Fairfield’s Dashaun Simpkins carries the ball as Hamilton’s James Turner comes in for a tackle during a Sept. 7 game at Virgil Schwarm Stadium in Hamilton. The visiting Indians won 40-6. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Prep football: Here’s five local matchups to keep an eye on in Week 9

Here’s five local Week 9 prep football games in the Journal-News coverage area to keep an eye on Friday night:

1. Fairfield (7-1) at Colerain (8-0)

It’s a no-brainer to start with the Greater Miami Conference and arguably the Greater Cincinnati Game of the Year. Winning GMC games has become part of Colerain’s DNA — the Cardinals have earned 18 straight conference championships. Fairfield’s talent level keeps rising, though, and Indians coach Jason Krause believes this is the best team he’s had in eight years at FHS. Is this the day Colerain’s 73-game GMC winning streak ends? Get to the Bird Cage and find out.

WEEK 9 FOOTBALL COVERAGE

» Historic challenge for Fairfield in showdown with Colerain

» Former hoop teammates will square off in Fairfield-Colerain

» Region 12 stakes are high for Badin vs. Chaminade Julienne

» Little Miami eager for its shot at SWOC championship, Edgewood

» GCLC's top running backs featured in Fenwick vs. Roger Bacon

» Caldwell scores four times, Ross overwhelms Meadowdale

» Bryant finds sophomore success as a Middletown running back

» Monroe, Stubbs hoping to finish strong, but major challenges loom

» Upset-minded Hamilton out to slow Lakota East's playoff push

» Madison, Fairfield, Fenwick still ranked in Associated Press state poll

2. Little Miami (7-1) at Edgewood (6-2)

The Southwest Ohio Conference championship race has turned into a four-horse affair with Little Miami, Edgewood, Harrison and Mount Healthy all sitting with one league defeat. Edgewood has won the last two titles and seems to have recovered from losses to Ross and Winton Woods in Weeks 6-7, but Little Miami’s rise has been among Greater Cincinnati’s best stories so far this year. Hamilton’s Nate Mahon is building the Panthers into a Division II, Region 8 playoff contender. Edgewood is in that region as well and may need to beat Little Miami and Mount Healthy to advance to Week 11.

3. Chaminade Julienne (7-1) vs. Badin (5-3) at Fairfield

Two programs in the thick of the Division III, Region 12 playoff picture will square off at one of Badin’s homes away from home. CJ hasn’t been nearly as impressive since losing three key players after five games due to the new Ohio High School Athletic Association transfer rule, but the Eagles’ schedule has gotten better too … it’s a matter of debate as to which has been the bigger factor. Regardless, CJ is a one-loss team with plenty of skill and athleticism. There’s no secret Badin wants to run the ball, and the Rams are hoping to follow Fenwick’s path to victory against the Eagles. The Falcons totaled 445 rushing yards in a 34-19 win over CJ in Week 7.

4. Lakota East (5-3) at Hamilton (1-7)

East is part of the Division I, Region 4 playoff mix thanks to a forfeit win over Princeton, and everybody is pointing toward the Thunderhawks’ Week 10 game against visiting Sycamore as a “winner in, loser out” matchup. But Hamilton is certainly a stronger team than its record indicates with five losses by 14 points or less. Is this the week for a Big Blue breakout? Perhaps, but it’s worth noting that HHS hasn’t beaten the Thunderhawks since 2008.

5. Monroe (2-6) at Madison (8-0)

This doesn’t look like such a good matchup on paper, but it didn’t look particularly competitive last year either, and Monroe rose up with a 27-13 victory in what proved to be a 1-9 campaign. The Hornets are playing better of late and trying to go out strong with coach Brett Stubbs, who’s retiring at the end of this school year. The bad news for Monroe is that Madison is playing its best football and has been thinking about this rematch ever since last year’s Week 2 contest. The worse news for the Hornets is they get another unbeaten team (Bellbrook) next week.

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