Week 5 previews: Reigning OHC champions square off


JAMESTOWN — Last season’s battle in the playoffs saw Greeneview come up just short playing at Mechanicsburg for the second time that season.

The Rams now get to welcome one of the state’s top squads to Don Nock Field when the two OHC division champions from 2021 meet up once again.

Mechanicsburg’s will make the trip to Jamestown not just unbeaten this year, but currently holding a 20-game winning streak in regular season games dating back to 2019. The Indians this week were voted the No. 2-ranked team in the state’s Division VII AP poll.

Both schools last season competed in D-VI, but Greeneview has since moved up to D-V and Mechanicsburg has dropped to D-VII.

Greeneview wants to keep the ball in Cole DeHaven’s hands and he shows the toughness needed to play in any division. He’s only completed 51 percent of his throws, but is averaging 7.1 yards on the ground with far and away the most attempts on the team and has scored eight touchdowns. Last year he created all three of Greeneview’s trips to the endzone in the playoff meeting.

On the defensive side, Cooper Payton has been a standout defender in the county. His 46 total tackles is more than double any other Rams player and is keeping him in the hunt for the OHC lead. Payton is assisted by Jarrod Mays and Cohen Hickman, who may not fill up the stat sheets each game, but require the focus of opposing lineman.

Mechanicsburg has been relatively unchallenged since its week one win at Kenton Ridge. They have scored 25 total touchdowns, second most in the OHC, and similarly to Greeneview are led by their quarterback.

Jayden Roland is the team’s leading rusher in addition to his passing duties and is responsible for 11 of his team’s trips to the endzone, which includes a fumble return on defense.

The Indians don’t pass often, but are efficient when they do as eight of the team’s 20 completions have ended with six points being scored. Kailen Butler has done it on five of his eight receptions.

The ground game is equally impressively with all eight ball carriers this season averaging no fewer than five yards per carry. In addition to Roland, Gabe Hursey and Charlie Bradford have both scored five times and have combined to rush for 422 yards on 52 attempts.

Mechanicsburg has also only punted three times and has yet to attempt a field goal this season, a possible advantage for the Rams as their kicker Sean Leonard is perfect on extra points and three-point kicks combined. Leonard also set the school record for a field goal make last week when he knocked one through from 48 yards.

Xenia at Greenville

A road trip with the potential of a trap game presents itself this week to the Buccaneers. One week fresh from its big win against Piqua, a home game against Tippecanoe is awaiting next week.

Four of the top 1o rushers in the MVL will take the field together Friday night. Greenville’s Brock Short is the league leader averaging 205 yards and is coming off a five touchdown game at Fairborn. He has gained over 250 yards three times in his high school career, including once over 400 yards.

Xenia held Short to one of his lowest totals of the season in last year’ meeting.

He’s opposed by the Xenia trio of Trei’Shaun Sanders, Ramon Browder and Elijah Johnson who all are producing at least 7.5 yards per carry to lead the MVL’s top rushing and offensive attack.

The Green Wave are 0-4, but are coming off consecutive losses by just one point each.

Cedarville at West Liberty Salem

These two teams have taken different road to get to the same 2-2 records they’ll bring in.

It’s been an up and down run for WLS this season with all four of its games ended within one score. Losses at Graham by three and Catholic Central by seven in overtime have been mixed in with two one-point wins against Benjamin Logan and at Greenon last week.

For Cedarville, the opposite has been true with none of its winning margins being closer than 16 points. Along with a 48-point win, the Indians have followed it up with 24 and 29-point losses.

Gabe McGill is one of the best players in the OHC. He is the league’s second leading rusher on offense, while being tied for the lead in tackles on defense along with teammate Josh Wilcoxon.

Jackson Pyles has stayed the course as one of the area’s most accurate passers, completing exactly two-thirds of his 96 attempts for Cedarville while averaging 175 yards.

Fairborn at Troy

Late game perseverance paid off for the Skyhawks last week to get win No. 1. JT Smith was a big part of the win and a Fairborn squad showing considerable improvement from last season.

Troy also had a nice response to recent losses with a win against Stebbins last week. Jahari Ward has been a bowling ball to lead the offense. Logan Ullery could be troublesome for Fairborn’s league leading passing game, as he has five interceptions already this year.

Bellbrook at Franklin

Franklin is only 1-3 but it has come by playing a difficult non-league slate. Bellbrook has relied on its defense to help produce close wins and it could be the case once more this week with two teams who run the ball a lot matching up.

A good defensive unit for Franklin is lead by Tyler Murray who has four tackles for loss to go with three sacks. The Wildcats’ offense has struggled to produce chunk plays and uses a committee of running backs, led by Rylan Monk.

Springfield at Beavercreek

Springfield is ranked No. 6 in D-I and look the part. Bryce Schondelmyer leads the GWOC with 273 passing yards per game and has talented wide receivers to throw at in Daylen Bradley and Anthony Brown, who is committed to Kentucky.

The defense is just as strong of a unit. Aaron Scott, being recruited by Ohio State and Kentucky, has three interceptions to lead the team. Jaivian Norman is the top tackler and heading to Eastern Michigan.

Carroll at Talawanda

Cale Leitch and Hayden Marcum team up as a potent passing duo which is putting points on the board despite its winless record.

Caleb Dillhoff is a strong pass rusher with two sacks and 4.5 tacles for loss to go with his 32 total tackles.

Week 5 rankings

1. Xenia

2. Bellbrook

3. Greeneview

4. Cedarville

5. Fairborn

6. Beavercreek

7. Carroll

This photo from the 2021 playoff game between Greeneview and Mechanicsburg shows Rams players diving on a loose ball late in the game. After playing twice in Mechanicsburg last season, the two teams will meet up in Jamestown on Friday.
https://www.fairborndailyherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/50/2022/09/web1_webDSC_0365_edited.jpgThis photo from the 2021 playoff game between Greeneview and Mechanicsburg shows Rams players diving on a loose ball late in the game. After playing twice in Mechanicsburg last season, the two teams will meet up in Jamestown on Friday. Steven Wright | Greene County News

By Steven Wright

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Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

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