Preview: Colerain at Princeton

The Colerain Cardinals have owned the GMC for years and are favored to win the conference again in 2019, but there are a ton of talented teams that stand in their way and they are sure to get a challenge each week.

The next challenger that will look to derail the perennial league champs will be the Princeton Vikings as they welcome Colerain in this week’s Blitz 5 Game of the Week.

Both teams have already dropped a contest early on this season. The Cardinals lost to St. Xavier in Week 2 in a hard-fought contest. The Vikings fell short in their league opener last week at Sycamore. There will be plenty on the line when the lights come on this Friday night.

Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Viking Stadium, Pat Macuso Field
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Vikings are loaded with Division I talent and have plenty of players on the roster that we will be watching on Saturdays in the very near future. Among them are a pair of Ohio State commits, OL Parris Johnson and DL Darrion Henry, who are in the conversation as the best players at their respective positions across Southwest Ohio. Senior quarterback MyJaden Horton enters the week third in the GMC in rushing yards with 307 yards and three touchdowns on 47 attempts.

Dual-threat quarterback Freddie Johnson has shown some growth early on in his junior campaign for the Cardinals. He’s completed 7-of-13 passes for 142 yards and a pair of touchdowns and netted 87 yards and three more touchdowns on 23 carries. Colerain is anchored up front by three-year starter Ace Ehrenschwender. Classmates DL Donovan Owens and WR/DB Deshawn Pace are two of the team’s top playmakers defensively.

TEAM TRENDS: Princeton hasn’t won a league title outright since 1993. The Vikings shared the GMC crown with Colerain in 1998 and 2003. The Cardinals have won the conference or shared the title in each of the last 19 seasons.

Defensively, Princeton has given up just 20 points on the year. Dating back to last season, four of the Vikings last six games have been decided by three points or less. They are 1-3 in those affairs.

Colerain allowed 14 points to Oak Hills last week in a 31-point win. It marked the 20th time since 2016 across 24 conference games in which the Cardinals allowed 14 points or less.

COLERAIN’S KEYS TO VICTORY: The Cardinals’ script to victory is to move the chains and grind it out on the ground. There is some inexperience on the offensive side of the ball for Colerain, so they’ll need their young guys to step up. On defense, the Cardinals have the ability to put pressure on the quarterback. Forcing the issue could lead Princeton into some costly mistakes.

PRINCETON’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Closing out close games has been a weakness for the Vikings. Being the tougher team mentally in the fourth quarter is a must for Princeton. If they can get out to an early lead, it would go a long way towards throwing Colerain off his game plan and force them to go outside of their comfort zone. The Vikings will likely need to win the battle of turnovers to win this game.

Prediction: COLERAIN 21, PRINCETON 17

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