Wayne Trace defeated Crestview 41-34 in week three of the 2013 season in Haviland. If the playoffs were to start today, we would see a rematch at Raider Field of these two rivals. (Times Bulletin file photo)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
VAN WERT - The Ohio High School Athletic Association has released their weekly football computer rankings and with just one game remaining in the regular season, many area schools are still alive and well in the playoff hunt.
The top eight schools in each region advance to the playoffs and each of the seven football divisions are broken down into regions. The majority of schools in the Van Wert area find themselves as a part of a crowded Division VI Region 20.
Tinora leads the way with an 8-1 record highlighted by a home win over Wayne Trace two weeks ago. The Rams have not only clinched a post-season berth, according to the always reliable joeeitel.com, but they have wrapped up a home game, meaning they can fall no lower than fourth even with a loss this week.
The Jefferson Wildcats, coming off a last-minute loss to Ada, have also clinched a playoff spot with their 8-1 record but will need a win at rival Spencerville to secure a home game in Week 11. Jefferson comes in just .35 points ahead of Wayne Trace at four, in what would be the last of the potential playoff hosts.
The Raiders missed out on the post season a year ago despite a 9-1 campaign, but even with the blemish on their record versus Tinora, they've secured a Week 11 game this year. The Raiders host Fairview this week and a win should assure them of top-four status.
If the standings hold through the weekend, we would have a rematch of an early-season shoot-out happening in Haviland. Crestview has wrapped up a playoff spot and is currently in line for the fifth position, which would mean a road trip to Raider field. Wayne Trace jumped out to an early lead in week three against the Knights and held on to win 41-34.
That's not the only potential rematch on the horizon, however. While there is virtually no way a sequel could live up to the 25-20 thriller at Stadium Park last weekend, Ada is in the post season again and would have to make another trip to Delphos to take on the Jeffcats if the computer points stay the same through this weekend's games.
The top six schools have already clinched a spot, but Lima Central Catholic and Patrick Henry would round out the top-eight with victories this weekend. Northwood (currently eighth), Carey (11th) and Woodmore (13th) remain mathematically alive for the post-season as well, but would need to win and get some help to get there.
In Division VII Region 24, things are a bit more wide-open. Only the top three schools, Leipsic, Fremont St. Joe's and McComb, have clinched playoff berths and nine schools remain in contention for the last five positions.
Included in that bunch is Delphos St. John's.
Despite a rough season in terms of wins and losses, the 5-4 Blue Jays are still alive for the playoffs and currently sit in ninth position in the region. They can get in with a victory over Minster this weekend, but even with a win, the Jays will need someone ahead of them to lose in order to gain ground.
The Minster game will be no walk in the park, however, as the Wildcats have just as much to play for as the Jays do. Minster sits also in ninth place among Division VI Region 22 schools and a win over a lower-division team, even one with the tradition of the Blue Jays, won't earn the Wildcats nearly as many computer points as Delphos would gain by beating Minster. Like St. John's, Minster needs a win and some help to move into Week 11.In Region 26, seven positions have already been decided, but seeding has not and it what might be the most difficult region in the state, Marion Local, the two-times defending state champions, are currently in third despite their 9-0 record. The Flyers would play a home game if these rankings hold true, but that game would be against Fort Loramie, a team that owns victories over Ada and Minster already this season.
Division VI Region 20 - 1. Defiance Tinora (8-1) 18.3889, 2. North Robinson Colonel Crawford (8-1) 15.7222, 3. Delphos Jefferson (8-1) 15.3, 4. Haviland Wayne Trace (8-1) 14.95, 5. Convoy Crestview (7-2) 14.9, 6. Ada (7-2) 14.6167, 7. Lima Central Catholic (7-2) 14.2722, 8. Northwood (7-2) 12.6, 9. Hamler Patrick Henry (6-2) 12.3611, 10. Bucyrus Wynford (5-4) 10.5051, 11. Carey (6-3) 10.45, 12. Defiance Ayersville (6-3) 10.0944
Division VI Region 22 - 1. Cin. Country Day (9-0) 15.8687, 2. Casstown Miami East (8-1) 13.8, 3. Williamsburg (6-3) 12.0303, 4. West Liberty-Salem (7-2) 11.8778, 5. Lewisburg Tri-County North (7-2) 11.5056, 6. Mechanicsburg (7-2) 11.2444, 7. New Paris National Trail (7-2) 10.8197, 8. Cin. Summit Country Day (7-2) 10.7823, 9. Minster (6-3) 8.2611, 10. Fayetteville-Perry (6-2) 7.3262, 11. Arcanum (5-4) 6.6167, 12. London Madison Plains (3-6) 5.6889
Division VII Region 24 - 1. Leipsic (7-2) 11.7222, 2. Fremont St. Joseph Central Cath. (6-3) 11.2556, 3. McComb (7-2) 11.0303, 4. Arlington (7-2) 10.3333, 5. Tiffin Calvert (5-4) 10.0056, 6. Hicksville (5-4) 8.8056, 7. Edon (7-2) 8.6222, 8. Sycamore Mohawk (4-5) 7.3222, 9. Delphos St. John's (5-4) 6.7167, 10. Pandora-Gilboa (6-3) 6.5303, 11. Tol. Christian (5-4) 6.3222, 12. Lima Perry (3-6) 5.4167
Division VII Region 26 - 1. North Lewisburg Triad (9-0) 21.3167, 2. Covington (9-0) 19.1444, 3. Maria Stein Marion Local (9-0) 19.1167, 4. Sidney Lehman Cath. (8-1) 14.5455, 5. Bainbridge Paint Valley (7-2) 13.1778, 6. Fort Loramie (7-2) 12.0808, 7. Portsmouth Notre Dame (7-2) 10.6889, 8. Cedarville (6-3) 9.0056, 9. Fairfield Cin. Christian (5-4) 6.3499, 10. Cin. Riverview East Acad. (5-4) 5.7485, 11. Day. Jefferson Twp. (3-6) 5.0326, 12. Manchester (5-4) 4.9848