Here are five Week 4 prep football games in the Journal-News coverage area to keep an eye on Friday night:
1. Harrison (1-2) at Ross (2-1)
This contest will show how competitive Ross figures to be in the Southwest Ohio Conference. Harrison is coming off two straight beatings from East Central (Ind.) and Anderson, but that’s hardly an easy two-game stretch. The Wildcats are perennial SWOC contenders, and they have the conference’s top passer in Connor Kinnett (47-of-87, 767 yards, six TDs). The Rams are no doubt on the upswing, but they haven’t been above .500 in the SWOC since beating Talawanda in the 2013 season finale to finish 4-3 in conference play.
2. Lakota East (2-1) at Princeton (2-1)
An interesting matchup that could decide which one of these teams competes in the upper half of the Greater Miami Conference. Princeton has a dual-threat quarterback in Hosea Hairston, who’s thrown for 278 yards and five TDs while rushing for 224 yards and a score. East also has one of those guys in Sean Church (231 yards and a TD passing, 262 yars and two scores rushing).
3. Carlisle (0-3) at Dixie (0-3)
Not exactly a high-profile showdown, but you’d have to consider this a must-win for a Carlisle squad that needs some confidence right now. The Indians have been outscored 120-28 in 2018, while Dixie has been outscored 109-31. A bright spot for Carlisle in last week’s 35-14 loss to Oakwood was sophomore Jayden Sweeney, who averaged 6.7 yards per carry and scored a touchdown in his varsity rushing debut.
4. Madison (3-0) at Preble Shawnee (1-2)
Every game is significant when you’re talking about a Division V state championship hopeful like Madison, even if it has the makings of a thrashing. Shawnee does have the Southwestern Buckeye League’s leading rusher in Ben Hobbs (46 carries, 354 yards, six TDs), but it will take a monumental effort by the Arrows to stay close to the Mohawks.
5. Monroe (0-3) at Franklin (0-3)
A local rivalry game. A SWBL Southwestern Division opener. Two teams that desperately need a victory. Take all that into consideration and you would expect to see two teams getting after it all night. Franklin got a spark from senior quarterback Jake Bowermaster in last week’s 35-26 loss to Xenia, and Monroe has a big-play receiver in TeJean Rice (nine catches, 222 yards, three TDs).