Week 7 football preview: Hillhouse at Xavier

The Game:

Hillhouse (4-2) at No. 2 Xavier (6-0)

Friday, 7 p.m.

The Players:

Xavier — Senior defensive lineman Sean Marinan Jr. is one of the state's toughest pass rushers. After notching double-digit sacks last year, he's got 2.5 through the Falcons' first six games, but he could explode at any moment. Marinan Jr. is a big reason why Xavier has pitched back-to-back shutouts on defense.

Hillhouse — Sophomore running back Harold Cooper has run for 100 yards in five straight games, and 200-plus in each of the last three. On the season, he's run for 1,157 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Stakes:

Xavier still hasn't been threatened this year, with their tightest win coming by 22 points. But Hillhouse has a superlative ground attack, led by Cooper, which could serve to chew up the clock. But Xavier is well equipped against the run, with one of the state's stoutest fronts.

The Prediction:

The Xavier defensive line wins the battle up front and the Falcons' linebackers bottle up Cooper.


Think I got it wrong? Tell me about it on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).