It’s never official until the end of Week 10, but the chances of Southern making its first-ever trip to the Ohio football playoffs are looking pretty good right now.
Now the question around the rest of the Ohio side of the Ohio Valley Publishing area is this.
Is anybody else going to be able to accomplish what the Tornadoes appear to have already done on the gridiron this fall?
With two weeks remaining in the 2013 regular season, both Meigs County and Gallia County have two teams apiece still knocking on the OHSAA postseason door.
SHS (7-1) and South Gallia (4-4) are still jockeying for position in the Division VII, Region 25 bracket, while both Meigs (6-2) and Gallia Academy (5-3) are doing the same in Division IV, Region 14 pairings.
And in all fairness to the programs at Eastern (2-6) and River Valley (1-7), you each have two weeks of football to enjoy before breaking out the basketballs.
Here’s a brief outlook at each of the four remaining teams in the Ohio football postseason chase. Remember, a lot — good or bad — can still happen in the final two weeks of the regular season as teams battle for the top-8 spots in each region.
And one other key note to remember, all of these playoff hopefuls really need to cheer for the teams they have already beaten this year.
The Tornadoes have already enjoyed a record-setting season on the gridiron, but the Purple and Gold still have some work to do. SHS — which currently sits fourth in Region 25 — is currently tied with Wahama for second place in the TVC Hocking standings.
Southern heads to unbeaten Trimble this week for its TVC Hocking road finale, with the league crown likely to be decided after Friday night. SHS has to win to force a three-way tie, otherwise its league title aspirations are gone.
The wild card in this Tornadoes-Tomcats matchup is that THS has already clinched a playoff berth, but the Red and Gray can also lock up a postseason home game with a triumph. If Southern wins, the Tornadoes will officially be in the postseason and likely hosting a Week 11 matchup.
In all reality, Southern could probably lose its final two games (at THS, vs. Eastern) and still qualify for the Region 25 playoffs. The Tornadoes could also lose at Trimble and still officially make the postseason this week, pending a few favorable outcomes from either River Valley (at South Point) or Symmes Valley (vs. Portsmouth Notre Dame) Friday night.
The Tornadoes — who average 33 points offensively and have four defensive shutouts in eight games this fall — will also have its season finale in the friendly confines of Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field when they welcome Eastern to town — maybe even with the chance to clinch a postseason game against their in-county rivals.
Southern is the only Meigs County school to have never previously qualified for the Ohio playoffs.
The Marauders have won four straight after a 2-2 start, which has catapulted the Maroon and Gold into the thick of the playoff chase in the Division IV, Region 14 bracket.
Meigs is currently ninth in a tightly-contested region, but only by one-tenth of a point over current No. 10 Taylor. MHS trails Wyoming — owner of the eighth and final playoff spot — by less than two full points.
The Marauders — in all reality — face a make-or-break situation on the road this weekend when they battle unbeaten Athens for the outright TVC Ohio Division championship.
A Meigs win would certainly provide some playoff breathing room heading into the season finale, but a loss would likely seal Meigs’ fate in regards to the postseason chase. Needless to say, the Marauders’ playoff hopes hinge on beating the Bulldogs.
Meigs will host Alexander in Week 10, but the Spartans are currently 1-7 — meaning there won’t be a great deal of secondary points available from the possible victory.
MHS needs some of the Region 14 teams ahead of them to lose over the next two weeks, and it also needs as many wins as it can get from Coal Grove, River Valley, Warren, Nelsonville-York, Vinton County and Wellston the rest of the way.
The Marauders, entering this week, are only three-and-a-half points away from being in the top-four spots — which would allow them to host a playoff contest.
At the end of Week 6, the Rebels were in a real position to possibly earn their fourth playoff berth in the program’s history.
Two weeks and a pair of setbacks later, South Gallia needs a whole lot of outside help if it has any hopes of making its fourth postseason trip in the last nine years.
The Rebels currently sit 11th in the Division VII, Region 25 bracket and are less than a point behind Symmes Valley, which as of now holds the eighth and final playoff spot. SGHS absolutely must win its final two games to have any chance at a Week 11 contest.
South Gallia travels to Waterford (2-6) this Friday and will complete the 2013 regular season at home against Van (3-4). Both games are winnable, but there will not be a great deal of secondary points available from teams with sub .500 records.
Part of the Rebels’ playoff hopes will also hinge on the need for major upsets. Having lost to Wahama and by defeating Miller earlier in the year, SGHS would need the Falcons to beat Wahama for any extra points to come its way.
It would also help the Rebels if East could knock off Notre Dame in Week 10, not to mention Federal Hocking also beating Trimble in the regular season finale.
South Gallia also needs at least one loss by each of the other teams sitting just above them in the region. Frontier and Tuscarawas Central Catholic are currently wedged in between Symmes Valley and SGHS in the Region 25 bracket.
The Rebels certainly aren’t out of contention, but they will need some help to make the postseason a reality.
The Blue Devils may have needed some help to make the playoffs before last week’s loss to Warren.
Now, Gallia Academy is probably in a hole a bit too deep to get out of.
GAHS currently sits 15th in the Division IV, Region 14 ratings with a 5-3 record, and the 14 teams in front of them have records of equal or better standing — making it one of the tougher regions to qualify for.
In fact, Urbana is the only unbeaten team remaining in the region — and it currently sits sixth in the playoff chase. Not one single playoff spot has been secured by any program at this point either.
Cincinnati Wyoming holds the eighth spot as of right now, and Gallia Academy is almost a full four points back of the final playoff spot. There are also six teams in between GAHS and Wyoming battling for one of those coveted eight spots.
The Blue Devils have to win out over the next two weeks, which includes hosting Logan on Friday night and a road trip to Jackson in the regular season finale.
GAHS also needs a lot of losses by the teams ahead of them in the region, not to mention as many wins as it can get out of Rock Hill, Fairland, Marietta, Vinton County and Portsmouth over the final two weeks.