Friday, August 28, 6 p.m.
Nippert Stadium – University of Cincinnati
La Salle vs. Oak Hills
For the La Salle Lancers the 2008 season was one that head coach Tom Grippa might like to forget. Going 4-6 with a super tough schedule gave Grippa his first losing season at the Greater Catholic League program.
But Grippa is a veteran coach always with a few players that can change the outcome of a game.
At the end of last season there looked as if there would be a quarterback battle but after a transfer Drew Kummer was given the helm of the Lancers offense.
While Kummer was limited last year to only 35 pass attempts he did show he had good athletic ability and an understanding of the offense Grippa wants to run.
Look for the Lancers to stay balanced on offense much like they have in the past.
On defense the main players to watch are defensive back Cameron Cole and defensive lineman Keenan Gibbs.
The Oak Hills Highlanders have been a team on a mission to place themselves at least in the conversations of football fans in the Cincinnati area.
Head coach Kurry Commins enters his fourth season and things are looking to take a turn up as the early growing pains suffered by the program that past few years by playing young players is now headed by a solid group of seniors.
Despite going 3-7 last season things look solid as seven veterans return on the offensive side of the ball and nine will take their place on defense.
One player who won't get a lot of talk when it comes to recruiting is senior nose tackle Ryan Quinn who may be on the short side but is one of the areas top wrestlers and uses great strength and leverage to win tough battles on the line. Quinn understands the game as he's a son of a college coach and uses that knowledge to help him be a solid leader and player on the field.
He'll be joined by junior linebacker Ben Russell who some feel has a chance to play at the next level.
On offense senior quarterback Steve Gebing brings great physical size at 6-foot-3, 225-pounds and is a dual-threat. Last season Gebing threw for almost 500 yards and hit on eight touchdowns. But it was on the ground that gave Gebing an advantage as he rushed for 412 yards on 142 carries.
Both teams will be looking for a win in what should be a hard fought match-up prior to one of the top games in Ohio in Week One.