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Big weekend coming up for playoff picture.

October 13, 2010 - Michael Palmer
Week Eight already! Football season flies by.

NOTE: Several coaches and fans that read the weekly Pick Parade questioned me about my sanity. My intentions this season are not to be offensive and to pick the local team whenever possible. So if the score I submit seems unrealistic, (I should add that the score of the game has absolutely no bearing on the pick, it is merely counted as who wins and loses) the intention is to be diplomatic. Coaches really do pay attention to the picks each week and I hear about the picks I make when I am shooting photos on the sidelines.

Now for the Playoff Picture as it stands with just three games remaining.

Steubenville found the red zone at Massillon but not the end zone thanks to a tough Tiger defense and thus falls to number 2 behind Marlington (7-0) with East Liverpool holding at number 3 in Ohio Division 3, Region 11. The Big Red have another huge game this Friday hosting Youngstown Ursuline. Playing the toughest schedule in the OVAC, Reno’s gang will get a real taste for their chances to make it back to Massillon in December this week. Edison used their comeback win over St. Clairsville to bump up into No. 8 in this region.

The fact that Edison lost to Martins Ferry by 10 points in week 2 helps set up a great Friday Night of football when the Red Devils visit Purple Town. Akron Manchester passed St Clairsville to take the top spot in D4 Region 13: Martins Ferry moved up to the number 5 slot and it is guaranteed that this week’s match up between the two will have big implications on whether the Red Devils hold onto the number 2 slot. Either team could sustain a loss and still make the playoffs at 8-2 but that will depend on the rest of the top 10. While these two battle for dominance in the Buckeye 8, Bellaire is on the outside looking in. The Big Reds are still in the top 20, at fifteenth, and theoretically if they win out against Edison, Indian Creek and Martins Ferry they still have an outside shot.

In Division 5, Region 19 the Shamrocks are fighting for their lives as they drop again to number 12 from 11 last week. Monroe Central is up a spot into the number 6 slot and looking good with a team they have beaten, Caldwell at 8. Wheelersburg is currently at number 7 with two undefeated opponents remaining on their docket. Shadyside fans remember 7-0 Ridgewood, the Generals are hurting in the points from strength of opponents and remain out of the hunt at number 10 in this region but should move up with wins over teams with better records in the last three weeks.

In Division VI Region 23 the Shadyside Tigers remain atop the poll and the Bulldogs of Bridgeport are in fourth place after a game with winless River produced little in the way of playoff points. Newark Catholic holds the number 2 spot however with Licking Valley this weekend and a season wrap hosting Granville it will be a tough assignment for them to hold onto number 2. Malvern moved into the three position with a win in two overtimes over now number 9 Strasburg. The Hornets will have little in the way of points coming their way in the next three weeks with 2-5 Tusky Central Catholic this weekend followed by 0-7 Conotton Valley and 2-5 Sandy Valley.

Bridgeport can knock the Tigers out of the top position next week in their head-to-head battle. The Bulldogs have 1-6 Beallsville this week and Cameron to wrap up the season. The Tigers need to keep focused in their game against Toronto with two big games on the horizon. Both teams are watching the polls and see Glouster Trimble and Salineville Southern holding the bottom two spots in region 23 this week.

Next week the Joe Eitel site will begin to add the dreaded Mathematically Eliminated column to some teams. Several already know that this is their fate and are playing for pride alone as they have already been eliminated from post-season contention. Many will have the Control Own Destiny posted along side their team name, then some will get the pleasure of a Clinched Playoff Spot in their fate column.

The best possible result for week 8 is a Clinched Home Game lock on your season. The coveted Clinched #1 Seed is not out of the question for a local team. We await the results from this weekend’s games and then the picture will become a little clearer.


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