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High School Friday Night Lights Week 4 Preview: Separation Begins To Form As Tension Builds

Powerhouses of the league will be tested this week

St. Vincent-St. Mary Irish (2-1) at Euclid Panthers (1-2)

The Irish have won two straight, allowing only seven points in their last eight quarters defensively. They took care of business versus North 48-0, and edged Buchtel 7-6. St. Vincent-ST. Mary's will need to prove that they can win away from home, as they have yet to win a road game. The Panthers will try to prevent all those aspirations with their defense that has surprisingly allowed 95 points on the year, 90 of those 95 in the past two games. They managed to shut down Strongsville opening day, but since then, their defensive reputation has not been the same.

Strongsville Mustangs (1-2) Hudson  Explorers (0-3)

Both of these squads have gotten off to substandard starts, but the Mustangs got the better of their week 3 opponent in the Padua Bruins. They established a threat on offense, forcing the Bruins to over contemplate their defensive strategies. The Mustangs got running back Matt Bianco and tight end Ray Hamilton involved early and often, and proved to be the deciding factor last Friday night. Hudson has lost all three of their games by seven points or less. But this is the second of a two game home stand in which the Explorers look to turn things around defending their home turf.

Woodridge Bulldogs (3-0) at Windham Bombers (2-1)

Any time that you go on a rampage outscoring your foe 110-0, it's worthy of being mentioned to say the least. That is what the Bulldogs did to Gilmour Academy (41-0) and Norton (69-0). The dogs chewed each of them up, and spit them out straight into a garbage dump. How'd you like to have to cool them off, Windham? The Bombers haven't been to shabby themselves, executing well in the fourth quarter and scoring when its counts the most. But this week the Bombers will need every ounce of defensive energy they have to decelerate the Bulldogs.

Solon Comets (3-0) at Parma Redmen (3-0)

This could be the best matchup of the week. Solon has had the tougher schedule thus far, but they don't make excuses. Only one team has come within ten points of the Comets when the game clock says zero. The Comets have the physical tools to compete with anyone, while Parma has limited their mistakes. They took care of Berea and Midpark, but now will have to contend with one of the big boys in the area. The two undefeated clubs square off at Byers field on Thursday.

Lake Catholic Cougars (2-1) at Walsh Jesuit Warriors (3-0)

Lake Catholic suffered a small hiccup last week against Ursuline, but look to be in good shape for a revengeful victory over the Walsh Jesuit Warriors. The Cougars man handled Benedictine 45-3, and held of the St. Ignatuis Wildcats 28-21, so the Warriors are nothing they can't handle. Walsh has gotten out to one of their best starts under head coach Gerry Rardin. With wins over Bedford, Archbishop Hoban, and Louisville, the Warriors look to keep the good fight going strong versus the high powered Cougars ground attack.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.