HS Football Week 6 Previews: Fairborn, Xenia to play for Clifton/Sphar trophy


FAIRBORN — The fifth iteration of the Clifton/Spahr Memorial Trophy game will take place Friday when Xenia makes the trip to Fairborn.

The two teams both are coming off a loss, but in a way are seeing their seasons head in opposite directions.

Xenia (4-1) saw its 14-game winning streak in regular season play snapped a week ago, but the Bucs are still one of the favorites finish atop the Miami Valley League standings thanks to an opportunistic defense. They’re also in line to get potentially earn another home game in postseason play.

Fairborn has hit road blocks in its past two games after performing well in the first few weeks of the season. The Skyhawks have trailed by at least five touchdowns in both contests and still struggle to throw the ball, not yet having eclipsed the 100-yard mark in a game. Fairborn (1-4) has converted only 16 percent of its chances on third down.

Xenia’s Elijah Johnson regained his lead atop the MVL’s rushing leaders with his first game of more than 200 yards last week. It’s Fairborn’s one-two punch of Jay Kidd and J. T. Smith that both rank in the top-10 though, as the duo have more than half of the total offense for the Skyhawks and have scored all but one of the team’s touchdowns this season.

The rivals will be meeting for the final time at Memorial Stadium. Xenia holds a 3-1 edge in the trophy series, is the winner of the last two and the inaugural game in 2019, with Fairborn’s win coming in 2020.

Wayne (4-1) at Beavercreek (2-3)

Beavercreek has only scored three total points in its last four GWOC games dating back to last season. It has been 16 straight league games of allowing at least 30 points. The losing streak is up to 31 in league games.

Wayne has only played one game which didn’t end within one score. The Warriors have scored the most points in the GWOC and have also allowed the most.

Edgewood (1-4) at Bellbrook (2-3)

No SWBL Southwestern team is above .500 entering divisional play, but no team’s schedule has been easy either. Edgewood has faced teams ranked No. 1 in Division IV, No. 2 in D-III, and No. 7 in D-I in this week’s state AP polls.

Bellbrook has still outscored opponents by 31 points this season despite its record.

Carroll (2-3) at Alter (3-2)

Carroll will need its defense to catch up to its offense in order to secure a playoff spot. The Patriots haven’t allowed fewer than three touchdowns in any game this season.

Alter was able to beat a solid Bellbrook team last week with less than 200 yards of offense and gave good teams from Fairmont and Trotwood all they could handle.

Madison Plains (1-4) at Cedarville (4-1)

Cedarville starts its journey to try and win the Ohio Heritage Conference South Division for the first time. The Indians are the highest scoring team in the division and have allowed the fewest points of any OHC team through the first half of the season.

The Indians have won this matchup the previous two seasons. Madison Plains only win this season has come by four at Triad.

Nearly 80 percent of the team’s offense this season has been produced via the ground attack, with Peyton Smith and Maverick Webb getting the bulk of the carries. They have combined to score six of the team’s eight touchdowns.

Greeneview (2-3) at Greenon (0-5)

A season-high 260 rushing yards a week ago got the top rushing attack in the county off its three-game losing skid. These two sides have combined to win the South Division the last six seasons with Greeneview getting four of those titles.

Greenon has only scored multiple times in a game once this season. The team is averaging only 117 yards of offense per game

Weekly Rankings

1. Xenia

2. Cedarville

3. Bellbrook

4. Greeneview

5. Carroll

6. Beavercreek

7. Fairborn

See the current OHSAA computer rankings after week five.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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