It’s hard to believe, but the midway mark of the high school football regular season is Friday. And with the all-important computer ratings released this week, teams know exactly where the stand and what they need to do over the next six weeks to secure one of the top eight spots in their regions.
Knowing where teams stand in the computer rankings also gives a little extra oomph to the games. Here are five games around the area to watch Friday night.
1. Scott (4-0) at Huron (3-1)
The Bulldogs are the last remaining undefeated City League team after last week’s 27-6 win at Akron Kenmore-Garfield. However, they haven’t faced a test like the one they’ll see at Huron. The Tigers are 2-0 at home this year, outscoring Sandusky Perkins and Roger Bacon 58-33. Scott has been led by running back Perrion Jones (503 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns) and quarterback Darnell Thomas (34-of-61, 533 yards, 5 TDs), along with a defense that’s allowed a total of 40 points in its last three games. Scott is currently ranked sixth in the Division III, Region 10 computer rankings, and their schedule after Huron only features one team with a winning record (Waite), so getting a win in this one is vitally important to the Bulldogs playoff hopes.
St. John's Jesuit quarterback Braydon Lichtenberg has led the Titans to a total of 71 points over the last two weeks. The Titans face Fremont Ross on the road in the TRAC this week.
2. St. John’s Jesuit (2-2, 0-1 TRAC) at Fremont Ross (2-2, 1-0 TRAC)
This is a classic of example of records not telling the entire story. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, everyone knows how close St. John’s came to topping Whitmer last week. Add to that a seven-point loss at Bowling Green in Week 1, and the Titans have lost their two games by a total of 11 points. And its been even closer for the Little Giants, who lost to Springfield by one point in Week 1 and have dropped two games by a total of nine points. Titans quarterback Braydon Lichtenberg has already topped 1,000 passing yards this season, leading the team to 71 points over the last two weeks. They’ll travel to a tough Ross team that is coming off a huge comeback win over Findlay. Both are on the outside looking in in Division II, Region 6, but both also have games remaining against Central Catholic and St. Francis, so the winner of this one puts itself in a position to make a run at the playoffs.
PREP REWIND: St. John’s scores late, nearly upsets Whitmer
3. Anthony Wayne (4-0, 1-0 NLL) at Bowling Green (2-2, 0-1 NLL)
The Generals have already laid claim as the team to beat in the Northern Lakes League, handling Southview 37-10 in last week’s league opener. It gets more difficult this week when they hit the road for only the second time this season. The Bobcats are 14 points away from also being an undefeated team, with close losses to Eastwood and Springfield, with quarterback Bryce Hoehner and running back Adam Iler leading an offense that’s scored 71 points in the last two weeks. Meanwhile, quarterback Max Denman runs point on an Anthony Wayne offense that’s averaging 36 points per game. The Generals come into the game as the top-ranked team in Division II, Region 6, while BG is seventh in Division III, Region 10.
PREP REWIND: Anthony Wayne stays perfect with win over Southview
4. Otsego (3-1, 1-0 NBC) at Genoa (4-0, 1-0 NBC)
For the first time in school history, the Comets are playing a game as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press state poll. What does that change? On paper, probably not much for the Comets, who are also ranked first in the Division V, Region 18 computer list; this ranking isn’t too much of a surprise for a team favored to win the Northern Buckeye Conference. But it could mean a great deal to Otsego, which comes in just outside of the top eight spots in that same region. But let’s not boil this down too much to the simple numbers — it’s always something special to be ranked No. 1 in the poll, and just as special to try to be the team to knock them off.
Springfield has now won 41 of their last 53 games. The BlueDevils take on the Northview Wildcats this Friday night (9/21) at Cats Stadium in Sylvania. pic.twitter.com/uVNaujVMqo— Springfield Football 🏈 (@BlueDevilsFB) September 17, 2018
Springfield running back Josiah Pressley had 191 rushing yards and two TDs in last week's win over Bowling Green. The Blue Devils hit the road Friday for a key NLL matchup at Northview.
5. Springfield (3-1, 1-0 NLL) at Northview (3-1, 1-0 NLL)
While Anthony Wayne is making its case as the favorite in the Northern Lakes League, these two squads have the best chance to knock the Generals off that perch. Springfield is led by quarterback A.J. Gucciardo, who leads the league with 1,030 passing yards and a dozen TDs. Last week, the senior set the league’s career passing touchdown record with the 66th TD pass in his time as a Blue Devil. Meanwhile, Northview is breaking in a new quarterback this season, converted receiver Trent Simms; so far, he’s shown his ability as a dual-threat QB with 341 rushing yards and three TDs. Whoever wins this one stands to see a bump in their stock in Division II, Region 6 — Springfield is ranked seventh, Northview at 10th — but even more important, it keeps them alive for that important late season matchup with the Generals.
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