It is the most crucial week of the high school football regular season for those teams fortunate enough to still be in the hunt for the state playoffs.
Although the City League championship race has yet to be decided, current frontrunner Whitmer (9-0, 6-0 CL) has already secured both a playoff berth and a first-round home game for the postseason. With a league win over St. John's Jesuit tonight at Bowsher, the Panthers can secure both the CL crown and the second perfect regular season in school history. With a win, Whitmer likely will end up second in Region 2 of Division I behind North Canton Hoover, if Hoover also wins.
St. Francis (7-2) would get in with a win over Central Catholic, and St. John's (6-3, 5-1) could climb aboard by upsetting Whitmer.
In Division II, Southview, which has already clinched the Northern Lakes League championship (9-0, 6-0), also has garnered a first-round home playoff game and should wind up No. 1 in Region 6 even if they are upset tonight by Perrysburg. Maumee (7-2, 4-2 NLL) also has clinched a playoff berth and would earn a home game by beating Bowling Green tonight. A third NLL team likely will qualify, if Anthony Wayne (6-3, 4-2) beats Northview tonight.
And in Division IV, Rossford (6-3) has a shot at the No. 8 spot in Region 14, but would need to top Springfield in NLL action tonight.
Clay (6-3, 5-1), which has fared well in its first season in the City League, is chasing the school's first-ever playoff berth. But, to get in, the Eagles would need to beat Bowsher tonight, then have at least two teams currently ranked ahead of them in Region 6 lose. The best chance for this to occur would be if two of the following three things happen: Grafton Midview (6-3) loses to Avon (7-2), Amherst Steele (7-2) loses to Olmsted Falls (5-4), Ashland (7-2) loses to Lexington (4-5).
In Region 10 of Division III, Eastwood (7-2, 5-1) - which is battling for a Suburban Lakes League title share with co-leaders Lake, Elmwood, and Woodmore tonight - can win a homefield playoff game by beating Lake. A loss, however, could send the Eagles packing from the postseason.
The Blade's playoff-qualifying projections for the six divisional regions from Northwest Ohio are listed in the adjacent chart.