6 wins, 6 losses for SBAAC football in Week 1

The 12 football playing Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference schools were split right down the middle in week, winning six games and losing six games.

There were three teams in each division that won their openers, meaning there were three teams in each division that went 0-1 to start the year.

Generally speaking, offense wasn’t a problem for most teams. The 12 schools averaged nearly 37 points. The six winners were strong on defense, allowing just 55 total points. The six that lost surrendered an average of 45 points.

This week’s SBAAC games include Batavia at East Clinton (previewed elsewhere), Bethel-Tate at St. Bernard, Wilmington at Greenville (previewed elsewhere), Mariemont at Blanchester (previewed elsewhere), Coldwater at Clinton-Massie (previewed elsewhere), Goshen at Hillsboro, Taylor at New Richmond, Beaver Eastern at Clermont Northeastern, Jefferson at Fayetteville-Perry, Paint Valley at Williamsburg and Little Miami at Western Brown.

All games kick-off at 7 p.m. Friday, unless otherwise noted.

Bethel-Tate at St Bernard, 7 pm Thursday

In what could be called the Matt Koenig Bowl, Bethel-Tate travels to St. Bernard for a rare Thursday night kickoff. Koenig is currently the athletic director at St. Bernard after serving as the Bethel-Tate AD for several years.

The Tigers won big 47-22 over Waynesville to begin the year. Western Brown transfer Seth Becker passed for 380 yards and four touchdowns while running for 65 yards and two scores. Cooper Dunn caught eight passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns.

“Week 1 was a great debut for our offense,” head coach Jeff Essig said.

Essig liked the fact that eight different players touched the ball on offense while rolling up 535 total yards.

Both teams have a short week of practice in preparation for the Thursday contest. St. Bernard lost to Shroder 41-0 to start the 2017 campaign.

“St. Bernard has players who play hard,” said Essig. “They have a good running quarterback complemented with a nice pair of running backs. Thursday night will be their ‘home opener’ and I am expecting their fans to be into the game from the start. On offense they will run the ball and try to catch you biting on play action. Defensively they fly to the football. It was very rare on film not to see all 11 players around the football when they were on defense.”

Goshen at Hillsboro

The Warriors scored 49 points in the first quarter and never looked back in a 56-9 win over Holy Cross (Ky.).

“We got out to a fast start and just took care of business,” said GHS head coach Ryan George. “We need to keep getting better at the things we do.”

The next step in that process is Friday at Hillsboro’s Richards Memorial Field.

“They are a really good football team in all phases of the game,” George said of the Jack O’Rourke-coached Indians. “I really like their quarterback (Mason Swayne), tough kid that leads the team. Their full back is a load and all their backs run hard. Their offensive line is very good. Defensively, they swarm to the football.”

Hillsboro defeated Western Brown 55-34 to open O’Rourke’s second season in Highland County.

Taylor at New Richmond

New Richmond head coach Patrick Burke saw a lot of good things from his Lions in a season-opening 28-19 loss to Indian Hill. However, the Lions made too many mistakes to overcome a solid Braves squad.

“‘We shot ourselves in the foot too many times to win the game,” said Burke. “We beat our self Friday night.”

New Richmond had 11 penalties for 105 yards, including three personal foul miscues on third down.

The Lions were able to the move ball with Josh Anderson throwing for 217 yards and three scores to three different receivers. But NR gained just 103 yards on the ground on 39 attempts and 51 of those yards came on one run by Anderson.

This week, Taylor visits New Richmond. The Yellow Jackets lost to Indiana power Lawrenceburg 37-0 in the opener.

“Taylor competes hard and swarms to the football,” Burke said. “They want to run the ball but the circumstances (of the game) have made them throw more than they would like. They have some big, physical linemen who block well in the run game.”

Burke said Taylor quarterback Max Fries must be contained. “He throws a good ball and is pretty athletic; if given time he can make things happen,” Burke said.

Beaver Eastern at Clermont NE

The Rockets defense dominated in last week’s 42-6 win over Clark Montessori in the season opener.

The Cougars totaled -12 yards rushing and turned the ball over three times.

This week, CNE gets Beaver Eastern, a 22-6 winner in Week 1 against Millersport.

Jefferson at Fayetteville

In a game against former league rival Manchester, Fayetteville-Perry opened the 2017 season with a 20-12 victory. This will be the first season of competition for the Rockets as a football-only member of the SBAAC National Division.

“The first game was a win against a rival, so anytime you can accomplish that during the first week of the season it is a success,” said Fayetteville-Perry head coach Kevin Finch. “We ran the ball well and the defense played extremely well as the players were taking pride in pursuing to the ball.”

The Rockets head coach liked his squad’s coming together in the closely-contested game.

“The players stepped up as a team and picked each other up during difficult situations at times,” he said. “We need to clean up some small things within the game and especially some moments during special teams.”

Jefferson Township out of Dayton provides the opposition this week for FPHS. The Broncos were defeated by Tri-Village 45-0 last week.

“Jefferson is a young squad that has improved their numbers since last year.” Finch said. “We will have to tackle well in the open field and try to limit their big plays while staying somewhat balanced on offense.”

Paint Valley at Williamsburg

Williamsburg coach Scott Lefker said his young Wildcats — nine players made their varsity debut — made their share of mistakes. However, on offense WHS was able to move the ball.

“We won time of possession and first downs, just made mistakes and put ourselves in too many bad positions,” he said.

Wyatt Lefker, per stats on the SBAAC website, rushed for 100 yards on 16 attempts in a 35-6 loss to Batavia.

Paint Valley is up next for the Wildcats. Paint Valley defeated Columbus Africentric 21-6 last week.

“A very well-coached, disciplined team,” Lefker said. “We are going to have to eliminate the mistakes and penalties from last week to be competitive.”

Little Miami at Western Brown, 730 pm Friday

In one of last week’s many offensive shootouts, Western Brown lost a wild one 55-34 to Hillsboro to begin the season.

The Broncos trailed 35-7 at halftime and simply didn’t have enough firepower to overtake the Indians. Head coach Don Sizer, a Wilmington College graduate, said special teams and defense were the main culprits in the loss.

Josh Taylor passed for 379 and five touchdowns, mostly in the second half of the blowout loss. Wyatt Fischer caught two touchdowns and had 171 yards on eight receptions for WB.

This week, Sizer and Co. face another high-powered offensive team as Little Miami visits Mt. Orab. The Panthers defeated West Carrollton 42-0 last week.

Sizer said Little Miami is athletic and well-coached. The Panthers held the Pirates to 49 total yards last week.

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By Mark Huber


Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email mhuber@wnewsj.com or on Twitter @wnjsports