XENIA — The first of two end-of-season showdowns in Miami Valley League play arrives for Xenia this week.
The Bucs are in first-place in the Valley Division, a game up on Stebbins and Sidney, which are two teams they have yet to play.
Up first is a road game at Stebbins, coming off a shutout at Fairborn a week after a costly forfeit in the standings due to COVID issues.
Stebbins has the leading passing offense in the MVL. Nate Keller and Adrian Norton are the top passer-receiver yardage duo in the league and lead both categories, respectively.
Keller has thrown 17 touchdowns to six interceptions, which could prove to be an advantage for Xenia’s defense. Junior Tremell Wright leads the MVL with five interceptions, and sophomore Trenton Lee has three.
Dalton King has seven sacks on defense for Stebbins, tied with Xenia’s Jamell Smith.
Trei’Shaun Sanders bounced back for the Bucs with his fourth 100-yard rushing game in the win against Vandalia-Butler last week.
Both teams will face Sidney in the final two weeks, meaning the division title is coming down to the outcome of these matchups.
Around the county:
Greeneview (3-4) at Cedarville (0-7)
Greeneview is currently at the top of a tight grouping for the final spots in the postseason in a Division VI, Region 24 race that will surely see some reordering through the final three weeks.
The Rams enter the Battle of 72 with a 2-0 record in the OHC South Division and have had both wins come via shutouts.
Cedarville has failed to reach double digits in five games this season and was also shut out last week. The combination of Cedarville’s offensive woes and Greeneview’s defensive prowess could lead to a long night for the home team.
Greeneview junior Rylan Hurst has turned it on the last two weeks, combining to rush for 248 yards and three touchdowns in the two games.
Cedarville senior Max Pollander remains the team leader in passing and rushing yardage running an option offense. Sophomore Jackson Miller, along with Pollander, are both among the OHC leaders in tackles.
The Rams have won the last seven meetings.
Miamisburg (4-3) at Beavercreek (0-7)
Despite a winless season thus far, Beavercreek still has a chance at a postseason berth within the 18-team D-I, R2 mixture, but wins are needed fast.
After a rough outing against one of the top teams in the state last week, the Beavers welcome a Vikings squad that has lost three of its last four games.
Justin Barry is fourth in the GWOC in passing yards for Miamisburg, with Jackson McGohan tied for second in receiving yardage.
Christian Davis is the team’s primary rushing option, but five different Miamisburg players have run for more than 100 total yards this season.
Beavercreek senior Joe Darrah remains close to the league lead in both tackles and sacks on defense.
Oakwood (3-4) at Bellbrook (5-2)
Bellbrook has a lot on its plate to play for over the final three weeks.
The Golden Eagles are ranked No. 5 in this week’s rankings for D-III, R12, putting them in position to potentially gain two home games in the postseason with a top-4 finish.
The team also is 3-1 in Southwestern Buckeye League play and a chance at a league title remains.
At 3-1, Bellbrook is a half game behind Monroe (3-0) in the East Division, which is next week’s opponent. Over in the West Division, Eaton (4-0) remains unbeaten but still has to play second-place Valley View (3-1) as well.
Oakwood’s Adam Polacko is in the top-five in both passing and rushing yards for SWBL players. Cade Zonin leads the league in tackles, and Max Parker is tied for the most interceptions.
Carroll at McNicholas, Fairborn at Sidney
Both of these scheduled games were canceled this week due to COVID-related issues with Carroll and Fairborn.
County rankings after seven weeks:
Players of the week
Offensive: Seth Borondy, Bellbrook. The senior put up another monster game with 270 rushing yards on only 10 carries and scored four touchdowns. And he did not play in the second half.
Defensive: Tremell Wright, Xenia. While also having an impressive game on offense, the junior made nine tackles and two interceptions against Butler.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.