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Here they come down the home stretch
October 28, 2009 - Michael Palmer
Week 10 has arrived and several teams playoff hopes are on the line this Friday as Rivalry week come to the Valley. Weekly football computer ratings from the Ohio High School Athletic Association are compiled. Ratings are by division and region with record and average bi-level points per game being earned in direct relation to the strength of the opponent and their schedule. These points are calculated and the top eight teams in each region advance to regional quarterfinals. Simple, right?
Perhaps not so simple, only Martins Ferry and Buckeye Local have clinched a home game in week eleven.
If the current standings hold in Division 3 Region 11, Buckeye Local would host Salem next Friday night at WWII Memorial stadium. The Panthers will welcome the 7-2 Quakers who finish their regular season at East Liverpool.
Also bidding for a berth in this region are the Huskies of Harrison Central. Currently ranked tenth behind Indian Creek and Minerva. Minerva faces undefeated Louisville in week 11 and Indian Creek will not pick up many points even with a win over Edison, setting up a potential first ever playoff trip for the Huskies. Standing between Coach Justin Kropka and that goal are the Red Devils of St. Clairsville.
These two Buckeye 8 rivals face off in the battle for the Coal Bucket this Friday night at the fairgrounds. Should the Huskies reach the playoffs they would not have long to celebrate facing the task of traveling to Steubenville or Dover. The Huskies also cannot afford to look past the Red Devils, who will be fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Martins Ferry also has clinched a home game in Division 4 Region 13. Currently the numbers suggest that the Purple Riders will host the Woodridge Bulldogs next Saturday night, however the lower tier of this bracket is far from solid. This is potentially good news for two local teams as both Union Local and St. Clairsville are waiting in the number 11 and 12 positions and hoping to earn their way into the top eight.
The Jets and Devils must post wins this week and then get some help to leap frog over the three teams above them. Seventh ranked CVCA ((7-2) has a tough week 10 game against Manchester (8-1) and number 8 Perry travels to undefeated Chagrin Falls while the number 9 and 10 teams can not earn enough points with wins over teams with losing records to hold off the pair.
Monroe Central currently sits atop the Division 5 Region 19 polls, but no team in their region is guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Mathematically they could finish as low as ninth in their region even when calculating in an anticipated week 10 victory over 1-8 Buckeye Trail. The most likely scenario would suggest the Seminoles would finish in the top four earning a home game next Friday.
Bridgeport currently holds the number 4 position and Shadyside waiting in the tenth position of Division 6, Region 23. Only number one ranked Malvern has clinched their spot in the playoffs in this division. Look for both Bridgeport and Shadyside to be rooting for once beaten Granville as they play the current number eight Green Wave of Newark Catholic this Friday.
A win over Cameron this Friday should lock up a home game next Saturday for the Bulldogs. While River is not going to reach the playoffs this season, they can play the role of spoiler this week by defeating Frontier. Another game with impact on the pair is the OVAC contest between Bishop Rosecrans and Fort Frye. All of the potential scenarios find Shadyside facing a must win this week over visiting Holy Cross.
The stage is set and once again rain is in the forecast for Football Friday.
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