderson and Bryan Floyd along with Max Crowe (25) celebrate a win in Week 7 over Fayetteville-Perry. Melony Arnold | News Journal File Photo
Loaded Spartans host Astros in first round of playoffs Saturday night

By Mark Huber

[email protected]

Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports

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