SBAAC Week 4: Battle of unbeatens highlight schedule

By Mark Huber -

Five Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference football teams are still unbeaten as the high school football season heads into Week 4 – Clinton-Massie, Batavia and Goshen in the American Division, and Fayetteville-Perry and Bethel-Tate in the National Division.

Two of those teams face off this week in non-conference action – Bethel-Tate at Batavia 7 p.m. Friday.

The week begins 7 p.m. Thursday when Clermont Northeastern visits St. Bernard.

The 7 p.m. Friday games, other than Bethel-Tate at Batavia, include Blanchester at Wilmington, East Clinton at McClain, Clinton-Massie at Miami Trace, Norwood at Goshen, New Richmond at Talawanda, Hillcrest at Fayetteville-Perry and Williamsburg at Hillsboro.

Jackson will visit Western Brown for a 7:30 p.m. Friday kickoff.

Bethel-Tate (3-0) at Batavia (3-0)

This matchup could be huge for these teams chances to make the post-season. The winner will gain valuable playoff points.

Bethel-Tate coach Jeff Essig knows his Div. V Tigers will have their hands full with the Div. IV Bulldogs.

“They will try to put our defense to sleep with the run and try to surprise us with the pass,” Essig said of the Wing-T offense used by BHS. “The defense for Batavia is strong up front and they use a variety of skill players to defend the pass.”

Will Scaggs is one of the top players in all phases for the game for Batavia, Essig said. “He does it all for them,” the Bethel-Tate coach said.

As for his squad, Essig said the defense continues to improve each week.

“Our players are beginning to understand the importance of executing our schemes and the staff is putting them in places to help our defense be successful,” Essig said.

Bradley Lewis is leading the Cincinnati area in quarterback sacks with six, Essig said.

On offense, Seth Becker is second in Cincinnati with 989 yards passing while Cooper Dunn leads the area with 490 yards receiving.

Norwood (2-1) at Goshen (3-0)

Goshen head coach Ryan George said the 2-1 Indians are solid in all phases of the game. The offense is balanced with a versatile quarterback at the helm. The offensive line is big, George said. The defense for Norwood is aggressive.

Norwood is 2-1 but has won its last two meetings. The Indians lost to Madeira 28-10 in the opener then defeated Woodward 48-19 and Taylor 44-7.

The Warriors defense has provided plenty of punch in the team’s 3-0 start. George said his squad has five interceptions returned for touchdowns along with a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a safety.

“We still have plenty of room for improvement, though,” he said.

Hillcrest (1-2) at Fayetteville (3-0)

Hillcrest is the fourth and final Div. VII team the Rockets will play. So far, so good for Fayetteville-Perry who is 3-0.

“They have a lot of speed on both sides of the ball,” FPHS coach Kevin Finch said.

Finch said Hillcrest will bring pressure on defense and tend to throw it more on offense. The special teams has big-play ability.

Finch said his squad has improved its ball security from the beginning of the season, as well as taking care of the hidden yardage aspect of special teams play.

Both sides of the line played well – Dalton Novak, Nate Fisher, Mark Wolfer, Drew Hendrix, James Kleemeyer.

Finch would like to see his defense create more turnovers.

Williamsburg (1-2) at Hillsboro (2-1)

Williamsburg head coach Scott Lefker admits his feisty Wildcats will have an uphill battle against the Indians Friday night.

“Very big and seasoned team (Hillsboro) against a small and very young team (Williamsburg),” Lefker said. “This week we will have two seniors, two juniors and seven sophomores starting on offense. We will probably give up close to 1,000 pounds.”

Hillsboro is coming off a big win over East Clinton while Williamsburg was defeated by Goshen last week.

“We are showing improvement at every position every week,” Lefker said. “Even with a bad loss to Goshen we escaped relatively injury-free and upbeat looking forward to getting better.”

Jackson (3-0) at Western Brown (1-2)

Jackson, who along with South Central Ohio League defectors is a member of the newly formed Frontier Athletic Conference, provides the opposition for the Broncos.

WB head coach Don Sizer said Jackson is a physical team and well-coached.

Western Brown has improved its focus and preparation through three weeks of the season, Sizer said. The team is coming off its first win, 22-21 over Ross.

Jackson has outscored its three opponents 100-7 this season.

New Richmond (2-1) at Talawanda (0-3)

The Lions will make the lengthy trek to Oxford to meet the Talawanda Braves. After stubbing its toe in the opener against Indian Hill (28-19), New Richmond has reeled off two straight wins, 54-0 over Taylor and 42-14 over Monroe.

Lions head coach Patrick Burke said his squad’s offensive line has shown improvement from Week 1. The line is anchored by Dan Troxell and Nick Sanchez.

As for the Braves, Burke said New Richmond will face a team that plays hard and competes on every down. Talawanda will run a balanced offense and an attacking defense against the Lions.

Clermont NE (2-1) at St Bernard (0-3)

The Rockets will look to get back on the winning track against winless St. Bernard. CNE lost to Batavia 41-36 in a shootout. It was the first loss of the year for the Rockets.

By Mark Huber

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

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