October 13, 2011

Prep Preview: Week Eight

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We're just a few weeks away from the start of the playoffs, making games more meaningful than ever for Ohio State recruiting targets. After a slow week last week, week eight provides some huge match-ups involving Ohio State recruits.

1. Big Dayton area showdown

The Trotwood-Madison Rams entered the season as the favorite to win the division II state championship this fall. While nothing can really change that on Friday, the Rams will face their toughest test of the season to this point as they host Troy (6-1) in a game that will decide the fate of the GWOC North division.

Cameron Burrows has lived up to the enormous hype that was generated over the summer and is having a big junior season for Trotwood but he and his teammates will have their hands full with Troy's Marcus Foster. A Cincinnati commit, Foster enters the game with 500 yards of offense and four touchdowns and can do damage in both the run and passing games. Foster is also one of the top defensive backs in Ohio. Trotwood hasn't relied much on Burrows on offense but this may be a game where he sees more snaps on that side of the football, and the match-ups with Foster should be exciting to say the least.

2. Major talent on display in Middletown

If you're looking for a game that boasts high level talent across the board on Friday night, Middletown is the place to be as the Middies (6-1) host Cincinnati Sycamore (7-0) in a game with major implications on playoff seeding.

For Middletown, there is of course super junior Jalin Marshall but senior teammates Cody Quinn and E.J. Junior are also BCS level prospects. Marshall has been putting up huge numbers all season long for Middletown and is just 65 rushing yards shy of 1,000 for the season.

Sycamore is on a major run of talent right now, boasting senior tight end/offensive tackle A.J. Willliams (committed to Michigan), as well as a bevy of talented underclassmen, most notably junior running back Markus James, junior tight end Mason Morgan, and sophomore running back Greg Simpson.

Both teams are relatively safe as far as the playoffs are concerned but a lot of points will be at stake in this one and the winner of this game will almost surely have a home game in the first round.

3. Future Buckeyes collide in Pickerington

A pair of future Buckeyes will go toe-to-toe on Friday night in Pickerington as Pickerington North and two-way lineman Pat Elflein host Lancaster and linebacker/running back Luke Roberts. Roberts has had a huge year for Lancaster on both sides of the football and as his team sees its back against the wall, he will need to come up big again for the Gales to have any chance of making the playoffs. Roberts will see his future teammate frequently on Friday as both players start on both sides of the football, which should lead to some interest meetings in the trenches.

For North, the Panthers were shocked last week by Gahanna Lincoln and fell all the way to seventh in the Region 3 standings, with only the top eight qualifying for the playoffs. A second consecutive loss would put North's playoff hopes in jeopardy so this will be a big one for both teams.


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