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Ironton, Symmes Valley wait for opponents

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ linebacker Mo Phillips (51) makes a big hit on a running back. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos.com)

Jim Walker



It’s week 10 and things are still a bit hazy, but a lot clearer than in most seasons.

Several teams have already clinched an Ohio High School Athletic Association playoff berth including the Ironton Fighting Tigers in Division IV and the Symmes Valley Vikings in Div. VI.

Ironton (6-3) is second in Region 15 of Division IV with a 20.1056 average and has clinched a home game as well as second place. Although Ironton does not play on Friday, it will get an average.

St. Clairsville (9-0) has clinched the No. 1 seed and has a 25.9078 average.

Johnstown-Monroe (7-2) is third in the region at 14.9833 followed by Minford (8-1) at 13.9333. Both have clinched playoff berths.

Piketon (7-2) is fifth with a 12.3639 average and needs a win at Adena (3-6) on Friday to clinch a home game. Gnadenhutten Indian Valley (5-4) is sixth at 11.1970 and hosts Tuscarawas Valley (3-6) on Friday.

The next two spots are up for grabs. Cadiz (6-3) is seventh at 8.9333, Martins Ferry (5-4) is eighth at 8.5944, Zane Trace (3-6) is ninth at 8.3694, Bloom-Carroll (4-5) is 10th at 8.1167 and Unioto (5-4) is 11th at 7.6889.

Chesapeake (4-5) is 12th at 7.3991 and needs the four teams ahead of them to lose as well as some opponents to have a chance.

Harrison Central hosts Buckeye Local (4-5), Martins Ferry hosts arch-rival Bellaire (7-2), Zane Trace is at home against Southeastern (1-8), Bloom-Carroll visits Hamilton Township (7-2) and Unioto travels to Paint Valley (5-3-1).

Harrison Central, Zane Trace, Hamilton Township, Unioto and Bellaire are the favorites. The projection would be Harrison Central and Unioto as the final two qualifiers, but Martins Ferry could still slip in even with a loss.

Coal Grove (5-3) has inched its way back into the playoff picture in Region 19 of Division V, but the Hornets need a lot of help.

The Hornets — ninth with a 9.0421 average — will get very little help with a win over South Point.

Coal Grove needs Nelsonville-York to lose against Athens (8-1) on Friday and hope that the right Buckeye opponents stumble. Even if N-Y loses, it could still edge out the Hornets.

In Region 23 of Division VI, Symmes Valley clinched a playoff spot with its win over Portsmouth Notre Dame.

The Vikings (7-2) are fifth this week with an 11.9192 average. They will probably finish fifth behind Trimble even with a win over Buffalo, W.Va., who is 7-1.

Newark Catholic (7-2) leads the region at 17.0808 followed by Danville (8-1) at 17.0505, Bishop Rosecrans (7-2) at 14.8990 and then Trimble (8-1) at 13.333.

If the script goes as expected, the Vikings would play at Trimble in the first round.

The final ratings and playoff pairings will be announced on Sunday. The top eight teams in each region of all six divisions qualify for the playoffs.