Since before the 2014 high school football season officially began, area players, coaches and fans have had their eyes set in some part on this weekend — when area teams either solidify postseason berths or come up short.
Indeed, Week 10 is always a partially cloudy one in which some teams know they’ve made the playoffs but aren’t sure whom their opponents will be, while other teams are simply fighting to get in.
Once the playoffs start, this year’s scheduling format according to the OHSAA will be Divisions II, III, IV and VI at 7:30 p.m. Fridays with Divisions I, V and VII at 7 p.m. Saturdays. In the first round of the playoffs, the top four seeds in each region get a home game before the games are moved to neutral sites in the regional semifinals.
Here’s a look at the area postseason landscape by region heading into the final week of the regular season, according to joeeitel.com — an Ohio computer points website.
And while many things are still up in the air, one thing is for sure: Lima Senior is about to break its playoff drought.
Lima Senior (8-1) has clinched its first playoff berth since 1999 and could have a home game to start the postseason. The team is rated fourth with a 19.3389 points average and would take on Harrison (fifth, 6-3) if the playoffs began this week.
A win at Toledo Whitmer (6-3, Division I, Region 1) would be a nice points boost for Lima Senior — Whitmer is 16th in Division I, Region 1 — and would keep the Spartans’ hopes alive for a Three Rivers Athletic Conference title share should Toledo Central Catholic (7-2) somehow slip up when Clay (2-7) visits Friday.
Wapakoneta (9-0) has clinched a home playoff game and is seeded first with a 26.3167 average, a wide lead on No. 2 seed Tippecanoe (21.9278). The Redskins are in line to face eighth seed Cincinnati Taft (6-3, 14.7833). Wapakoneta can clinch the Western Buckeye League championship outright with a win at Shawnee (2-7) on Friday.
Kenton (7-2) has clinched a playoff spot and is third in the region with Genoa Area (7-2) sixth. The Wildcats travel to 0-9 Defiance on Friday.
Meanwhile, Bath (4-5) is still alive for a playoff spot. The Wildcats are 14th at 7.3333. They need to beat visiting Ottawa-Glandorf on Friday and get some help for a spot in Week 11, as they are more than five points back of eighth-seeded La Grange Keystone (7-2).
Two-time defending state champion Coldwater has clinched another playoff spot. The Cavaliers are second-seeded at 8-1 and would play Elyria Catholic (6-3, 15.9667) if the playoffs were this week.
Ottawa-Glandorf (7-2) is still alive in the 10th spot at 14.0111.
Lima Central Catholic has clinched another playoff spot. The T-Birds (7-2, 17.2273) are second seeded this week and would be playing host to a playoff game against Ayersville (8-1) if nothing changes. LCC travels to 5-4 Ada on Friday.
Crestview (7-2, 16.2056) is third in the region with a playoff spot under its belt. Wayne Trace (7-2) is sixth. The Knights are at Paulding (1-8) on Friday.
The game of the week in the region, and area, is Spencerville-Delphos Jefferson at 7 p.m. Saturday at Delphos Stadium. The winner claims the Northwest Conference championship outright and helps its postseason chances big time.
Spencerville (8-1) is fifth seeded and controls its own destiny with a 15.6611 average. Delphos Jefferson, meanwhile, is 7-2 with a 11.7556 average and might still need a bit of help even with a win over the Bearcats.
Four Midwest Athletic Conference teams could make up this region. Minster (6-3, 15.5444) is second-seeded and has clinched a playoff spot but can’t claim the top seed because Tri-County North (8-0) already has. The Tigers travel to play Parkway (1-8) on Friday.
Anna is eighth (5-4, 9.4556) and plays host to St. Henry (5-4, 8.2778) on Friday. The Redskins are 13th in the region and could get in with a win. Versailles (5-4) is 12th in the region (8.8278) and travels to Fort Recovery on Friday.
Ada (5-4) is 11th at 9.1222 in the region and needs a win over LCC.
Columbus Grove (5-4, 10.7722) is fourth and has clinched a playoff spot with Toledo Christian (7-2, 9.2389) at fifth. Grove travels to Bluffton (3-6) on Friday.
Pandora-Gilboa (6-3, 7.8944) controls its own destiny at sixth in the region. The Rockets play host to Van Buren on Friday.
Delphos St. John’s (4-5, 6.9944) is seventh and either needs a win at unbeaten Marion Local on Friday or the Blue Jays need some help from teams like Elida and LCC, which they beat to start the season. Elida (3-6) plays host to Celina (5-4) on Friday.
Leipsic (4-5, 6.3056) is alive with the eighth seed and plays host to Hopewell-Loudon (3-6) on Friday
Cory-Rawson (17th, 3-6, 3.7667) has an outside shot. The Hornets play host to Arlington (8-1) on Friday.
Three-time defending state champion Marion Local (9-0) has clinched the top seed and can claim the MAC title outright by beating DSJ. The Flyers would play host to Covington (5-4) the way the seeds are lined up now.
Fort Recovery (6-3) is fourth and has clinched a playoff spot (10.4889).
Upper Scioto Valley (4-5, 5.0556) is still alive at No. 12 and needs a win at Lehman Catholic (7-2) on Saturday. Waynesfield-Goshen (3-6) is also alive at 13th (5.0167) and plays host to Troy Christian (6-3) on Friday.