#9 Fairfield RB Jutahn McClain



The Wildcats turned in another top defensive performance in their Round One win over Marysville. Dublin Jerome survived five overtimes to advance with a win over Springboro, a team the Wildcats beat in Week Seven 23-0.  Sophomore quarterback Te’Sean Smoot needs to play better than his performance last week as it was his worst game of the season with a rating of 123.5. However, keep in mind he’s only a sophomore and the Wildcats still won in convincing fashion. Senior wide receiver Larry Stephens is the main target in the passing game but look for the Wildcats to use their running game more as the Celtics struggled to stop the run against Springboro last week.

We expect another top defensive performance from the Wildcats with Jokell Brown and Xzerious Stinnett leading the way. We also look for Springfield to advance in this one.



Elder gave St Xavier their first loss of the season in Week Six 31-28 in an offensive shootout between the two rivals.

The Bombers got off to a slow start last week against Mason and did the same against the Panthers in their first meeting. They must avoid a repeat of both games as Doug Ramsey has one of the best offensive weapons in Ohio with senior quarterback Matthew Luebbe who rushed for 236 yards and three touchdowns in their earlier meeting.

We expect the Bombers to use the talents of senior quarterback Matthew Rueve who passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns the last time these two teams met. However, Rueve must avoid mistakes having thrown for two interceptions last time around.

Both teams have solid offensive line play with the Panthers being more skilled with Luke Kandra (Louisville) and Jakob James (Ohio State). The Bombers saw the return of senior Jack Kirby (Penn) after the senior missed a couple of games late in the season and have two up and coming sophomores in Cameron Collins and Brian Parker along their line.

This game also features three future Big Ten skill players with Bombers tight end Marshall Lang (Northwestern) and junior Liam Clifford (Penn State) to go with Elder senior tight end Joe Royer (Ohio State).

Can the Panthers beat the Bombers for the second time this season?

We expect another hard-fought classic from two of the top programs in Ohio.


The Fairfield Indians didn’t need standout running back Jutahn McClain (Kentucky) last week as the senior missed their 37-13 win over Hamilton.

Senior quarterback Sawiaha Ellis was solid throwing the ball with three touchdowns as Dashaun Simpkins came up with on the receiving end with two of those scores.

The Colerain Cardinals had no problem knocking Princeton out of the playoffs with an impressive 30-7 win over the Vikings as the Cardinals controlled the clock allowing only 125 yards of total offense.

Deshawn Pace led the Cardinals in rushing and there will be no surprises in what the Cardinals will look to do on offense and defense.

These two teams played in Week Ten with the Cardinals winning 16-10 in overtime in a classic battle.

Depending upon the status of McClain, this has the makings of another great game.


Dave Berk

Team publisher and recruiting analyst for Scout.com from 2002-2017. Founded Dave Berk Consulting (DaveBerkConsulting.com), a football recruiting consulting company focused on helping families through the recruiting process in 2016. Founded First Star Football Report in fall of 2018. Has appeared on national, regional and local television and radio including NFL Network, FOX Sports Radio, Sporting News Radio, 700 WLW, 980 WONE, WCPO CH9 and more. Provided recruiting analysis for FOX Sports Ohio weekly high school game of the week in Southwest Ohio area and was an analyst for the Time Warner Sports (Spectrum Sports) Ohio National Signing Day show.