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Ironton can clinch home playoff game

Not even a gallon of Pepto-Bismol will settle this situation.

Most of the participants in the Region 15 Division IV playoff picture are set, but the final two qualifiers and order of finish remain unsettled.

Heading into the final week of the high school football season, as many as 10 teams are vying for the eight playoff spots in the region.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers (6-3) are fourth this week but can finish first, second or third with a win over Warren this week. Their finish will depend on how the success or failure of the other teams.

Regardless, Ironton will be at home with a win.

Martins Ferry (8-1) leads the region at 20.8451 followed by New Lexington at 20.6867 and Belmont Union Local at 18.667. Ironton has an 18.2247 average.

The rest of the top 10 has Westfall (7-2), Bishop Hartley (6-2), Meigs (7-2), St. Clairsville (6-3), Utica (6-3) and Likcking Heights (7-2).

The projected finish will have a lot to do with New Lexington’s game against Sheridan. Both teams are 9-0.

If New Lexington wins, the Panthers finish first in the region. If they lose, it will come down to Ironton and Martins Ferry. Union Local figures to finish fourth.

Union Local lost to Martins Ferry 60-18 earlier this year, but beat Harrison 27-8. Martins Ferry beat Harrison 26-20.

Bishop Hartley plays Bishop Ready in a key game for both teams. Hartley will finish fifth with a win, but Ready can make the Division V playoffs with a victory.

Westfall should win, but since the game is against 1-8 Huntington Ross, look for the Mustangs to finish sixth.

Meigs, seeking its first playoff appearance ever, will probably be seventh with St. Clairsville or Licking Heights eighth. Licking Heights could slip into the playoffs, but they must beat West Jefferson (7-2) who is sixth in Region 20 of Division V.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce its final rankings and pairings on Sunday afternoon.