Having high expectations for himself and the Hartley football program isn't new for senior quarterback Miles Fleming.

While helping the Hawks' freshman team go undefeated in 2016, Fleming watched the varsity squad win its second consecutive state title. He sees many of the same qualities in this year's team.

"We're a part of a really special football team and we haven't tapped into our potential," said Fleming, whose father, Courtney, is a 1987 Hartley graduate who was a key running back when the Hawks won their first Division IV state championship in 1986 under former coach Dick Geyer.

"This senior class has been through a lot. The freshman team was undefeated and I think that kind of stuck with us. That leadership has continued because we know what it's like to be on a state championship team."

The Hawks improved to 4-0 with a 47-26 win over Dayton Chaminade Julienne on Sept. 20 and play a second state-ranked opponent in as many weeks when they play host to Clarksville Clinton-Massie on Friday, Sept. 27.

Hartley was ranked first in last week's Division III state poll and Chaminade Julienne was sixth. Clinton-Massie was ranked 10th in Division IV.

The Falcons, who are 3-1 after beating Blanchester 38-3 on Sept. 20, defeated the Hawks 34-31 last season. Both Hartley and Clinton-Massie went on to reach regional semifinals a year ago.

The Hawks scored 34 or more points in each of their first three games, with Fleming playing a big role.

In a 38-21 victory over Gahanna on Sept. 13, he completed three of five passes for 80 yards and rushed nine times for 85 yards and one touchdown.

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Fleming has thrown for one touchdown and rushed for five scores on the season. He had five carries for 50 yards and a touchdown against Chaminade Julienne as Hartley rushed for 541 yards.

Coach Brad Burchfield had his eye on Fleming being his quarterback well before he got to high school.

As a sophomore, Fleming split the starting job with 2018 graduate Anthony Carfagna, throwing for 206 yards and rushing for 185 yards when the Hawks went 11-2 and were Region 11 runners-up.

He was the full-time starter last year, completing 44 of 83 passes for 1,065 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions and rushing for 766 yards and five touchdowns on 78 carries.

"It's been really rewarding watching Miles develop and grow as a player and as a young man," Burchfield said. "He's from a fantastic family with deep Hartley roots, so he's had tremendous pride in leading our team and in being a great role model in our school. He's bigger physically and has always been engaged into what we're doing as a team and in his role on the team.

"So many things I'm proud of him, but most of which is his active engagement in leading and mentoring our younger players. We have four sophomores who have had significant roles on this great football team and he's done a great job of communication with them through their growth."

While his father played for St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, Fleming originally had committed to Miami University before changing his commitment to Minnesota over the summer. He was recruited as a defensive back and has seen regular action at that position this season.

Hartley has won 10 of its 11 games since losing to Clinton-Massie in Week 5 last season. Fleming threw two touchdown passes in the loss to the Falcons.

"We're an offense that's known for running the ball, but we're starting to let teams know we can pass the ball a little bit," Fleming said.

"We're taking those big steps every week and starting with the little things. The offense has a lot of really talented guys and we've got some workhorses up front. ... When we're at full strength, we're a monster that's hard to stop."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek