Best Bets: Week 8

Garrett Patterson (2) and Gi’Bran Payne (3) celebrate a La Salle TD (photo by James Bates/

Week 7 was one for the history books. We saw incredible upsets, teams solidifying their status as conference and state championship contenders, and even special teams being the deciding factor in multiple games. With only three weeks to go we are reaching the climax of the regular season. With computer points coming at a premium, every game for every team is crucial, the season now depends on it. Here are the matchups to look out for in this week’s edition of the Best Bets.

The Bombers are mortal! Yes, after weeks of rightfully praising St.X, they lost at home to Louisville Trinity 33-32 in Week 7. The Bombers were gashed through the air and on the ground, allowing 453 total yards and they lost the time of possession battle 29 to 18. Senior playmaker Charles Kellum continued his excellent play, running for 112 yards and tallying 94 receiving yards and three total touchdowns. 

This loss now opens the door wide open for the Division I title picture. There is no reason for the Bombers to panic, but now there is a formula to beating the team we were talking about being historically great just a week ago. 

The Lancers have been going through tough times as well, losing two straight games by a combined score of 63-21. The Lancers have been good at stopping the run even in their losses, allowing under 100 yards per game, although their secondary has been gashed for 779 yards the past two weeks, 389 yards per game. Offensively, this team just hasn’t gotten enough out of the quarterback position and senior Gi’Bran Payne is still struggling seven games into the season.  

For the Lancers to have any chance at winning this game they must stop the Bomber passing attack. St. Xavier is at their best when signal caller Brogan McCaughey throws for multiple touchdowns. The Lancers must also force some turnovers and get more production out of Mason Mattingly. If he doesn’t improve his play, the Lancers have a very low ceiling come playoff time. 

Overall, the Bombers now have a chip on their shoulder and will come out angry. The urgency to clinch an outright GCL South title will be enough to help shake off last week’s tough loss. The Lancers are used to these kinds of opponents, but their inconsistencies on both sides of the ball will cost them for the third game in a row.

The Warriors dropped nine spots in this week’s Blitz 5 Top 25 after a tough loss to Anderson last week. The offense played a fairly solid game overall and scored 21 points. Their playmaker Tyreke Spikes made things happen, but to everyone’s surprise, the defense didn’t hold up their end. The Warrior defense gave up 285 yards through the air and 131 on the ground. The rushing yards are extremely alarming especially with an Anderson team that normally has no interest in running the ball. 

The Spartans come into this game 6-1 and winners of their last three contests. This is a well-balanced team that can regularly pass successfully and rush for 200 yards per game. Senior quarterback Will Schulok has been leading the charge, completing 75 percent of his passes and accounting for eight touchdowns. Senior running back Keenan Alcade leads the ECC with 922 rushing yards. 

Turpin’s schedule has been anything but superior though. They have taken care of the teams we all expected them to. Although against Loveland they struggled defensively and Little Miami had success against them as well. Now we will see how good this team really is starting with the Warriors this week, then going to Kings, followed by the season finale against Anderson. 

Don’t expect Winton Woods to play that poorly again on defense. They will look to stop the Turpin running game and force Schulok to be a passer. Winton Woods needs to continue to feed Spikes, but also get some other playmakers involved to diversify the offense. Both teams come into this game with a lot of questions that still need to be answered.

The ECC has another great showdown on Friday night between two ranked squads as the Eagles welcome the Raptors.

Anderson is riding high after a 28-21 win over Winton Woods. They proved a lot of doubters by defeating a team they were underdogs against. This offense is incredibly dangerous through the air, but last week had 130 yards on the ground which completely adds another dimension to an already high-flying unit. The defense also played well enough to keep them in the game last week, which is all they need. 

The Eagles are an easy team to get excited about, but it’s hard not to see the blowout losses against high level competition. Yes, the Week 4 win against Turpin was extremely impressive, but that is more anomaly than a norm. Like Anderson did a week ago, Milford needs to show they can step up when it matters most against more formidable opponents. 

Expect another big game from the tandem of Griffin Scalf and Joey Faulkner, and also look for Anderson to continue using Scalf in the running game. Milford’s opponent answered the call last week, now we see if they will in a crucial Week 8 matchup.

Jumping into some Northern Kentucky action, the Cougars are playing excellent football right now as they’ve won four in a row. Last week’s 21-13 win over Highlands stands out as the defense suffocated a solid Bluebirds’ offense. 

Cooper comes into this game having only played five games with a 3-2 record. They have lost two of their last three games, but got back on track last week with a big 51-13 win over Madison Consolidated a week ago. In their three wins, the Jaguars averaged 33 points per game, that number dips to 19 in their losses. This team is at their best moving the football and scoring points.

Conner is well balanced, but are at their best when the defense is leading to offense. In their two losses this season, they gave up outputs of 40 and 42. In their wins, nobody scored more than 13 points. Conner comes into this game with experience and momentum, but Copper has rest on their side. A big turnover or special teams play could ultimately be the deciding factor in what should be a highly-contested game.

Make sure to check out the COMPLETE PREVIEW for this week’s featured game on the Blitz 5 Tour, No. 21 Wyoming at Mariemont.

Here are some other games for teams ranked inside the Blitz 5 Top 25:

Middletown at No. 2 Lakota West
No. 14 Sycamore at No. 3 Princeton
Cleveland St. Ignatius at No. 4 Moeller (Saturday)
No. 5 Lakota East at Oak Hills
Indianapolis Roncalli at No. 6. Elder
No. 8 Colerain at No. 16 Hamilton
No. 9 Kings at Loveland
No. 13 Mason at No. 15 Fairfield
No. 20 Badin at Chaminade-Julienne
Harrison at No. 22 Ross
Carroll at No. 23 McNicholas

No. 11 Beechwood at Holy Cross

No. 10 East Central at Guerin Catholic
No. 24 Lawrenceburg at Connersville



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