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Forfeit aids Hornets’ playoff chances

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

COAL GROVE — Guess who’s back in the playoff picture?

The Ohio High School Athletic Association ruled that Trimble’s decision not to honor its agreement to play Coal Grove this past Monday would be treated as a forfeit and the school would have to pay the penalty for not honoring their signed contract.

The game originally was postponed when Trimble elected not to make the trip to Coal Grove on Sept. 16 due to some cases of meningitis in the Dawson-Bryant school district.

However, Trimble did agree to play on Oct. 17 but informed the state that the game was being cancelled because the two schools could not agree on a make-up date.

With the forfeit win — Coal Grove was a big favorite to win the game if it had been played — the Hornets have new life in the computer playoff ratings.

“If we make it we’ll have to travel, but it’s better to make it and travel than the alternative,” said Hornets’ coach Dave Lucas.

Obviously, the Hornets must win their final two games against Fairland and Chesapeake. The game against Chesapeake should be worth 34.5 points alone.

While the Hornets are sitting in 16th place in Region 19 of Division V, the final two weeks are expected to have a lot of movement.

Wheelersburg is eighth but the Pirates face Portsmouth West and Lucasville Valley and will be underdogs in both games.

Smithville is 10th but face unbeaten Norwayne this week. Next is Columbus Academy who plays Whitehall-Yearling (4-4) this week and should win, but faces 7-1 Granville next week and the Vikings will heavy underdogs.

Centerburg is No. 12 and plays No. 14 Fredericktown this week. Centerburg is a favorite this week but a Fredericktown win would probably eliminate both teams. Centerburg’s final game is against 2-6 Utica.

Liberty Union is 7-1 and No. 13, but the Lions face 7-1 West Jefferson this week and 8-0 Grandview Heights next week.

Cardington-Lincoln is one spot ahead of Coal Grove but has virtually no chance of making the playoffs.