|Get Sports Info WCPO ESPN 1530 FOXSports 1360 Twitter Facebook YouTube Instagram Flickr|
|Home Teams Scoreboard Standings News Player of Week Team of Week Nominate Links Awards Photos Advertise Contact Us Staff|
It’s time to give the little guys some love as this week’s US Marines Backyard Battle and WCPO Channel 9 Game of the Week heads to Fort Mitchell and Edgar McNabb Field at Beechwood High School. The Tigers who have won four in a row will be facing off against Class 1A, District 4 rival Bellevue. There is no love loss between the two programs as each would like nothing better than to take the other one down and never let off the gas while doing so. That will be a tall order for Bellevue hasn’t scored more than 20 points in one of these contests since 2005. That could all change this Friday as the visitors can light up the scoreboard with their passing attack.
BELLEVUE TIGERS (4-3) at BEECHWOOD TIGERS (4-2)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Follow on Twitter @TSFootball
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Bellevue senior quarterback Tate Grainger has thrown for 1,721 yards and accounted for 25 touchdowns (20 passing, five receiving). The Tigers have four receivers with 22 receptions and 280 yards or more. Zach Barrett has team highs of 29 receptions 617 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches. He also leads the team in interceptions with three. Senior Blake Stephenson has 86 receptions and 15 receiving touchdowns during his career. Alec Hazeres leads the Bellevue defense with eight sacks and four fumble recoveries. Those are pretty impressive numbers for the unassuming 5-foot-5, 130 pound beast.
The versatility of Jonathon Stokes, Joe Studer and Ethan Stringer in the Beechwood offense makes them so hard to game plan for. Studer leads the Tigers with 454 yards rushing, 11 total and six receiving touchdowns. Stringer has six rushing scores while Stokes has run for two and caught three touchdowns. Junior quarterback Kyle Fieger has thrown 53 touchdown passes in 23 varsity games.
TEAM TRENDS: This has been a one-sided rivalry for a while with Beechwood winning the last 11 in the series by an average score of 48.6 to 10.7. Bellevue last beat the Tigers in 2005. They have yielded 49 points or more to Beechwood in their last five meetings.
No Bellevue runner is averaging more than 23 yards on the ground per contest.
Last Saturday’s win for Beechwood over Class 4A Covington Catholic was the first for the Tigers since 2008. Current University of Cincinnati starting offensive lineman Dominic Maniello anchored that Beechwood squad.
BELLEVUE’S KEYS TO VICTORY: There are plenty of weapons for Bellevue in the passing game. The Tiger need someone to step up and be a force out of the backfield. Establishing the run is going to open up the passing game to let the receivers do their work on the outside. The defense has been very opportunistic forcing 22 turnovers. Coming up with their average of three takeaways would go a long way in keeping them in this affair.
BEECHWOOD’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Put pressure on Grainger which the Tigers should be able to do with their size advantage up front. He has thrown 15 interceptions in seven contests. Contain him on scrambles and keep Bellevue from converting third downs and Beechwood will make life miserable for the visitors. There are many two-way players on Bellevue’s squad wearing them down will play in the red and white’s favor.
BEECHWOOD 42, BELLEVUE 20
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.