The Madeira Mustangs have rolled five straight victories since their Crosstown Showdown loss to CHCA in the season opener. They are in control of their own destiny inside the CHL and a playoff spot as they head to Indian Hill for this week’s 9 On Your Sidelines matchup.
It’s been a tough year for the Indian Hill Braves, but they would like nothing more than to play spoiler heading down the stretch.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Tune-In: Tune in pregame show on WCPO-TV
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Madeira running back Timmy James has rushed for 1,007 yards with 12 touchdowns. Signal caller Zack Jansen is 21-3 as the Mustangs’ starting quarterback. Jansen has thrown for 4,256 yards and 48 touchdowns in his career. Junior Grant Hopewell has emerged as Jansen’s favorite targets with 21 receptions and three games with 100 or more yards receiving. The massive Will Steur anchors the offensive line. Andrew McDulin leads the CHL in sacks with 14.5. He was a Third-Team All-Ohio selection as a junior after recording 12.0 sacks. Classmates Collin Buckner, Nick Wainscott and Tucker Larsh have combined for 17.5 sacks. Junior Matt Ballweg leads the squad with four interceptions.
One bright spot for the Indian Hill offense has been the pass-and-catch combination of quarterback Matt Thompson and receiver Shay Bahner. The duo has 26 times for 292 yards and two touchdowns over the past three contests. The play of lineman Sam Kassem has aided the cause. On defense, Theo Holmes, Tanner Landstra, Robet Stephens, Kyle NeCamp, Ben Brendamour and Dominc Travis will look to slow the high-octane Mustangs.
TEAM TRENDS: Indian Hill has never started a season 0-7. The Braves have won 22 of the last 26 against Madeira. The Mustangs have won the last two in the series. They are looking for their seventh post-season appearance in school history, but have yet to win a game in November. Indian Hill has been to the playoffs eight times with last showing back in 2007.
MADEIRA’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Defense has reigned supreme during Madeira’s five-game winning streak. Opponents are averaging just 13.0 points and converting just 20.8 percent of their third downs in that span. The Mustangs are going to pin their ears back and come after the Indian Hill backfield all evening long. The offense is averaging over 40 points over the past five victories. They have really begun to establish a very balanced identity. Don’t expect that personality to get shy this week.
INDIAN HILL’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Despite being winless, Indian Hill has the talent to beat anyone in the CHL. They just need to catch a break. Reversing the trend and making good things happen instead watching miscues snowball into an avalanche of negative karma would go a long way in reviving the team’s confidence. Some momentum on Homecoming and the Tomahawk Stadium faithful behind their beloved Braves could be a dangerous tonic.
PREDICTION: MADEIRA 35, INDIAN HILL 10
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