CINCINNATI – The Ohio high school football playoff picture started to become clear late Friday night.
Greater Miami Conference Commissioner and longtime playoff projections analyst Steve Shuck continued to share his latest insight into the postseason with WCPO.
In Division I, Region 4, Shuck's projected order of finish is: 1. Colerain (10-0), 2. Mason (8-2), 3. Elder (6-4), 4. Milford (8-2), 5. Fairfield (7-3), 6. Moeller (6-4), 7. Lakota East (7-3), 8. St. Xavier (5-5).
Colerain defeated Lakota West 49-0 Friday night to win its fifth consecutive GMC outright title and 19th overall. The Cardinals have won 75 consecutive GMC games.
If the projections hold up, then St. Xavier would play at Colerain Nov. 2. That would be the first time since 2012 that two rivals will meet in the first round of the playoffs. It will be the 14th time the programs will have met in the postseason, according to WeAreColerain.com. St. X leads the postseason series, 7-6.
"It wouldn't be playoff season without X/Colerain," St. X coach Steve Specht said Saturday.
This would be the second time this season the teams have met. Colerain won the Week 2 game after a weather delay at Ballaban Field.
Colerain is 19-0 in first round playoff games through the years, although the 1995 game was later forfeited. The Cardinals have nine consecutive postseason appearances.
St. X has 10 consecutive playoff appearances - the most of any area large school actively.
Moeller would play at Elder in a rematch of the Oct. 5 game in which the Crusaders won 24-21 at Nippert Stadium. Moeller and Elder have played four times in the postseason including the most recent meeting in 2013.
ECC Champs 2018 pic.twitter.com/hYwNtK3D2W
— Kings High School (@Kings_HS) October 27, 2018
In Division II, Region 8, Shuck projects 1. Winton Woods (9-1), 2. Kings (9-1), 3. Troy (9-1), 4. Edgewood (8-2), 5. Little Miami (8-2), 6. Harrison (7-3), 7. Anderson (7-3) and 8. Lewis Center Olentangy (5-5).
La Salle's 13-10 loss to Elder eliminated the Lancers.
Winton Woods clinched the No. 1 seed after a 21-17 win over host Moeller. Winton Woods junior running back Miyan Williams rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns. That put him at 2,000 yards rushing for the completion of the regular season.
Little Miami is projected to reach the postseason for the first time since 1992.
If the projections hold up, Anderson plays at Kings in a rematch of the Sept. 14 game in which Kings won 35-14. Little Miami would play at Edgewood. The Cougars defeated Little Miami 20-0 Oct. 19.
In Division III, Region 12, Fenwick (8-2) and Badin (7-3) are among the area teams projected to qualify. Mount Healthy (5-5) is projected to qualify at the No. 8 seed.
— Wyoming Athletics (@WyomingSports) October 27, 2018
In Division IV, Region 16, Wyoming (10-0) is projected to be the No. 1 seed, followed by Clinton-Massie (9-1), Taft (8-1) and Indian Hill (8-2). The rest of Region 16 is to be determined. Batavia (6-4) and Aiken (6-4) are believed to be eliminated with losses, according to Shuck.
Clinton-Massie is projected to qualify for the postseason an area-best 17th consecutive season.
In Division V, Region 20, Middletown Madison (10-0) is projected to qualify after the first 10-0 regular season in school history, according to Cox Media reporter Rick Cassano. CHCA (6-2) and Madeira (7-3) are projected to be qualifiers.
Deer Park should be No. 8 in Division VI, Region 24, according to Joe Eitel and Shuck. The Wildcats will likely either play Coldwater or Lima Central Catholic in the first round.
In Division VII, it looks favorable for Miami Valley Christian Academy (7-2) and New Miami (6-4) to qualify.
Shuck’s information is independent and unofficial. It has no official connection to the Ohio High School Athletic Association computer points.
The final OHSAA computer ratings will be posted late Saturday around midnight. It could be later if there are any game delays for technical issues.
Schools have until 10 a.m. Sunday to report any possible mistakes in the ratings. Unless there is a discrepancy, the ratings become official at noon Sunday.
There were 717 high schools playing varsity football in Ohio this season. There will be 224 playoff qualifiers announced Sunday.
The playoffs start Nov. 2 with Divisions I, II, III and VI. Divisions IV, V and VII play on Nov. 3. All playoff games before the state finals kick off at 7 p.m.
The state championship games return to Canton this year at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. One division will be selected to play its state championship game on Thursday, Nov. 29 (7:30 p.m. kickoff). There will be three state championship games on Friday, Nov. 30, followed by three championship games on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Game times on Friday and Saturday are 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The divisional assignments will be announced after the state semifinal games.
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