Winning easiest way to qualifying for OHSAA playoffs

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

Win and you're in.

Sounds simple, but getting the win will be the difficult part for the Rock Hill Redmen and Symmes Valley Vikings.

The final week of the high school football season brings more drama for Rock Hill than just trying to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship outright.

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A postseason playoff berth is also at stake for the Redmen who host the rival Coal Grove Hornets. A win over Coal Grove will put Rock Hill in the Division IV playoffs, possibly as high as fifth place.

However, a loss could mean not only a co-championship with Chesapeake but no playoff berth.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers have a playoff spot and home game already wrapped up. Ironton (8-1) can move into first place in Region 15 of Division IV with a win over Division III power Columbus St. Francis DeSales on Friday.

Five teams have playoff berths locked up but the order of finish is uncertain. Besides Ironton, Bellaire, Westfall, New Lexington and West Muskingum should all qualify.

In contention for the final three spots are Rock Hill, Heath, Columbus Bishop Hartley, Zane Trace and St. Clairsville.

Hartley (7-2) has a tough game against Bishop Ready (8-1), St. Clairsville (7-2) faces Harrison Central (6-3) and Zane Trace visits Piketon (6-3).

Heath (7-2) has an easy game against Granville (1-8) but doesn't figure to get many points for its schedule. The Bulldogs will need one or two teams to lose in order to make the playoffs.

Westfall should beat Paint Valley and New Lexington is a heavy favorite against Philo, but West Muskingum will be in a dead-heat battle with Sheridan (7-2).

Portsmouth West (6-3) could be the odd-man out. Even though the Senators beat Rock Hill 40-21, they will probably sit at home unless three teams lose.

Bellaire (9-0) leads Region 15 this week with a 27.0960 average followed by Ironton at 25.4222.

Ironton has more second level points than any team in the region with 212.

Westfall is a distant third at 17.0000, New Lexington fourth at 16.9222, West Muskingum fifth 15.7222, Rock Hill sixth 14.6458, Heath seventh at 14.4222, Hartley eighth at 13.9847, Zane Trace ninth 13.9222 and St. Clairsville 10th at 13.6283.

Symmes Valley's plight is similar to Rock Hill.

Symmes Valley (6-3) is sixth in this week's Region 23 Division VI computer rankings and travels to Guyan Valley, W.Va., The Vikings are probably a two touchdown favorite and will clinch a playoff berth - possibly a home game - with a win.

Lancaster Fisher Catholic leads the region at 15.0444 followed by Hannibal River at 13.4544, Newark Catholic third at 10.7555, Caldwell 9.9480, Shadyside 8.9735, Symmes Valley 8.8888, Strasburg-Franklin 8.2444 and Milford Center Fairbanks eighth at 8.2317.

The top eight teams in each region of the six divisions qualify for the postseason playoffs. Final rankings and pairings will be announced Sunday afternoon.