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Shadyside bids to bounce back against Bridgeport

As week 9 of the high school football season approaches, nine games – eight with playoff implications – highlight the schedule.

With the Ohio High School Athletic Association doubling its playoffs from eight teams to 16, more Ohio Valley schools are looking to position themselves within that number than in years past.

Of the 18 teams playing Friday night, 11 are within distance of qualifying while some of those have already assured themselves an extra week of action.

All games have 7 p.m. kickoffs.

Bridgeport (2-5) at Shadyside (6-1)

The Bulldogs head south on Ohio 7 to Fleming Field in search of their first win in the rivalry since 2010 when they prevailed 21-14 in week 9.

However, the Tigers avenged the loss in the D-VI, Reg. 23 championship game at Red Devil Stadium (28-0) in St. Clairsville on their way to a state runnerup finish.

Since that season, Shadyside has reeled off nine straight wins – the two didn’t meet last fall due to the shortened COVID season – and outscored Bridgeport 429-95.

The Tigers, who fell to Bellaire, 13-12, for the first time this campaign, are ranked No. 3 in D-VII, Reg. 27. They were No. 1 last week.

The Bulldogs had a modest 2-game win streak halted last week by River.

Barnesville (6-1) at

Shenandoah (2-5)

The red-hot Shamrocks make the short trip into Noble County to meet the reeling Zeps.

Barnesville is ranked sixth in D-VI, Reg. 23 and is riding a 4-game winning streak in which it has outscored its opposition 180-33, with a pair of shutouts.

Shenandoah has lost five of its last six outings and is 19th in the same region.

River (4-4) at Conotton (4-3)

This is a crucial game for each team as the Pilots navigate their way to Bowerston to meet the Rockets. Both teams are battling for a D-VII, Reg. 27 playoff berth, with River entering ninth, two spots ahead of the hosts.

The Pilots have won back-to-back games after a 3-game slide.

Conotton Valley has also won two straight.

Frontier (5-1) at

Monroe Central (3-4)

The Cougars make the trip to Monroe Park to meet the Seminoles as both teams look to improve upon their current playoff standings.

Frontier enters seventh in D-VII, Reg. 27 and is riding a 2-game win streak. Its lone loss was at Cameron. Meanwhile, Monroe Central is 12th in the same region but was handed a decisive loss at Barnesville last week.

Martins Ferry (1-7) at

Beaver Local (6-2)

The Purple Riders will look to play the role of spoiler when they trek north to Columbiana County to meet the Beavers, who are ninth in D-IV, Reg. 13 and have won six straight after opening 0-2.

Martins Ferry has dropped three in a row since its only victory.

Indian Creek (1-6) at Harrison Central (3-5)

The Huskies welcome the Redskins to Wagner Field in Cadiz looking for their second consecutive win after taking down Edison last week. The triumph halted a 5-game losing skid.

Harrison Central occupies the final playoff spot — No. 16 — in D-V, Reg. 17.

Buckeye (2-4) at Edison (5-3)

Both teams are coming off setbacks last week and look to keep their postseason hopes alive.

The Panthers were blanked by Tiffin Calvert and enter the fray 19th in D-V, Reg. 17, but less than a point behind Harrison Central.

The Wildcats had won five of six until the loss at Harrison Central last week. They sit in 11th in the same region.

Paden City (2-3) at Beallsville (1-6)

The Blue Devils entertain the Wildcats on Dave Caldwell Field trying to snap a 4-game losing skid.

Both teams own victories over Hundred.

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