October 9, 2014

Springfield @ Beavercreek — Both teams began Central play with losses on the road, Springfield falling at Wayne 53-14 and Beavercreek losing at Northmont 41-26.  Beavercreek continues to boast the top rushing attack in the GWOC, averaging 289 yards on the ground per game.  The Beavers are lead by Tim Bradshaw, Stone Kincer, and Logan Turben who have combined for 1,429 yards rushing so far on the season.  Bradshaw is the 4th leading rusher in the GWOC, despite missing a game with injury early in the season.  Offensively, Springfield is a pass-first offense, which may test the Beavers’ defense that has been prone to giving up the big play this year and ranks 16th in the GWOC in pass defense.  If the Beavers can avoid early turnovers, they have a chance to control the pace of this game and to put together back-to-back wins at home.  Beavercreek has won 3 straight against Springfield, with the Wildcats’ last victory (34-10) coming in 2010 behind current Alabama linebacker Tre DePriest.

Northmont @ Centerville — Northmont (3-3) was steady in its Central opener — dismantling visiting Beavercreek 41-26.  Centerville (6-0) won a squeaker at Fairmont, 21-20, in a game many thought the Elks would dominate. Fairmont missed several opportunities to pin a loss on visiting Centerville, but came up empty and the Elks are in a three-way tie atop the conference with Wayne and Northmont.  The winner of this game will remain atop the Central and will be in the driver’s seat heading into the home stretch of the season.  The key here is whether Northmont can establish a run game against a stingy Elks’ defense.  On the flip side, the Thunderbolts will need to deal with a balanced Centerville offense.  Northmont has struggled at times to stop the run this season, allowing close to 220 yards per game.  This may allow senior running back Damian Popp to find some holes and open up the defense.  If that happens, it will be tough for the Thunderbolts to pull the upset on the road.

Fairmont @ Wayne — Wayne (6-0) has been on a tear this season and leads the GWOC in total offense and defense — a tough combination to deal with.  Fairmont has shown improvement, coming into this game at 3-3 and fresh off a 21-20 overtime loss at home to Centerville.  The task for the Firebirds is no easier this week, as they must find a way to slow down senior QB D’Mitrik Trice and his band of talented receivers.  The Warriors are scoring over 49 points per game but will be facing a Firebird defense that only allows 80 yards through the air per game.  If the Firebirds can pressure Trice and force him out the pocket, they may be able to slow down the Warriors’ attack.  If not, look for Wayne to continue to roll.