No. 17 Whitmer (5-4) needs a road victory over Lima Senior (5-4) to return to the Ohio State Athletic Association Division I playoffs.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
With one weekend left in the Ohio high school football season, much has already been determined for area teams hoping to earn state playoff berths.
For several teams, however, their postseason entry is still up in the air, to be decided by the outcome of Week-10 games.
In Division I, the options are simple for Whitmer (5-4), the 2012 D-I state runner-up.
If the No. 17 Panthers can win their Three Rivers Athletic Conference finale today at Lima Senior (5-4), they should slip into one of the last two (out of 16) spots in Region 1.
Under the new seven-division format adopted by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, there are just two 16-team (north and south) regions instead of the traditional four eight-team regions the other six divisions will still use.
Whitmer’s ticket in, should they defeat Lima Senior, comes courtesy of today’s matchup between No. 13 Brunswick and No. 14 Solon. The loser of that game will not have enough computer points to remain above a victorious Whitmer.
The Panthers, with a win, may also be able to pass current No. 16 Green, even if Green wins.
In Division II (Region 4), current No. 5 Perrysburg (7-2), which has already clinched a Northern Lakes League title share, has also clinched a playoff berth. So has No. 7 St. Francis de Sales (7-2).
If Perrysburg beats rival Maumee today, and St. Francis beats Findlay, one of them will also have a shot at a first-round home game, but would need No. 4 Macedonia Nordonia (8-1) to lose to Wadsworth (8-1).
Elsewhere in Region 4, No. 9 Southview (6-3) is favored to beat Sylvania rival Northview (2-7) today, which would enable the Cougars to climb over No. 8 Massillon Washington (7-2), provided Massillon loses at favored rival Canton McKinley (9-0) on Saturday.
The trouble for Southview is that it will likely be beaten out for the No. 8 playoff spot in Region 4 by current No. 10 Walsh Jesuit (6-3), if favored Walsh beats Akron Hoban (5-4).
In Division III (Region 8), TRAC champion and 2012 D-II state champion Central Catholic (9-0) has locked up the No. 1 seed. Napoleon (5-4) of the NLL controls its own destiny, needing only to beat Bowling Green (3-6) to retain its No. 6 slot.
In Dvision IV (Region 12), Northwest Ohio Athletic League champion Bryan (9-0) and Northern Buckeye Conference champion Genoa (9-0) have each clinched berths.
No. 3 Bryan should be able to hang on to a first-round home game by beating Evergreen (0-9) today, but No. 5 Genoa is not likely to climb any higher to gain a home game, even with a win over Woodmore (6-3) today.
No. 6 Lake should be able to hang onto the No. 8 spot, although the points available from beating Fostoria (0-9) today will be minimal. The Flyers should still edge out No. 9 Upper Sandusky and No. 10 Sparta Highland, even if each of those teams wins today.
No. 7 Wauseon (8-1) controls its own destiny in Region 12, needing a win over Patrick Henry (6-2) today to seal a berth. Even with a loss, however, the Indians may be able to earn enough points to qualify.
In Division V (Region 16), the Eagles of Blanchard Valley Conference champion Liberty-Benton (8-0) and Eastwood (7-2) of the NBC have already clinched playoff berths.
A win by No. 3 Liberty-Benton over Arlington (7-2), and by No. 4 Eastwood over Otsego (4-5), would allow each Eagles team to hang onto a first-round home game.
No. 9 Liberty Center (6-3) of the NWOAL will need to win today at Archbold (6-3) to have a chance to qualify, but the Tigers would need an upset loss by either No. 7 Loudonville or No. 8 Doylestown Chippewa to secure a berth.
In Division VI (Region 20), Toledo Area Athletic Conference champion Northwood (7-2) sits precariously in the No. 8 spot entering its final game. The Rangers’ trouble is they would pick up few computer points from beating Cardinal Stritch (0-9) today, and that current No. 9 Patrick Henry (6-2) has the opportunity to vault past Northwood, if the Patriots can beat visiting Wauseon today.
In the new Division VII (Region 24), No. 2 Fremont St. Joe (6-3) of the Midland Athletic League, and No. 3 McComb (7-2) of the BVC, have already secured berths, and should retain first-round home games with wins today.
No. 7 Edon (7-2) of the TAAC controls its own destiny, needing to beat Gibsonburg today to clinch a spot.
Fellow TAAC member No. 11 Toledo Christian (5-4) will need plenty of help, but could qualify.
The Eagles would need to beat Ottawa Hills (3-6) today, and have losses from No. 8 Mohawk (4-5) against Fremont St. Joe, from No. 9 Delphos St. John’s (5-4) against Minster (6-3), and from No. 10 Pandora-Gilboa (6-3) against No. 1 Leipsic (7-2).
The Ohio playoffs begin with first-round games Nov. 8-9, with all games in divisions II, III, IV and VI scheduled for Fridays at 7:30 p.m., and all games in divisions I, V and VII set for Saturdays at 7 p.m.
The state championship game for one of the divisions that plays on Fridays will be moved to Thursday, Dec. 5. That division will not be determined until the finals field is set on Nov. 29.