The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 11, 2013

A Steve Goldman column: Headed down the homestretch

By STEVE GOLDMAN
For the Star Beacon

— There are only four weeks left in the regular season of Ohio high school football.

 With each passing week, the puzzle that comprises the playoff prospects for the OHSAA teams sees some more pieces added.

Once again, we take a look at the area schools that appear to have the best playoff chances. This week, we will examine the prospects for six teams.

MADISON — The 5-1 Blue Streaks are now in fifth place in Division II, Region 3 with 9.533 computer points, having defeated North.

Things continue to look good for Madison, and you can add to that the fact that it appears the region may be below average for its size this year. A 7-3 finish still looks like it may put the Blue Streaks on the bubble, but if the region is, in fact, down this year as a whole, that would help. At 9-1 or 8-2, they should get in.

PERRY – After their win at Harvey, the 4-2 Pirates are tied for second in Division IV, Region 11 with 9.7167 points.

For now, I’m sticking with what I said last week, i.e. that even a 6-4 finish will be good enough to qualify Perry for the postseason.

RIVERSIDE – Now at 4-2, the Beavers remain in the ninth position in Region 3 with 7.2833 points. With their triumph over Geneva, they have won four straight times after opening with two losses.

The situation still looks similar to what it did last week — i.e. that 8-2 should be enough and 7-3 would project to put it on or close to the bubble — although it looks to me as though a 7-3 finish would give Riverside a better chance than I would have guessed last week.

GENEVA – With their loss to Riverside, the Eagles slip to 3-3, and now rank 14th in Division III, Region 11 with 6.404 points.

That loss didn’t help, although I’m going to guess that Geneva will get in if it wins out. In a way, that’s an upgrade over last week, as it looked at that time like one more loss would make the playoffs improbable. Still, winning out will be difficult.

CONNEAUT – The Spartans are now 4-2, but only 3-2 as far as the OHSAA is concerned, since the victory over the Cleveland Knights doesn’t count for playoff purposes. They are 20th in Region 11 with 4.1111 points.

It still appears that Conneaut will need to win out, and that doing so may be enough.

EDGEWOOD — The Warriors get into the conversation after winning their last three games. At 3-3, they are one notch ahead of Conneaut, with 4.1667 points.

It looks as though Edgewood, the area’s only postseason qualifier last year, will have to keep up its winning ways in order to make it there again. It might do so if it wins out.

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid. Reach him at steve558@roadrunner.com.