Jason Krause and Mike Daniels are getting together on a football field once again.
Krause will take his Fairfield High School squad on the road Friday night to face Princeton, which is in its first season of the Daniels era.
In 1999, Krause’s last year as head coach at Lockland, Daniels was a freshman in his offensive backfield.
“It’s probably the first time I’ve coached against a pupil,” Krause said. “It’s kind of fun to coach against a guy like that. I’ve stayed in touch with Mike. Just last spring, I was talking to him about our prospects when he was at Kennesaw State.”
Daniels was an assistant at KSU last spring when he accepted the head coaching job at his alma mater. He transferred from Lockland and became a star quarterback at Princeton, graduating in 2003.
“Coach Krause has always been good to me,” Daniels said. “He’s done a great job rebuilding that program up there in Fairfield.”
Fairfield is 2-2 and Princeton is 1-3. Both won Greater Miami Conference contests last week, FHS 48-14 over Lakota East and the Vikings 63-21 over Middletown.
Princeton took competitive losses to West Clermont, Springfield and East before giving Daniels his first win as head coach.
“It was a much-needed win. You saw us getting better each week,” Daniels said. “We finally put things together in terms of offense, defense and special teams. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t turn the ball over.”
Junior quarterback Hosea Hairston leads the Vikings’ spread offense. He’s thrown for 419 yards (31 of 61) and three touchdowns while running 66 times for 289 yards and four TDs.
“He had a wrist injury that kept him out pretty much the whole season last year,” Daniels said. “We’re trying to maximize every rep. You can see him flourish in practice. He’s learning to be a student of the game.”
Princeton has averaged nearly 200 yards per game on the ground. Junior Jermaine Wimpye (10 catches, 166 yards) and senior Rafael Floyd (seven catches, 155 yards) are the top receivers.
“We’ve got some good athletes, so we try to put them in space,” Daniels said.
He pointed to senior outside linebacker Quincy Dawson (6-2, 210), senior safety Cecil Singleton (6-2, 187) and cornerback Floyd (5-11, 175) as defensive leaders. Singleton is committed to Miami University.
“They look really fast and explosive on film,” Krause said. “They’ve got athletes running all over the field, and I know Mike’s going to coach them up. They look like they’re starting to jell. I’m glad we don’t have them in Week 9 or 10.”
“Fairfield’s got big, powerful lines,” Daniels said. “That’s their strength in my opinion, so we have to do some things to try to counter that. They’re one of the bigger teams in the league, probably in the city. I think athlete for athlete, we’re right there with them, and you can probably make the case that we may have a little bit more depth in that area. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to execution and will and determination. That’s what we’re preaching to our kids.”
Friday will be homecoming at Princeton. It’s the Vikings’ first home game of the season.
Daniels said he’ll do whatever it takes to return Princeton to football prominence. The Vikings haven’t won the GMC title since sharing it with Colerain in 2003.
“I use the slogan, ‘It’s Personal,’ but it really is for me,” Daniels said. “I’ve got a ton of family members that have worn those horns. Princeton football drains deep into my family ties and blood, so for me to have the opportunity to give back and get things rolling again, I don’t take that lightly.”
Fairfield is coming off a top-shelf performance against East. The Indians led 27-0 in the first eight minutes.
“When a kid shows you he can do something, now you expect it,” Krause said. “I kind of look at our team that way. We need to keep playing the way we did against East. We executed very well on both sides of the ball, and that was probably the best our special teams has played.”
Sophomore Jutahn McClain rushed for 186 yards on 18 carries last week. Krause said senior Taimar Boykin is still working to return from a knee injury and could play in the backfield Friday, and junior Jordan Jones will be available after missing the East game with a concussion.
Fairfield trails 35-9 in this series, though the Indians have won the last three meetings.
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