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Fighting Tigers face playoff waiting game

Lock one in, and leave the door ajar just in case for another.

Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Lock one in, and leave the door ajar just in case for another.

Going into the final week of the high school football season, the Ironton Fighting Tigers are locked in on an Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason playoff berth.

Ironton,7-1, should finish second or third in Region 15 of Division IV depending on whether they win or lose Friday night against Columbus St. Francis DeSales.

Ironton is currently third behind Licking Valley and Coshocton. A complete rankings list appears on Page 11.

By finishing second, Ironton would play the No. 7 seeded team. A third place finish would put the Fighting Tigers against the No. 6 seed.

The question for the Chesapeake Panthers is whether they will have enough to qualify for a third straight playoff berth in Region 19 of Division V.

Chesapeake (7-2) will need some help in order to make the regional quarterfinals. The Panthers need a loss by a top eight team or for their schedule to produce enough points to overtake another team.

The Panthers currently are ninth in their region. Milford Center Fairbanks in eighth with an 11.9111 average and Chesapeake has an 11.5336 average.

Ironton’s destination is much more concrete. The Fighting Tigers will get a home game in the opening round of the playoffs. The only real question will be which team finishes fourth and fifth.

Bellaire plays at Martins Ferry Friday night in their annual rivalry. Martins Ferry needs a win to qualify and would finish fifth, moving Loudonville to fourth. Bellaire will be fourth with a win and possibly tumble out with a loss.

In the new playoff format, the team finishing first plays No. 8, No. 2 plays No. 7, No. 3 plays No. 6, and No. 4 plays No. 5.

Licking Valley should finish first with Coshocton or Ironton second, depending on Friday’s games.

Bellaire could be fourth with a win, but a loss could leave either Loudonville or Martins Ferry fourth and fifth, in no certain order.

That would leave Bloom-Carroll and Utica battling for the six and seven positions.

Waiting in the wings is Wellston. The Golden Rockets need for someone to lose and fall out of the top eight in order to qualify.

Two other possibilities include Heath and Columbus Eastmoor.

The remainder of Friday’s schedule has Teays Valley at Bloom-Carroll, Hebron Lakewood at Licking Valley, Belville Clear Fork at Loudonville, and Fredericktown at Utica.

Waverly is at Coshocton on Saturday.

The OHSAA will announce its final computer ratings and playoff pairings on Sunday afternoon.