There is little mystery heading into Week 10 when it comes to area football teams’ playoff chances. Five of the eight area squads already have secured playoff berths, while another two are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
While few will have a playoff berth on the line when they take the field this weekend, better seeding and a first-round home game will be on the line for some.
Anna, Fort Loramie, Lehman Catholic, Minster and Riverside already have secured playoff berths according to Drew Pasteur’s Fantastic50.net, while New Bremen has a good shot even with a loss at Minster this Friday.
Anna (7-2) has a shot at a first-round home playoff game — and will know by the time it takes the field on Saturday afternoon at Delphos St. John’s whether it can earn a home game or not.
The Rockets are currently ranked No. 4 in Division V, Region 18. The top eight teams in each region qualify for the playoffs, while the top four host first-round games.
Anna is in danger of dropping this week because a win over the Blue Jays (2-7) won’t be worth much second-level points. Pasteur gives Anna a 47 percent chance at a home game if it beats St. John’s.
No. 5 Elyria Catholic (7-2) can jump the Rockets with a win over Rocky River. No. 6 Marion Pleasant could also jump with a win over Ontario. Since all other games are on Friday, Anna will know by Saturday afternoon whether a win will keep it at No. 4.
More favorable playoff seeding is on the line when Riverside (6-3) travels to Sidney Memorial Stadium to face Lehman (6-3) on Thursday. The Pirates are currently ranked No. 5 in Division VII, Region 28, while Lehman is seventh.
Pasteur says the winner of Friday’s game is likely to stay at about the No. 5 spot (with a slight chance at finishing No. 4), while the loser is likely to stay at about the No. 7 spot. Whoever wins will likely travel to No. 4 Ansonia (7-2) in the first round, while the loser will likely travel to No. 2 Convoy Crestview (8-1) in the first round.
Lehman and Riverside will also likely be keeping an eye on another matchup between two of Region 28’s top teams on Friday when New Bremen travels to Minster.
The Wildcats (6-3) are ranked No. 3 in Region 28, while the Cardinals (6-3) are No. 8. Minster can clinch a first-round home game with a win and would be very likely will stay at No. 3. New Bremen can clinch a playoff berth with a win — though Pasteur gives them a 67 percent chance at a postseason berth even with a loss.
If New Bremen beats Minster, the Wildcats would likely drop to the No. 5 seed, while New Bremen would likely jump to No. 6 or No. 7. That would increase the Lehman/Riverside winner’s chances at the No. 4 spot and a home game — and also likely mean the winner would host defending D-VII state champion Minster in the first round.
Even if New Bremen loses, a playoff berth is likely. No. 12 Riverdale (5-4) could jump the Cardinals and earn the No. 8 seed but would have to beat undefeated Pandora-Gilboa on Friday. No. 11 New Miami (5-4) cold also jump New Bremen, but it would have to beat Dayton Christian (7-2) and hope both Benjamin Logan and Mississinawa Valley — which the Cardinals beat in nonconference play — both lose.
Fort Loramie (8-1) has clinched the No. 1 seed in Region 28 according to Pasteur. The only question remaining for the Redskins is who they’ll host in the first round. Pasteur gives a 55 percent chance to New Bremen traveling to Fort Loramie in Week 1.
Sidney (4-5) was eliminated from playoff contention with its loss to Vandalia-Butler last Friday, while Versailles (2-7) has been out of the picture for a few weeks.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.