CINCINNATI — There are still plenty of questions regarding the playoffs for several Ohio high school football teams entering the final day of Week 9.
Longtime playoff projections analyst Steve Shuck offered his latest insight early Saturday morning based upon Friday night results.
In Division II, Region 8, Winton Woods is still on the bubble despite a 26-21 win over host La Salle Friday night.
Since Columbus St. Francis DeSales defeated Steubenville 30-18 Friday night, it moved the Stallions into a projected playoff spot, possibly at No. 7, according to Shuck.
Harrison (8-1), Turpin (9-0), La Salle (7-2), Xenia (8-1), Canal Winchester (8-1) and Walnut Ridge (9-0) are also projected to qualify. Joe Eitel reported late Friday night that Harrison and Turpin will unofficially host first-round games.
Winton Woods (6-3), which completed its regular season Friday night, would benefit from losses by Little Miami (7-2) and Talawanda (7-2) Nov. 1 in order to have an opportunity at the No. 8 spot, according to Shuck.
Talawanda plays host to Ross (7-2) in Week 10 while Little Miami plays host to Simon Kenton (6-3). If either Little Miami or Talawanda wins their respective game, it could eliminate Winton Woods from contention.
As of early Saturday morning, it appears Talawanda would have a slight edge over Little Miami if both teams win next week.
Anderson (6-3) is projected to not qualify, according to Shuck.
Shuck – the Greater Miami Conference commissioner – is assisting WCPO for the fourth consecutive season. The Ohio High School Athletic Association announces the first-round pairings Nov. 3. The top eight in each region make the postseason. The top four host first-round games.
Shuck’s information is independent and unofficial. It has no official connection to the OHSAA computer points.
In Division I, Region 4, Fairfield (9-0), St. Xavier (6-2), Elder (8-1) and Colerain (8-1) are projected to host first-round games.
The Nos. 5-8 teams are still to be determined. Princeton’s 41-35 win over Lakota West helped the Vikings (6-3).
Lakota West (6-3) is at No. 5 and Princeton No. 6, respectively, in the standings this morning, according to Eitel.
Hamilton (5-4) also bolstered its chances with a 14-7 win over Sycamore.
Based upon Friday night’s results, Mason (4-5) or Sycamore (4-5) could be battling for the No. 8 spot, Shuck said. Walnut Hills (4-5) may also have a long-shot opportunity though it looks doubtful.
In Division III, Franklin (8-1) unofficially clinched a home game, according to Eitel. Badin (6-3) and Ross (7-2) control their own destiny, Eitel said. Hughes (6-2), which is scheduled to play Aiken (5-3) today, is at No. 9 in the standings this morning.
In Division IV, Region 16, Wyoming (9-0) and Clinton-Massie (8-1) unofficially clinched home games while Indian Hill (8-1) unofficially clinched a playoff spot, according to Joe Eitel. Roger Bacon (8-1) controls its own destiny.
In Division V, Region 20, the Mariemont (7-2) at Madeira (7-2) matchup Nov. 1 looms large as both teams try to earn a playoff spot. Madeira controls its own destiny, Eitel reports.
Taft (8-1) and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (7-2) unofficially clinched playoff spots, according to Eitel. Summit Country Day (8-1, 7-1 by OHSAA) controls its own destiny.
In Division VI, Region 24, Deer Park (5-4) is mathematically eliminated, according to Eitel.
New Miami (9-0 overall, 8-0 by OHSAA) unofficially clinched a home game in Division VII, Region 28, according to Eitel. Cincinnati College Prep (7-2) and Lockland (6-3) control their own destiny.
WCPO will have the complete projections from Shuck on Oct. 30.
Around the city
- Fairfield senior running back JuTahn McClain (Kentucky) has 17 consecutive regular-season games of 100-plus yards rushing. He had 16 carries for 169 yards and three touchdowns in a 50-0 win over visiting Oak Hills. He has rushed for 1,716 yards and 21 touchdowns for Fairfield (9-0).
- Taft defeated Woodward 34-6 Friday for its 27th consecutive Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference win. Junior DaQuan Smith started at quarterback and had over 100 yards passing and a pick-6 on defense. Junior Gianni Rudolph had about 100 yards receiving. Freshman quarterback My'Keal Bryant played most of the game and had two rushing touchdowns, according to Taft coach Jeff Cargile.
- Roger Bacon junior running back Corey Kiner had eight carries for 210 yards and five touchdowns in the Spartans' 53-0 win over Norwood. Kiner has 130 carries for 1,422 rushing yards (10.9 yards per carry) and 28 touchdowns this season. He has eight receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans (8-1).
- Hamilton senior defensive back Khaliyal Sowell had a season-high 13 tackles in a 14-7 win over visiting Sycamore.
- Senior quarterback Dorian Durham threw for 228 yards and four touchdowns as Princeton defeated Lakota West 41-35. Junior running back Thomas Boyd had 117 rushing yards and a touchdown. Princeton is seeking its first postseason berth since 2007. “Great team victory,” Princeton coach Mike Daniels said. “I’m so proud of our guys anchoring down and fighting. “Through the ebbs and flows of the season, we’ve stuck together. I told the team they set themselves up for something that hasn’t been done since 2007.”
- Harrison senior quarterback Connor Kinnett was 18 of 24 passing for 255 yards and five touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 42-13 win over Mount Healthy. He also rushed for a touchdown.
- Elder senior quarterback Matthew Luebbe was 22 of 33 passing for 306 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers’ 31-20 over Clarkson Football North. He also rushed for 104 yards.