FORT LORAMIE — It may only be Week 4, but the likely de-facto Cross Country Conference title game will take place on Friday when Covington travels to Fort Loramie.
The Redskins (2-1) and Buccaneers (2-1) finished first and second, respectively, in the CCC last year and steamrolled over most conference opponents.
They look to be well ahead of everyone else this year after opening with big CCC wins last week. Covington beat Twin Valley South 48-0 while Fort Loramie beat Miami East 34-0. The Redskins’ game was called at halftime due to lightning, while Covington’s game was called midway through the second quarter.
The Buccaneers have averaged 280 yards of offense and 36 points per game in their first three games and have allowed an average of 166 yards and 13.6 points. Senior quarterback Cade Schmelzer has thrown for 400 yards and six touchdowns.
The Redskins have averaged about 340 yards of offense and 29.6 points per game and allowed an average of about 170 yards and nine points. Junior quarterback Collin Moore has thrown for 505 yards and five touchdowns.
The squads played the same two teams in nonconference games. Fort Loramie lost to Minster 20-13 and beat St. Henry 42-7. Covington beat St. Henry 35-6 and lost to Minster 35-25.
Lehman Catholic at Riverside
The Cavaliers and Pirates have both been near the top of the Northwest Central Conference standings in recent years and are looking do the same this year. The winner of Friday’s NWCC opener in De Graff will have an early edge in that goal.
Lehman (0-3) put together its best game of the season last Friday against Graham at Alexander Stadium, but a late fumble was costly in a 26-20 loss. The Cavaliers have averaged 265 yards of offense and 12.3 points per game.
Senior quarterback R.J. Bertini has completed 44-of-80 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns with six interceptions and is second on the team with 111 rushing yards. Senior Drew Barhorst leads the squad with 112 rushing yards, while junior Brendan O’Leary has a team-high 301 receiving yards on 19 catches.
The Pirates (1-2) couldn’t keep up with neighboring rival Indian Lake last Friday in a 42-0 loss. They’ve averaged 273 yards and 15 points per game.
Junior quarterback Kale Long has completed 23-of-51 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions. He’s led the squad with 387 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while Justin Thompson and Kaden Burk have amassed 260 rushing yards and scored two TDs.
Anna at St. Henry
Anna earned a nailbiting win over St. Henry last year. But if the first three weeks are any indication, the Rockets should roll in a Midwest Athletic Conference game with the Redskins on Friday.
St. Henry (1-2) looks on its way to one of its worst seasons in recent memory. The Redskins lost 35-6 to Covington in Week 1 and 42-7 at Fort Loramie in Week 2. They earned a 24-21 victory to start MAC play last week against Delphos St. John’s, which lost 40-6 to Lima Central Catholic the previous week.
St. Henry has averaged a MAC-worst 204 yards per game and allowed a MAC-worst 321 yards. The squad committed eight turnovers in its first three games.
The Rockets rolled over their first three opponents, including New Bremen, which they beat 45-0 last week. They have averaged 384 yards and 47.3 points per game and given up an average of 239 yards and 10 points per game.
Senior running back Riley Huelskamp has run for 348 yards and eight touchdowns while senior QB Bart Bixler has run for 324 yards and nine TDs and thrown for 334 yards and two TDs.
Coldwater at Minster
The Wildcats will look to try to slow Coldwater’s passing attack in a key early-season MAC game between two undefeated teams.
The Cavaliers steamrolled over their first three opponents (including Kenton and Div. III Cincinnati Mount Healthy) by a combined score 121-21. They’ve averaged a MAC-best 392 yards of offense per game and have allowed an average of 237.
Quarterback Jake Hemmelgarn leads the MAC with 597 passing yards. He’s completed 41-of-63 passes and has thrown seven touchdowns with one interception. He’s also run for 255 yards and one TD.
Minster has averaged 345 yards and 32 points per game and allowed an average of 290 yards and 19.3 points per game. Senior running back Alex Schmitmeyer leads the MAC with 510 rushing yards on 88 carries and has scored eight touchdowns while senior QB Jacob Niemeyer has thrown for 375 yards and three TDs.
Fort Recovery at New Bremen
Fort Recovery and New Bremen are looking to bounce back after disappointing starts to MAC play.
The Indians (1-2) played Minster close in the first half but couldn’t keep up in the second half of a 41-20 loss. They have averaged 297 yards and 23 points per game and have allowed an average of 224 yards and 19 points per game. Quarterback Clay Schmitz has thrown for 509 yards and seven touchdowns with three interceptions while Derek Jutte has run for 296 yards and one touchdown.
The Cardinals (2-1) are looking to get back to winning after a lopsided loss at Anna. They have averaged 329 yards and 28 points per game and allowed an average of 255 yards and 24 points per game. Wyatt Dicke has run for 260 yards and three touchdowns while Zach Bertke and Mitchell Hays have run for 239 and 238 yards, respectively, and combined scored seven TDs.
Parkway at Versailles
The Tigers and Panthers are each looking for their first MAC wins after losing in lopsided fashion last week.
Parkway won its two nonconference games but fell back to Earth in a 49-0 loss at home against Marion Local last Friday. The Panthers have averaged 281 yards per game and given up an average of 253 yards per game. Eli Rich has thrown for 422 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions while Nick Hawk has run for 256 yards and three TDs.
Versailles (1-2) is hoping for improvement after a 42-7 loss at Coldwater. The Tigers have averaged 308 yards and 28 points per game while allowing an average of 270 yards and 23 points per game. Senior quarterback Ryan Martin ranks third in the MAC with 457 passing yards and has thrown four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.