Playoff Capsule: Division I, Region 4

Mason RB Matt Sora (photo by Mitchell Cooke/

The quest to defend the state title begins for St. Xavier. Their journey starts with some nasty foes in the regionals that would like nothing more than to take them out.  Some of them like Fairfield, Sycamore, Colerain would like nothing more than to avenge losses to the Bombers over this past calendar year. Then there is the feel good stories of Milford and West Clermont out of the ECC. The newbies to the party better not be awestruck of the stage versus experienced squads that had playoff wins a year ago.

The ride should be fun. Here is a look at the Division I, Region 4 playoffs:

Regional Quarter-finals
#8 Fairfield (6-4) at #1 St. Xavier (9-1)
#5 Milford (8-2) at # 4 Sycamore (8-2)
#6 West Clermont (7-3) at #3 Mason (8-2)
#7 Moeller (4-6) at #2 Colerain (8-2)

Regional Semi-finals
#8 Fairfield/#1 St. Xavier winner vs. #5 Milford/# 4 Sycamore winner
#6 West Clermont/#3 Mason winner vs. #7 Moeller/#2 Colerain winner

Moeller DL Ryan Mullaney (photo by Mitchell Cooke/

Moeller: (34th appearance, 49-24 overall) – 2017, 2014, 2013 (state champions), 2012 (state champions), 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1997 (state runner-up), 1996, 1993 (state runner-up), 1990, 1989 (state runner-up), 1988, 1985 (state champions), 1984, 1983, 1982 (state champions), 1981 (state runner-up), 1980 (state champions), 1979 (state champions), 1977 (state champions), 1976 (state champions), 1975 (state champions), 1974, 1973

St. Xavier: (24th appearance, 41-20 overall) – 2017, 2016 (State Champions), 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 (Regional Champions), 2010, 2009, 2007 (State Champions), 2006, 2005 (State Champions), 2004, 2002, 2001 (State Runner-up), 2000, 1999, 1998 (State Runner-up), 1997, 1994, 1993, 1992 (State Runner-up), 1987, 1981

Colerain: (20th appearance, 35-18) – 2017, 2016 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006 (Regional Champions), 2005, 2004 (State Champions), 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000 (Regional Champions), 1998, 1995, 1994 (Regional Champions)

Fairfield (ninth appearance, 5-7) – 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2005, 2000, 1999, 1986 (State Champions), 1985

Mason: (ninth appearance, 2-8) – 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011, 2004, 2003, 1999, 1997, 1996

Sycamore: (seventh appearance, 3-6) – 2017, 2016, 2012, 2011, 2007, 2006, 1996

Milford QB Blake King (photo by Bill Kordis)

Milford: (second appearance, 0-1) – 2017, 1986

West Clermont: (first appearance, 0-0) – 2017

Nick Ayers
: (7-3 at West Clermont, first season; 32-30 overall, sixth season)
Tom Bolden (115-19 at Colerain, 11th season; 115-19 overall)
Brian Castner: (41-33 at Mason eighth season: 41-33 overall)
Scott Dattilo (84-44 at Sycamore, 12th season; 101-58 overall, 15th season)
Jason Krause: (39-34 at Fairfield, seventh season; 124-102 overall, 21st season)
Tom Grippa: (8-2 at Milford, first season; 182-101 overall, 27th season)
John Rodenberg: 80-40 at Moeller, 10th season; 157-103 overall)
Steve Specht (128-46 at St. Xavier, 14th season; 128-46 overall)

Two coaches have guided three teams to state titles. Steve Specht has led St. Xavier to the crown three times in his first 13 seasons at the helm. John Rodenberg snared a championship in Kentucky with Covington Catholic (’06) and currently has two at Moeller.

has never lost a first round playoff game. This is the ninth straight season that the Cardinals have had a winning streak of eight games or more.

Since making its first playoff appearance in 1973 (44 years ago), Moeller has never gone more than two years without being in the post season. It has only happened four times in 2015-16, 1994-95, ’91-92 and 1986-87. The Crusaders come limping into the playoffs having lost five of their last six.

St. Xavier has six wins over teams that have a record of .600 or better. The Bombers have beaten four school that have eight victories.

Fairfield hasn’t had a 1,000 yard runner since 2005. The Indians average 221.5 yards per game (5.8/carry) on the ground. Their leading rusher is sophomore Juthan McClain with 705 yards.

Fairfield RB Juthan McClain (photo by Justin Sheldon/

The St. Xavier/Fairfield contest is a rematch of last season first round playoff game. The Bombers went on the road and beat the Indians, 35-14 last year.

The Mason defense heads into the playoffs having shutout their last three opponents. The Comets have held five teams scoreless this season. They gave up a GMC best 9.9 points per game.

This will be the fifth game for West Clermont against a team that has at least eight wins (at this point). The Wolves three losses are all to Division II teams – La Salle, Winton Woods and Anderson who are a combined 26-4 and are also the top three seeds in the Region 8 playoffs.

Sycamore only 64 points in its eight wins. In the Aviators two losses to Colerain (42) and Fairfield (21) they gave 63 points. All of Sycamore’s wins were by 11 points or more.

Milford went 2-2 against Division I schools and 6-0 versus Division II squads. The Eagles gave up 29.0 points per game against their Division I foes and that includes a shutout of Walnut Hills.

Drew Altemuehle
, Sycamore, QB – Over the last four weeks the sophomore has completed 30-38 passes (78.9%) for 756 yards (19.9 yards/att) with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Aviators are 4-0 in that span.

JJ Davis, Colerain, RB – Has amassed 380 yards from scrimmage (267 rushing, 113 receiving) on 21 touches with five touchdowns in the last three games.

St. Xavier DL Bobby Jefferson (photo by Greg Shoemaker/

Bobby Jefferson, St. Xavier, DL – Recorded five sacks, 25 total tackles with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his past five contests.

Blake King
, Milford, QB – In the last six games King has thrown at least two touchdown passes and accounted for four or more scores on four occassions. The senior has accounted for 23 total touchdowns (15 passing, eight rushing) in that span.

Austin Maham, West Clermont, RB – The transfer from Batavia has run for 110 yards or more in each of his last five starts. The Wolves are 5-0 in those affairs.

Ryan Mullaney, Moeller, DL – The junior has 10 sacks over his last five games. He has 14.5 sacks on the season.

Matt Sora, Mason, RB – Has run for at least one touchdown in 12 of his last 13 games. The senior has 36 career rushing touchdowns.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login