By Samuel Houseworth

(10-6-20) The Ohio High School Athletic Association football playoffs begin in only 3 days! While the regular season isn’t over, technically, for many teams, they are only one loss away from seeing their season come to an end.Today, I will focus solely on the First Round games in D-I and the Play-In Round in the other 6 divisions. Look at where upsets can be found and who has the easiest and hardest paths to the state championship.

Complete projections…/1fWDXxOwkM0tHCwuvlDPE…/edit…

In D-I, there is no Play-In Round as only 64 schools are taking part in the playoffs this year. Every other division to narrow their fields down to 64 this weekend. The best potential upset is [11] Moeller at [6] Hamilton. Despite the Crusaders’ 1-5 record against all competition, that competition has been some of the most difficult in and out of the state of Ohio.Dayton Schools are some of the toughest to rate in the state due to their limited schedule so far.

However, in D-II, the Belmont Bison are much better than their [20] seed would suggest in Region 8. [13] Talawanda may be at home, but the Projection Index has the Brave as a touchdown underdog.

In D-III, Region 9 is loaded with upset potential across Northeast Ohio. [19] Kenston and [20] Chaney are heavy favorites on the road against [14] Marlington and [13] Coventry respectively. Even [22] Akron East is favored over [11] West Geauga. Expect the unexpected in D-III on Friday.

The Projection Index is only predicting one upset in all of D-IV on Saturday: [18] Struthers at [15] Salem. That said, [20] Clear Fork at [13] Edison has all the makings of a barn burner in Region 14. The winner heads to [4] Keystone, which is way too tough of a first round game for the Wildcats.

Down by the Ohio River in D-V, [22] Portsmouth could just as easily be 4-2, but have ended up on the wrong end of several close calls all season long. The Projection Index likes them by a touchdown at [11] McDermott Northwest in Region 19.

In the past 7 seasons, [19] Parkway’s largest margin of victory is by 31 over New Bremen in 2016. That record could be in jeopardy this weekend as they head to [14] St Bernard Elmwood Place. The Projection Index likes the Panthers by 19 points. Is that a side effect of a brutal schedule for a D-VI team or are the Panthers that much better?

In D-VII, [18] Tuscarawas Central Catholic is favored as they head to [15] Toronto on Friday night. Two of the Saints’ losses have come to teams who are still undefeated: Ridgewood and Malvern. The Red Knights truly have their work cut out for them.

Complete Projections All 7 Divisions –…/1fWDXxOwkM0tHCwuvlDPE…/edit…