High school football projection analyst Steve Shuck offers insight entering week 10

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 18:07:32-04

CINCINNATI -- The final week of the Ohio high school football regular season has arrived.

Now, it's time to figure out the playoff matchups in each of the seven regions.

Longtime playoff projections analyst Steve Shuck offered his insight exclusively to about the various scenarios before the Ohio High School Athletic Association announces the postseason schedule Sunday morning.

In Division I, Region 4, St. Xavier (8-1), Colerain (7-2) and Milford (8-1) are in, according to Shuck. Five other teams are in the postseason with a win this week.

Two games to watch closely include Elder (6-3) at La Salle (7-2) while Moeller (4-5) plays at Winton Woods (8-1).

"It's a very close call, and one could make a case for one or both to win," Shuck said. "If they do win, that shuffles the order of finish."

If West Clermont (6-3) defeats host Milford (8-1), the Wolves jump up over 20 points, which would be good for No. 6 entering the weekend.

Milford still would be projected to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1986, but Moeller or Fairfield (5-4) could be on the bubble.

If Lakota East (6-3) defeats visiting Mason (7-2) that could bring a whole other set of changes. Plus, some other games on Saturday could impact the region.

In Division II, Region 8, La Salle -- the reigning three-time state champions -- is projected to earn the top seed.

The Lancers could play Edgewood (7-2) in the first round -- a rematch of the 2016 first-round game in which La Salle won 23-21.

However, Edgewood is still very much on the bubble. The Cougars could be out of the top eight if Chillicothe defeats Jackson.

Shuck said La Salle, Winton Woods and Anderson are projected to play host to first-round games after Friday night.

In Division III, Region 12, Franklin (7-2) dropped to No. 4 but still should play host to a first-round game. Goshen (9-0) is projected to be the No. 1 seed. The Warriors will clinch their first postseason appearance since 2009.

McNicholas (5-4) is still projected to be No. 8 but only by a fraction. The Rockets play host to Badin (5-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Prior to that game, McNicholas will want to follow Friday night's results. That's because a Wapakoneta win over St. Mary's or a New Richmond win over Goshen could end the Rockets' season.

In Division IV, Region 16, Wyoming (9-0) and Indian Hill (8-1) could play again in the first round. The Cincinnati Hills League rivals play Friday night at Wyoming in the WCPO Game of the Week.

In Division V, Region 20, there is little decided at this point. Teams in Nos. 2-4 are separated by a mere .071 points. Reading (6-3) still has an opportunity at No. 8, but Summit Country Day (8-2) has an outside chance too.

There are no area teams in contention in Division VI, Region 24.

In Division VII, Region 28, Lockland (4-4), Miami Valley Christian (4-5) and Gamble Montessori (4-5) have outside chances to qualify for the final spot.

Shuck's projections are considered unofficial, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association formally announces the playoff pairings Sunday.

The top eight teams in each of the seven regions qualify for the postseason, with the top four teams playing host to first-round games. Second-round games will be played at neutral locations.

All playoff games are on Friday night this season up until the state finals at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

Of the 719 OHSAA member schools playing football, the largest 72 schools are in Division I, while the remaining schools are divided equally in Divisions II through VII. There are about 108 schools in each division.

Shuck will continue to update WCPO on the latest projections for all seven divisions in Southwest Ohio the night of Oct. 27 and through the weekend.