Boys Varsity Football, Varsity Football · Football Week 10 Preview – GMC CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION: Fairfield Indians (9-0)

Chris Himonidis

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What:             Week 10 Varsity Football Preview – GMC CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION
Who:              Colerain Cardinals (8-1) vs. Fairfield Indians (9-0)
Where:          Fairfield Alumni Stadium – MAP/DIRECTIONS
When:            Friday November 1, 2019 @ 7:00 PM
Coverage:    Live AUDIO Broadcast starts at 6:45 PM via CLICK HERE


Team Schedule/Results and Key Players to Watch

Fairfield Indians (9-0, 7-0 in GMC – Division 1, Region 4)
Current Harbin Ranking – 1st

2019 Schedule/Results:
W, 33-7:  Aug 30 vs. Centerville (4-5 D1 R2)
W, 16-12:  Sep 06 @ Springfield (8-1 D1 R2)
W, 47-7:  Sep 13 @ Middletown (1-8 D1 R4)
W, 34-27:  Sep 20 vs. Hamilton (5-4 D1 R4)
W, 33-7:  Sep 27 @ Lakota West (6-3 D1 R4)
W, 20-14:  Oct 04 vs. Lakota East (4-5 D1 R4)
W, 37-13: Oct 11 @ Princeton (6-3 D1 R4)
W, 31-3:  Oct 18 @ Sycamore (4-5 D1 R4)
W, 50-0:  Oct 25 vs. Cincinnati Oak Hills (0-9 D1 R4)
Nov 01 vs. Colerain (8-1 D1 R4)


Total Offense:  409.9 YPG (1st in GMC)
Rushing Offense:  302.6 YPG (1st in GMC)
Passing Offense:  107.3 YPG (6th in GMC)
Points per game:  33.4 PPG (1st in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #2 Sawiaha Ellis (Sr.) 6’3” 215 lbs:  67-91 for 966 PASS, 5 TD, 3 INT : 89-367 RUSH, 8 TD, 4 Fumbles (Toledo Commit)
RB – #9 Jutahn McClain (Sr.) 5’10” 185 lbs:  189-1,737 RUSH, 21 TD; 9-58 REC, 3 Fumbles (UK Commit)
RB – #19 Jaydan Mayes (Jr.) 5’10” 175 lbs:  28-283 RUSH, 2 TD : 18-251 REC, 2 TD, 4 Fumbles
WR – #21 Dashaun Simpkins (Sr.) 6’0” 170 lbs:  17-285 REC, 3 TD
WR – #4 Phil Thomas (Jr.) 5’10” 175 lbs:  10-229 REC; 20-148 RUSH, 2 TD


Total Defense:  194.7 YPG (1st in GMC)
Rushing Defense:  78.6 YPG (1st in GMC)
Passing Defense:  116.1 YPG (6th in GMC)
Points per game:  10.0 PPG (1st in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:
DL – #55 LJ France (Sr.) 6’1″ 260 lbs:  40 Tackles, 10.5 Sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery
DL – #11 Brandon Smith (Jr.) 6’1” 245 lbs:  46 Tackles, 10.5 Sacks, 1 forced fumble
LB – #17 Phoenix Porter (Sr.) 6’1″ 220 lbs:  54 Tackles, 3.0 Sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries
LB – #5 Dealo Mcintosh (Sr.) 6’1” 210 lbs:  47 Tackles, 1.0 Sack, 1 INT
CB – #4 Phil Thomas (Jr.) 5’10” 175 lbs:  26 Tackles, 4 INT


COLERAIN CARDINALS (8-1, 7-0 in GMC – Division 1, Region 4)
Current Harbin Ranking – 4th

2019 Schedule/Results:
* – denotes conference game

W, 28-19:  Aug 30 @ Wayne (3-6 D1 R2)
L, 14-21:  Sept 6 vs. St. Xavier (7-2 D1 R4)
W, 45-14:  Sept 13 vs. Oak Hills (0-9 D1 R4) *
W, 23-14:  Sept 20 @ Princeton (6-3 D1 R4) *
W, 41-14:  Sept 27 @ Middletown (1-8 D1 R4) *
W, 27-7:  Oct 4 vs. Sycamore (4-5 D1 R4) *
W, 17-3:  Oct 11 @ Hamilton (5-4 D1 R4) *
W, 33-28:  Oct 18 vs. Mason (4-5 D1 R4) *
W, 34-3:  Oct 25 vs. Lakota East (4-5 D1 R4) *
Nov 1 @ Fairfield (9-0 D1 R4) *


Total Offense:  335.7 YPG (3rd in GMC)
Rushing Offense:  282.0 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Passing Offense:  53.7 YPG (9th in GMC)
Points per game:  29.1 PPG (3rd in GMC)

Offensive Players to watch:
QB – #1 Freddie Johnson (Jr.) 5’11” 170 lbs:  21-46 for 391 yds PASS, 4 TD, 85-524 yds RUSH, 8 TD, 2 Fumbles
FB – #9 M.J. Flowers (So.) 6’1” 185 lbs:  90-475 RUSH, 5 TD, 2 Fumbles
RB/LB – #2 Jaylen Thomas (Sr.) 6’0” 190 lbs:  60-614 RUSH, 6 TD – 12-228 REC, 1 TD, 2 fumbles – 36 Tackles, 3.0 Sacks
RB – #14 Hamzah Abdul-Waheed (Sr.) 5’6” 175 lbs:  70-549 RUSH, 5 TD – 3-38 REC, 1 fumble
OL – #60 Ace Ehrenschwender (Sr.) 6’0” 280 lbs:  3-yr starter on the OL, Team Captain


Total Defense:  217.2 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Rushing Defense:  86.1 YPG (2nd in GMC)
Passing Defense:  131.1 YPG (9th in GMC)
Points per game:  13.7 PPG (2nd in GMC)

Defensive Players to watch:

DL – #49 Donovan Owens (Sr.) 6’2” 230 lbs:  31 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks
DL – #58 Dontay Corleone (Jr.) 6’1” 285 lbs:  34 Tackles, 6.0 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Fumble Recovery (UC Commit)
LB – #8 Xander Kendall (Jr..) 5’11” 220 lbs:  44 Tackles, 1 Sack, 2 Interceptions
LB – #11 Elijah Ford (Sr.) 6’3” 215 lbs:  30 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 1 Fumble Recovery
DB – #3 Deshawn Pace (Sr.) 6’3” 210 lbs:  41 Tackles, 2 Interceptions (UC Commit)
DB – #10 Sean Williamson (Jr.) 6’0” 160 lbs:  53 Tackles, 1 Interception


Keys to Victory for Colerain

    • OFFENSE:  THIS is the game the offense has been preparing for.  Fairfield has the best defense in the conference and will present the toughest challenge since St. Xavier in week 2.  How much have they developed?  We are about to find out.  Obviously the focus will be to run the ball.  Doing so will be very difficult against this defense.  The Cardinals must do their best to establish a solid run game up the middle with Waheed and the bigger Sophomore, MJ Flowers.  Fairfield runs a 3-3-5 stack defense, exactly like St. Xavier.  The difference…Fairfield has better football players on defense than the Bombers did.  Points are going to be at a premium.  Additionally, the Indians defense has a ridiculous 38.5 sacks on the season so they are aggressive.  Finding ways to use that aggressiveness against them will be key.  It goes without saying but turnovers must be zero.  Giving this Fairfield offense extra possessions is not a good idea (see below).  Against the pass, the Indians are a little more susceptible, ranking 6th in the GMC allowing over 116 yards/game.  After not throwing the ball really at all for two weeks, Jr. QB Freddie Johnson had a resurgence last week against Lakota East completing 3 passes for 66 yards, 2 of which went for TD’s.  That doesn’t include a 62 yard completion for a TD to So. WR Isiah Myers that was called back due to a questionable call.  Finding the right time to throw the ball will absolutely have to be part of the plan to win tonight.


    • DEFENSE:  For the third year in a row, the Indians are leading the GMC in total yards/game.  THE reason for that is #9…Jutahn McClain.  He is a legitimate Ohio Mr. Football candidate and he is as dynamic as they come.  If you need a reminder, last year against our state runner-up defense, he came to Colerain and rushed for 275 yards and 3 TD’s, including a 95 yard scamper where he pulled away from former CB and current Miami University Freshman Syncere Jones.  His outstanding Junior season led to multiple D1 offers, ultimately he committed to the University of Kentucky.  The defense may not be as aggressive going after the QB either.  QB Sawiaha Ellis is a dual-threat QB who is going to Toledo on scholarship for defense.  Ultimately, it’s going to come down to shutting down the rest of the Fairfield offense.  McClain is going to get his yards and TD’s.  Expecting this defense, or any defense for that matter, to hold him to under 150 yards and a single score is probably wishful thinking…however, if there is a defense that can do it, it’s this one.  The underclassmen have stepped up big-time with the loss of Jr LB Mike Bess to season-ending injury and they will need to do so again this week.
  • Bottom-Line:  The gravity of this game simply cannot be overstated, however, it is NOT the final game of the season.  The Cardinals are going to be at home next week to open the post-season and that should not be lost on anyone.  However, this game is incredibly important.  The Cardinals are going for their 83rd consecutive GMC victory and more importantly, their unprecedented 20th consecutive GMC championship.  That is 20 years of excellence that is on the line tonight.  Fairfield is a very, very good team.  They have their best record in school history and are likely to end up with the #1 seed in the regional playoffs.  Ultimately, it’s going to come down to the little things:  Penalties, turnovers, etc.  The real test may be in the minds of the players themselves.  Colerain has had a mental edge on this conference for so long, it will take a special effort by a special group of players to overcome that.  Last year, McClain’s 95 yard TD run pulled Fairfield to within 6 points with 4:41 to go in the 3rd, it was the perfect opportunity for the Cards to collapse.  They didn’t.  Colerain proceeded to outscore Fairfield 28-6 the rest of the game and win going away.  Can THIS Colerain team muster that same level of resolve and win, on the road in what will be a hostile environment to maintain “The Streak” and capture their 20th consecutive, 21st overall, GMC title?  Get to Fairfield tonight to find out!!
  • #BeatFairfield