Finally, the games really mean something.
As we head into Week 9 of the high school football season, teams have more and more to play for. Will their season end, or will their high school careers continue into the state playoffs and a chance at a state title? Week 9 of the season presents some VERY interesting match-ups as far as playoff positioning. Some teams that are already in want to improve their seeding, while others play a “win or go home” type scenario.
Especially in the Cleveland area, teams for fighting for their playoff lives, and face challenging games just to get into the big party. Precious “second level” points always seem to make a difference as to who gets in and who doesn’t, and with two good teams going at it, the winners find themselves in a great position, while the losers face a must win in Week 10, and need help from the teams they have beaten during the season to keep their dreams alive.
Here are the top games in Week 9 with playoff implications:
Mentor at Hudson…. Enough about this game has been said already, with it being the “Game of the Year” so far in Ohio high school football. Both schools are comfortably in the playoffs and state title contenders. The winner probably clinches the top seed in Division I Region I, along with winning the NOC Conference, one of the toughest in Ohio.
Berea-Midpark at Brecksville…. The Titans of Berea-Midpark clinched a playoff spot last week in only their second year together since the merger of Berea and Midpark high schools. They are currently ranked sixth in computer points, and need to finish in the top 8 in order to secure a first round home game. Brecksville is also probably in the playoffs also in Division II Region III. A win over a Division I school would add a ton of second level points, and assure the Bees of a first round home game.
Brunswick at Strongsville…. The annual rivalry between the Blue Devils and Mustangs takes on an even bigger importance come Friday night. The case for Brunswick is simple. They need to win their last two games, and need help. The teams above them must lose. They currently sit 19th in computer points with the top 16 getting in. Strongsville’s position is also pretty precarious. The Mustangs sit 11th, which qualifies them at the moment. If they lose to Brunswick this Friday, they would need a win at Mentor next weekend to get in.
Stow at Elyria…. The scenario is pretty simple. Both teams have to win their last two games to get in, while the loser of this game on Friday is probably out
Rocky River at Bay…. Truly a “loser go home” type of game, more so for Rocky River, who is one spot out of qualifying. They probably have to win both remaining games to get in. For Bay, this game is crucial. If they win, they will be in, but if they lose, they would have to beat state ranked Avon in Week 10 to make it.
The Cleveland “Saints” at the Cincinnati “Saints”…. Both St. Ignatius and St. Edward travel to Cincinnati to play two of the better teams in that area.. The Wildcats of St. Ignatius clinched a spot in the playoffs last weekend by beating Moeller 34-20. This week, they take on St. Xavier, one of the hottest teams in the state. The scenario for both St. Ignatius and St. Xavier are the same. They are both playing for a first round home game. Equally as important is the game between St. Edward and Moeller. Ed’s and Moeller clinch first round home games with wins, while St. Edward is searching for the highest seed possible, with the “Holy War” next weekend in Week 10 against St. Ignatius.
By the end of the weekend, we should have a real clear picture, for the most part, of who is in, and who is out of the state playoffs