Status quo was the theme of last week, as all four WBL and all five MAC teams who were in the top eight of their regions earned victories. Eight of those nine teams remained in the top eight, with only New Bremen dropping down to ninth place in Region 28. Expect the Cardinals to return to playoff position if they defeat 3-4 Versailles this week.
It was thought several local teams might clinch their playoff spots last week, but no local team was able to achieve this goal. However, five teams (Wapakoneta, St. Marys, Ottawa-Glandorf, Coldwater and Marion Local) can only be kept out of the postseason by the greatest of catastrophes.
Unfortunately, there was more action at the lower end of the rankings. Shawnee, Van Wert, Bath, Versailles, Parkway, Fort Recovery, St. Henry and Delphos St. John's were all eliminated from any hope of the postseason. Celina is likely to join this group shortly.
The WBL still has four teams in the top eight of their regions. Wapakoneta and St. Marys still both look good in Region 12, currently in second and fifth places. Kenton moved up a spot to sixth position in Region 16, while Ottawa-Glandorf fell three places to fourth in Region 14 as other teams had better wins last week.
The MAC also has four teams currently ranked in the top eight of their regions. Coldwater, Anna and Minster are currently second, third and seventh, respectively, in Region 23. Marion Local sits atop Region 28, and the MAC may get a fifth team in the playoffs if New Bremen can move up from ninth place with a couple of wins.
This is another week for the favorites to avoid upsets in the WBL. The four current playoff teams are all big favorites at home this Friday.
Unlike last week, this Friday is full of games with postseason implications in the MAC. The four teams currently in playoff spots play each other, as 7-0 Coldwater travels to 6-1 Anna and 6-1 Minster visits 6-1 Marion Local. Will there be a changing of the guard in the MAC or will the two teams who have dominated this conference recently come out on top once again?
Despite those two games, the most important matchup may be 5-2 New Bremen hosting 3-4 Versailles in a VERY important game for the Cardinals.
The complete computer points for the three regions involving most area teams (12, 23 & 28) can be found throughout the season at: user.nktelco.net/bdmonnin/football.htm.
For even more computer point details, subscribe to my weekly podcast at the I-Tunes store. Search for Bruce Monnin's Computer Points.
This week, I will include the current chance of making the playoffs for each team according to Drew Pasteur's Fantastic 50 website.
Chaminade-Julienne - 1st (16.19) (99%)
Wapakoneta - 2nd (13.45) (99%)
St. Marys - 5th (10.71) (98%)
Cincinnati Hughes - 8th (9.74) (47%)
Greenville - 9th (9.67) (44%)
Shawnee - 18th (5.04) (0%)
Celina - 19th (4.32) (1%)
Wapakoneta and St. Marys have all but locked up their playoff invitations. Wapakoneta also has an 88% chance of finishing in the top four and thus hosting their opening round playoff game. A win over 3-4 Celina would go a long ways towards achieving this milestone.
St. Marys is much less likely to earn that home playoff game (21%). The Roughriders are heavily favored to win their last three games, but should remain in fifth place unless a helpful upset occurs among the top four teams.
Ottawa-Glandorf - 4th (12.85) (98%)
Clyde - 9th (9.72) (61%)
Van Wert - 17th (5.84) (0%)
Despite defeating 3-4 Shawnee last week, Ottawa-Glandorf fell three spots in the standings. A win over 2-5 Defiance this week should secure a playoff spot. Another win over either 5-2 Kenton or 6-1 Wapakoneta should ought to earn the Titans a home start to the postseason. Winning all three should return them to the No. 1 seed.
Kenton - 6th (12.11) (89%)
Valley View - 9th (8.00) (46%)
Kenton moves up one position and a win in all three of their final games should move them up into the coveted No. 4 spot. However, a loss next week to 6-1 Ottawa-Glandorf may drop the Wildcats to a probable eight seed. Kenton would then have to hope they are not removed from the postseason thanks to an upset victory by another team in this region.
North Union - 8th (8.76) (57 %)
Bath - 22nd (2.67) (0%)
Bath's loss means we no longer have to follow this region since the postseason is now out of its reach.
Cincinnati Mariemont - 8th (6.98) (41%)
Versailles - 19th (3.29) (0%)
Versailles' loss last week also means it will not be playing in Week 11.
Liberty Center - 1st (15.43) (100%)
Coldwater - 2nd (15.34) (99%)
Anna - 3rd (12.81) (88%)
Minster - 7th (10.04) (78%)
Spencerville - 8th (9.79) (48%)
Sherwood Fairview - 9th (9.75) (77%)
Gibsonburg - 10th (9.04) (37%)
Parkway - 14th (4.22) (0%)
Fort Recovery - 20th (2.92) (0%)
St. Henry - 24th (1.05) (0%)
While Coldwater has not quite clinched its spot in the postseason, the Cavaliers have a 96% chance to host their opening playoff game (get those tickets early). Even if Coldwater loses this week against 5-1 Anna and in week 10 against 5-1 Marion Local, the No. 4 seed is most likely.
At the moment, the projections show Allen East, Sherwood Fairview, Archbold, Minster and Anna all finishing in a close logjam for the fourth through eighth seeds in this region. If either Minster or Anna loses their big game this week, they need to win their last two to reach this position. If either team wins this week, they break out of the pack and will be favored to host their opening playoff matchup.
Poor 7-0 Gibsonburg is still 10th in the standings.
Marion Local - 1st (10.25) (99%)
Fort Loramie - 3rd (8.28) (100%)
Waynesfield-Goshen - 8th (6.49) (43%)
New Bremen - 9th (6.44) (81%)
Much like Coldwater, Marion Local has not officially earned its playoff invitation, but unofficially, the Flyers are in. Not only will they be playing in week 11, but there is a 90% chance they will be playing at Booster Stadium. A win over 6-1 Minster this week guarantees that home playoff game.
New Bremen fell to ninth place this week as Hardin Northern and Lima Perry earned more points from their wins than the Cardinals did from defeating 2-5 Parkway. A win over 3-4 Versailles this week should return New Bremen to the top eight in the region.
Last Season: Evan Kaeck rushed for 183 yards and four touchdowns in the Redskins' 35-0 win over the Bulldogs at Celina Stadium. Celina was held to just 106 yards of total offense.
About the Bulldogs: For a second straight week, Celina played a stellar game only to fall one point short. This time it was a 28-27 loss to Defiance. Quarterback Cooper Jones rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, keeping him among the leaders in the WBL in rushing yards. Celina has not allowed fewer than 21 points in any game this season.
About the Redskins: Wapak keeps rolling after beating Bath 27-3 last week. Kaeck continues to be the go-to back in the Wing-T of the Redskins, rushing for 774 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Connor McDonald adds 624 yards and eight scores with quarterback Reed Merricle rushing for 481 yards. Merricle has also thrown for 212 yards and two touchdowns. The Wapak defense has held teams to 14-or-fewer points in six of seven games.
Last Season: Quaterback Sam Lefeld rushed for two touchdowns and Zach Niekamp rushed for 117 yards in the Redskins' 20-0 victory at Barrenbrugge Park. The Indians were held to just 123 yards of total offense with three fumbles.
About the Indians: After snapping a four-game skid in Week 6 against Parkway, the Indians ran into the buzzsaw known as Anna in falling 53-20. While the passing game has been solid, with Clay Schmitz passing for 2,555 yards an 15 touchdowns, the running game has been limited to 105.1 yards per game with Derek Jutte tallying 550 of the team's 736 rushing yards.
About the Redskins: St. Henry has struggled throughout the season and ran into a tough Minster team in falling 45-7 at Memorial Field. The Redskins recorded just 148 yards of total offense against Minster and were 2-of-9 on third down conversions.
Last Season: In a game played in a torrential downpour, the teams scored all their points in the first quarter and then muddled through the rest of the game with the Flyers winning 7-6. Nolan Habodasz had Marion's touchdown and Jacob Niemeyer scored the Wildcats' score with Alex Klosterman's made PAT being the difference.
About the Wildcats: Minster has been chugging along since losing to Coldwater in Week 4. Alex Schmitmeyer is one of two area backs to rush for more than 1,000 yards, along with Anna's Riley Huelskamp The Minster defense has given up an average of 113.3 rushing yards per game and 259.3 total yards per game. A win would solidify the Wildcats' playoff spot.
About the Flyers: Marion still holds a share of the MAC lead at 5-0 going into the contest with Marion. The Flyers pulled away early in their last two wins. Marion's defense has tallied 14 sacks, seven interceptions and six fumble recoveries this season with no player having more than 42 tackles.
Last Season: Nolan Bornhorst's 50-yard pass to Grant Selby with 8:29 remaining in regulation gave the Cardinals a 14-7 come-from-behind victory at Hole Field. The teams combined for 362 total yards of offense and four turnovers.
About the Tigers: Versailles was held to just a touchdown for the second straight week in falling to Marion Local 38-7. The Tigers were held to just 138 yards of total offense against the Flyers and just 67 yards rushing.
About the Cardinals: New Bremen picked up a new look to its passing game as Mitchell Hays hit Dan Homan for two first-half touchdown passes en route to a 40-18 win at Parkway. The Cardinals then used solid running in the second to pull away for the win. Hays, while a strong runner on offense, has played stellar defense, leading the team with 48 tackles and adding 11 pass breakups.
Last Season: The teams played back and forth for four quarters at Panther Stadium before the Blue Jays hung on for a 27-22 win.
About the Panthers: Penalties hampered a strong first series for Parkway against New Bremen. The Panthers' 340 penalty yards is the most in the MAC with the 35 penalties among the most in the conference. Quarterback Eli Rich has been solid this season, but has struggled when put in long-yardage situations. Parkway has taken care of the ball, only having a minus-1 turnover ratio (seven takeaways to eight giveaways, right in the middle of the pack in the MAC).
About the Blue Jays: St. John's was shut out for the second time this season and gave up the most points in any game this season in falling 49-0 to Coldwater. The offense is averaging just under 200 yards per game with the defense allowing 341.9 yards per game. The last time the Blue Jays finished with just one win on the season was 2015.
Last Season: Braeden Dunlap rushed for 164 yards and passed for three touchdowns in the Roughriders' 60-14 win over the Wildcats. Bath was held to 113 yards of total offense.
About the Wildcats: Bath only trailed Wapakoneta 7-3 at the half before giving up 20 points in the third quarter to fall 27-3. Quarterback Dallin McDermott passed for 173 yards with an interception but the Wildcat defense gave up 258 yards of offense - all rushing - to the Redskins.
About the Roughriders: St.Marys had a 35-0 lead at halftime and did not allow Elida a score until taking a 48-0 lead to keep the clock rolling in a 62-14 win. Ten different players had at least one rush and two yards en route to gaining 412 yards on the ground.
Friday's Games (7 p.m. starts unless indicated)
Celina at Wapakoneta
Bath at St. Marys
Defiance at O-G (6 p.m.)
Van Wert at Elida
Shawnee at Kenton
Friday's Games (7 p.m. starts)
Coldwater at Anna
Minster at Marion Local
Versailles at New Bremen
Fort Recovery at St. Henry
Parkway at St. John's