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Playoffs mean close finish

The final weekend of high school football has settled some issues, but not all of them.

Tuesday, October 26, 1999

The final weekend of high school football has settled some issues, but not all of them. While some teams are certain to have made the postseason playoffs, others must wait for the outcome of Friday’s games to see where they finish.

The Chesapeake Panthers in Division V and Symmes Valley Vikings in Division VI have clinched playoff spots and are just waiting to see whom they play.

For the Ironton Fighting Tigers it’s a different story. Ironton (6-2) appears to be in the playoffs, but a loss this week to Columbus St. Francis DeSales and a few factors going against them could make for a too-close-to-call final tally.

Ironton’s loss at Belfry last week cost the Fighting Tigers an air-lock postseason berth and hopes of a home game. But Ironton should make the playoffs regardless of Friday’s outcome.

Unless.

One key game is Waverly against Coshocton. Although Waverly is 6-3, the Tigers schedule is not very strong and needs a win over Coshocton which is 7-2 and fighting for its own playoff spot in Region 15.

The Cincinnati Indian Hill upset of Cin. Wyoming last week opened up a scramble atop the region.

Wheelersburg moves to number one in the region ahead of Wyoming, but the Pirates face rival Portsmouth Friday in a pivotal game.

Portsmouth can vault over Wheelersburg into second place with a win and drop Wheelersburg to fifth. Indian Hill can finish third, Hamilton Badin fourth, Wheelersburg, Cin. Madeira, Ironton, and Germantown Valley View.

It will be a tough weekend for Valley View as well. The Spartans must play Eaton which is 8-1 and in the playoff picture of Region 12 in Division III.

A Valley View win and an Ironton loss could put Valley View seventh and Ironton eighth.

If Ironton finishes seventh, it would play the second place team, either Wyoming or Portsmouth. If eighth, the Fighting Tigers would face Wheelersburg or Wyoming.

Ironton’s loss did hurt, but not enough to eliminate the Fighting Tigers due to strength of schedule. Even with just nine games, Ironton might qualify with a 6-3 record because its opponents have a combined 45-36 record.

Symmes Valley (7-2) has a big game at unbeaten Gilbert, W.Va. The Vikings probably won’t overtake Beallsville unless they win and Beallsville loses.

If the Vikings finish second, the Vikings would host a first round game, probably against Howard East Knox or Danville.

Chesapeake is battling to hang on to the No. 1 spot, but Amanda-Clearcreek looks to have a strong enough schedule to finish ahead of the Panthers.

Despite their 9-0 record, the Panthers opponents have a combined 29-60 record.

Still, the Panthers would be second and get a home playoff game.