Halfway into the high school football season, fall weather finally arrives this weekend. Temperatures that have been in the 90s for weeks will slip into the mid-60s on Friday.
Two Clark County teams reached Week 6 in playoff position: Springfield (sixth in Division I, Region 2) and Shawnee (tied for seventh in D-V, Region 20). Kenton Ridge and Greenon still have playoff hopes as well if they finish strong.
The nine county teams combined for a record of 20-25 in the first half. Everyone has at least one loss. Catholic Central and Southeastern, who play Oct. 11, at Hallinean Field, are looking for their first victories.
Here’s a rundown of the first half of the season:
Best game: Greenon beat Shawnee 56-39 on Aug. 30 on the opening night of the season. The game went back-and-forth until the fourth quarter when the Knights put the game away with three straight touchdowns. Greenon beat Shawnee for the first time since 2007.
Top quarterback: Greenon junior quarterback Cade Rice threw 17 touchdown passes in the first four games before Greenon was blanked 52-0 by Mechanicsburg last week. He leads the Ohio Heritage Conference with 1,331 passing yards and ranks sixth with 385 rushing yards.
Top receiver: Kenton Ridge senior Calvin Dibert leads the Central Buckeye Conference with 660 receiving yards. He has 20 receptions.
Top running back: Shawnee senior Matt Guyer has rushed for 584 yards, averaging 7.0 yards per carry, and nine touchdowns.
Top defender: Springfield senior linebacker Xzerious Stinnett ranks third in the Greater Western Ohio Conference with 49 tackles.
Best kicker: Greenon junior Nathan Hawks has made 27 of 27 extra points. He has made 74 extra points in a row.
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Best team: Springfield is 4-1 and has won three games in a row by double digits since losing 16-12 at home to Fairfield (5-0). The Wildcats have not beat a team with a winning record but play three winning teams in the second half of the season. They play at Springboro (5-0) on Oct. 11, host Centerville (3-2) on Oct. 18 and finish the season at home against Trotwood-Madison (4-1) on Nov. 1.
Most improved team: Despite dropping its last two games, Greenon (3-2) will be a big favorite in four of its remaining five games, and if it can get to seven victories, it would be the program’s best finish since 2007.
The key game for Greenon in its quest to make the playoffs for the first time will be against Madison Plains (3-2) in Enon on Oct. 11. The teams are tied for ninth in Division V, Region 20.
Hottest teams: Kenton Ridge and Shawnee (both 4-1) have each won four straight games by wide margins since losing their season openers. Neither team has a victory over an opponent that currently has a winning record.
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Kenton Ridge plays a pair of undefeated teams in the next weeks, hosting Jonathan Alder (5-1) on Friday before traveling to London (5-0). Shawnee plays those same teams on Oct. 18 (home vs. London) and Oct. 25 (at Jonathan Alder).
Top Week 6 games
Beavercreek (2-3) at Springfield (4-1): Springfield won this game 21-14 last season and has won three straight in the series. Springfield’s Larry Stephens leads the Greater Western Ohio Conference with 479 yards receiving.
Jonathan Alder (5-0) at Kenton Ridge (4-1): The Cougars lost 38-26 at Alder a year ago and 28-21 in 2017. Alder has outscored its five opponents by a combined 120 points this season, and Kenton Ridge has been almost as dominant with a 110-point scoring margin.
Shawnee (4-1) at Bellefontaine (4-1): Shawnee has scored 209 points, ranking second in the CBC behind London (253). The last three games in the series have been shutouts. The Braves lost 42-0 and 35-0 to Bellefontaine in 2016 and 2017 before winning 34-0 last season.
Northwestern (2-3) at Urbana (0-5): After a 2-0 start, the Warriors lost three straight to teams with a combined record of 13-2: Milton-Union (5-0), Shawnee and Kenton Ridge. Urbana has been shut out twice and ranks last in the CBC in points scored (33) and points allowed (258).
Catholic Central (0-5) at Greenon (3-2): Greenon’s Luke Downing (332 yards), Clay Hough (331), Bass Moore (322) and Kameron Cox (309) all rank in the top eight in the CBC in receiving.
West Jefferson (5-0) at Mechanicsburg (5-0): West Jefferson has won the last two games in this series.
Triad (2-3) at West Liberty-Salem (5-0): The Tigers have won five straight in the series.
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