(10-15-21) Samuel Houseworth’s latest looks at the OHSAA football rankings heading into week 9.
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No movement in the top 5 in the state’s big school division. But that should change after week 9 with a slate of high impact games that will shake up the Harbin ratings as well as the Projection Index. St. Xavier heads up north to face St. Ignatius. Moeller will also travel to the lake to face St. Edward. Then there is Lakota West, who will stay in southwest Ohio, taking on Colerain.
Since the beginning of the season, La Salle has been perched at the top of Region 8 in the Projection Index. Yes, the Lancers are 4-4, but those losses have come to Moeller, St. X, and two nationally ranked out-of-state teams in IMG Academy and Indianapolis Cathedral. That said, there is no reason to discount Piqua, Kings, or Anderson going into the postseason. The game of the week in D-II is clearly Benedictine at Hoban in what should be a preview of the Region 5 final, sorry Hudson.
Shelby had looked pretty dominant heading into their game against West Holmes. The Knights responded by putting up 51 on the Whippets, dropping them to 6-2 on the season. The blowout sees West Holmes jump 7 spots into the top 10 in D-III and having a clear path to not only a 10-0 record, but most likely a spot in the state semifinals when it’s all said and done.
Can you believe that VASJ went 1-7 last season? Now, they are 5-1 and are ranked #7 in D-IV in the Projection Index after a 46-28 win at Ursuline on Friday night. The win makes them the second highest rated team in Region 13, encompassing all of northeast Ohio. Aside from that, very little movement in at the top of the rankings with Bellevue and West Branch trading places at #2 and #3 respectively, while Clinton-Massie holds onto the top spot.
Any early season questions about Ironton have been answered in recent weeks. The Fighting Tigers have outscored their opponents 194-13 since their week 4 loss to Moeller. They are currently the top rated team in Region 19, just edging out Ridgewood and Harvest Prep. Versailles, currently ranked #2 in D-V, will have a chance to earn some Harbin points as they head to St. Henry on Friday.
Since their week 4 loss at Carey, Colonel Crawford has been unstoppable on offense. The Eagles have averaged 56.5 points per game over the last 4 weeks and should be able to keep that up with Bucyrus and Seneca East remaining on their schedule. Though, being in the same region as Archbold, Carey, and Columbus Grove will make for a tough road through the OHSAA Playoffs.
This week, we are introduced to Dalton, who debuts in the top 5 of D-VII in the Projection Index. The small school between Wooster and Canton is 6-2, but those losses have both come to undefeated D-V schools Garaway and Ridgewood. It should be an interesting battle to see who comes out of Region 25 between the Bulldogs, JFK, and St. Paul.
Midwest Athletic Conference
7-1 Coldwater at 8-0 Marion Local. What other games are there to talk about this week in the MAC? The Flyers would be about an 8.5-point favorite at home against the Cavs. A win for Marion Local would clinch their 15th conference championship with a chance for their 8th outright championship if they win out.
Western Buckeye League
Between the two teams at the top of the WBL standings, Van Wert has the tougher path to 8-1, with Elida and Bath standing in their way. The Cougars will be 24-point favorites at Elida this Friday while Wapak will be a five touchdown favorite when they host Celina. Bath’s playoff prospects are looking healthy, but they could get a home game if they can upset St. Marys.
The Northwest Conference could realistically get 7 of their 8 teams into the postseason at this rate, apologies to Ada. Though, I joke, if Ada can pull an upset of Crestview or Allen East in the final two weeks, there are enough points there to catapult them into the top 16 in Region 26. So maybe, just maybe, all 8 teams get in? But I wouldn’t bet on it.