ANNA — Playoff implications are on the line for Anna and Fort Recovery in a Midwest Athletic Conference game on Friday.
Anna (4-2, 3-1) enters the game fourth in Division V, Region 18, while Fort Recovery (3-3, 1-3) is 12th in Division VI, Region 24. The top eight teams in each region qualify for the playoffs.
A win will be a huge boost for either team according to Drew Pasteur’s Fantastic 50. Pasteur is a mathematics professor at the College of Wooster and has run a website for nearly a decade in which he publishes computer model predictions for playoff berths for Ohio teams.
A win over Fort Recovery will boost Anna’s playoff chances to 85 percent according to Pasteur, while a loss would drop them to 35 percent. A loss would drop the Rockets to 4-3 heading into Week 8’s game at undefeated Coldwater.
A victory against Anna would boost Fort Recovery’s playoff hopes to 51 percent, while a loss would drop their chances to nine percent.
The Indians earned their first MAC win of the season last week by beating Parkway by 21 points. They had previously lost three close conference games: 28-22 to Minster in Week 3, 19-15 to New Bremen in Week 4 and 35-31 to Coldwater in Week 5.
Fort Recovery averages 228.5 yards and 26.7 points per game and allows an average of 293.5 yards and 22 points. Quarterback Clay Schmitz ranks second in the conference with 1,104 passing yards and 11 passing touchdowns. Running back Derek Jutte has rushed for 404 yards and four touchdowns on 85 carries.
Anna averages 339.5 yards and 34.3 points per game and allows an average of 346.3 yards and 28 points per game. Junior running back Riley Huelskamp ranks second in the conference in rushing yards (700) and touchdowns (14), while quarterback Bart Bixler has thrown for 623 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 490 yards and five TDs.
Mississinawa Valley at Fort Loramie
Fort Loramie started what it hopes to be an easy second half of the season with a 52-6 win over Twin Valley South (3-3) last Friday. The Redskins (5-1, 4-0 Cross County Conference) will try for a similar result at home against Mississinawa Valley (3-3, 2-2) on Friday.
The Redskins average 412.8 yards and 33.6 points per game. Max Hoying has led the team with 329 rushing yards on 57 carries, while Carter Mescher, Collin Moore and Nick Brandewie have run for between 256 and 318 yards.
Moore, a sophomore quarterback, has thrown for a CCC-best 997 yards and eight touchdowns. Mescher ranks second in the league in receptions (24) and receiving yards (396) and fourth in receiving touchdowns (4).
Hoying leads the team with 43 total tackles, four of which were for losses. Jake Ratermann has three interceptions to his credit and ranks second among CCC players.
The Blackhawks lost 56-36 last Friday to Ansonia, which Fort Loramie beat 37-10 in Week 5.
The Redskins are ranked sixth in Division VII in the Associated Press state poll.
Lehman Catholic at Waynesfield-Goshen
The Cavaliers will look to continue their march to a Northwest Central Conference title at Waynesfield-Goshen on Friday.
Lehman (4-2, 3-0 NWCC) steamrolled over its latest NWCC victim last Friday in a 41-7 victory against Hardin Northern. The Cavaliers have won all three of their conference games by at least 19 points and have averaged 55.6 points per game the last three weeks.
Senior quarterback Elliott Gilardi has thrown for an NWCC-best 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns and is second in the conference with 516 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Bradly Haynes is first in the league with 421 receiving yards while sophomore Brendan O’Leary is fourth with 254.
The Tigers (3-3, 1-2) lost by 26 points at Riverside last Friday. They’ve averaged 10.4 points per game the last five weeks.
Minster at St. Henry
Minster’s defense has given up a lot of yards and points this season, but its ability to create turnovers is one of the reasons the Wildcats enter Friday’s MAC showdown at St. Henry with a 5-1 record.
The Wildcats, which are 3-1 in MAC play, will travel to take on the Redskins (4-2, 2-2) on Friday. It’s a must-win for Minster to stay in contention for the conference title with Marion Local and Coldwater, which are both undefeated.
Minster gave up 342 yards last Friday against Delphos St. John’s, which has had an anemic offense for most of the season. The Wildcats recovered two fumbles, though, to bring their season total five. They also have a MAC-best 12 interceptions despite allowing an average of 366.5 yards and 23.6 points per game.
St. Henry averages 319 yards and 31.83 points per game and has allowed an average of 119.6 yards and 10.5 points per game. Running back Zach Niekamp leads the MAC with 963 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns.
Minster running back Alex Schmitmeyer and quarterback Jacob Niemeyer continue to rank among the conference’s best in rushing yards. Schmitmeyer has gained 455 yards and scored 11 touchdowns on 85 carries while Niemeyer has rushed for 441 yards and four touchdowns on 55 attempts. Niemeyer has also thrown for 1,101 yards and nine TDs.
The Wildcats are ranked third in Div. VII in the AP state poll.
Parkway at New Bremen
The Cardinals will try for their second MAC win of the season against Parkway on Friday.
New Bremen (3-3, 1-3) was shut out for the second consecutive week last Friday in a 28-0 loss to Coldwater, which is ranked No. 1 in Div. VI in the AP state poll. The Cardinals, which lost 36-0 to St. Henry on Sept. 21, managed 66 yards of offense against Coldwater.
Parkway lost 42-21 to Fort Recovery last Friday. The Panthers average 316 yards and 23.3 points per game. Running back Nick Hawk ranks third in the conference with 543 rushing yards, while quarterback Eli Rich ranks eighth with 586 passing yards.
Parkway has allowed an average of 424 yards and 41.5 points per game and ranks last among MAC teams in both categories.
New Bremen averages 224 yards and 16.83 points per game. Senior quarterback Nolan Bornhorst has completed 45-of-88 passes for 66 yards and seven touchdowns.
Versailles at Marion Local
Versailles’ struggled to contain Anna last Friday and will have another challenge this week against Marion Local, which is ranked second in D-VI in the AP state poll.
The Flyers (6-0, 4-0) average 376 yards and a MAC-best 43.3 points per game. Nate Bruns has completed 57-of-95 passes for 881 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Nolan Habodasz had rushed for 516 yards and 10 TDs.
Marion Local has allowed an average of 135 yards and eight points per game on defense, while Versailles (2-4, 1-3) has allowed 308 yards and 25.3 points per game.
The Tigers’ offense had one of its best games against Anna by racking up 434 yards of offense — though they turned the ball over five times.
Versailles quarterback Ryan Martin ranks fifth in the MAC with 794 passing yards, while running back Jake Poling ranks ninth with 360 rushing yards.
Riverside at Upper Scioto Valley
The Pirates (3-3, 2-1 NWCC) bounced back from a close loss to Hardin Northern with a big win over Waynesfield-Goshen on Friday and will try to carry that momentum to Upper Scioto Valley on Friday.
Riverside racked up 341 rushing yards in a 34-8 win over the Tigers last week, with senior running back Luke Roby running for 224 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Roby ranks second in the NWCC with 526 rushing yards.
The Rams (2-4, 1-2) lost 40-6 to Lima Perry last Friday. They average 147 yards and 20 points per game.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.