Prep football: Fairfield knows Princeton isn’t a typical one-win team

Lakota West’s David Afari carries the ball and is surrounded by Fairfield’s Greg Fitzpatrick (left) and Dealo McIntosh during Sept. 14 game at Fairfield Stadium. Fairfield won 37-3. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Lakota West’s David Afari carries the ball and is surrounded by Fairfield’s Greg Fitzpatrick (left) and Dealo McIntosh during Sept. 14 game at Fairfield Stadium. Fairfield won 37-3. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Fairfield High School’s football team is facing a significant challenge this week against the Princeton Vikings.

Princeton is a one-win opponent in record only, thanks to three forfeits for using an ineligible player, so this Greater Miami Conference affair could be very competitive.

“In my mind, they’re a 4-1 team,” Indians coach Jason Krause said. “That’s what they did on the field, so that’s how we’re approaching them.”

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Fairfield is 4-1 and stands 3-0 in the GMC. The Indians, Colerain and Mason are locked in a tie atop the conference, and FHS finishes the regular season at Colerain in Week 9 and at home against Mason in Week 10.

Princeton got off to a poor start last week in its first action since the forfeits took effect, but rallied for a 32-29 triumph over Middletown.

Vikings coach Mike Daniels did not return several Cox Media phone messages seeking his take on this week’s game.

“Dropping from 3-1 to 0-4, that’s a pretty big emotional blow for high school kids and coaches alike,” Krause said. “You could tell they came out a little bit flat against Middletown, but they shook it off and got back to playing really good football.”

Princeton is averaging 360.6 yards per game in its spread offense. Senior quarterback Hosea Hairston is a dual threat with his arm (25-of-62, 560 yards, nine TDs) and legs (73 carries, 411 yards, TD), while sophomore Thomas Boyd is a downhill runner with a team-best 504 yards and nine touchdowns on 62 rushes.

The Vikings have two national recruits on defense, junior end Darrion Henry (6-6, 270) and junior outside linebacker Jaheim Thomas (6-4, 220).

“They’ve got some dudes,” Krause said. “Princeton reminds me of Springfield athletically.”

Fairfield’s spread offense is looking strong and got healthier last week when senior quarterback Jeff Tyus returned from a shoulder injury and threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns against Lakota East.

The Indians fought off East 41-27 in that game.

“We got what we thought we’d get out of Lakota East, a well-coached, disciplined team,” Krause said. “They did some good things offensively, and their quarterback is a tough kid. Our defense struggled a little bit against their triple option. I think matching up against a spread team this week allows our kids to play a little faster and utilize our athleticism on that side of the ball.”

Also for Fairfield, junior JuTahn McClain tops the GMC in rushing (99 carries, 736 yards, 13 TDs), and senior tight end Erick All is heating up in the passing game. All, a Michigan recruit, has 16 receptions for 235 yards and a score.

“Erick was obviously doing a bang-up job as a perimeter blocker for us, but he finally broke out with some big numbers against East,” Krause said. “He got open a little bit more, and after all the throwing he did with Jeff in the summer, I think Jeff found him a few more times than we had been finding him.”

Friday’s game

What: Princeton (1-4, 1-2 GMC) at Fairfield (4-1, 3-0 GMC), 7 p.m.

Where: Fairfield Stadium, Ohio 4 and Stadium Drive, Fairfield

Series: Princeton leads 35-10, but Fairfield has won the last four meetings, including 27-0 in 2017

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