Save the best for last. That’s what the cliché – and schedule – says
this week. Entering the final weekend of the high school football
regular season, there are numerous games of interest – and impact –
around the Miami Valley.
Playoff spots and league titles will be decided in the next 48 hours and there are plenty of storylines to follow.
Milton-Union and Bellbrook meet in a pivotal SWBL contest, while
Northmont, Piqua, Butler and Trotwood all have huge games in the GWOC
North. There’s also that annual season-ending Alter-Chaminade-Julienne
game going on.
Below we take a look at those games and few more that will send ripples through the valley and state.
Milton-Union (8-1) at Bellbrook (5-4): Game sets up as an
SWBL Southwest Division title game with both teams 4-1 in the league.
Most predictions had these two teams challenging for the title, but
after Bellbrook’s 1-3 start some doubted the Eagles validity. Since a
loss to Monroe in Week 4, Bellbrook has reestablished itself going 4-1
and has positioned itself for a possible playoff berth in D-II with a
win. Defense has been key for the Eagles who allowed over 30 points
three times in the first four games but have since given up over 18
just once. Offensively the Eagles have made plays when they’ve needed
to to win. Milton is a playoff lock in D-IV and will host a home game.
The Bulldogs would like to win their second straight SWBL title and
extract revenge on a Bellbrook team that ended their perfect season a
year ago in Week 10.
Alter (9-0) at Chaminade-Julienne (6-3): This parochial
rivalry has been dominated by Alter recently and the Knights appear to
have the upper hand again. Alter’s closest game this season is a 41-20
win over Bellbrook in Week 2. Only three other Alter games have been
decided by less than 30 points (Carroll, Greenville and Fairmont). The
Knights are also out to defend their GCL North title. C-J needs a win
to make the D-III playoffs. Alter is already a lock for a home game in
Troy (4-5) at Wayne (7-2): Troy won’t make the playoffs,
but the Trojans would like nothing better than to end the season with
back-to-back wins. Last week Troy shocked rival Piqua. A similar script
is needed this week. Wayne is still alive for a playoff spot in rugged
D-I, Region 4, but the Warriors do not control their own destiny.
Northmont (6-3) at Piqua (7-2): The game is Northmont’s
last as a member of the GWOC North. Next season the T-Bolts join the
GWOC Central. The T-Bolts did secure a share of their sixth straight
North Division title last week with an impressive win over Trotwood.
The playoffs are still in the picture and a win here would likely
propel Northmont into the postseason in D-I, Region 4. Piqua is already
a postseason lock in D-II, Region 6, but the Indians can grab a share
of the North Division title with a win. Be aware of Piqua QB Justin
Hemm on senior night.
Vandalia-Butler (6-3) at Trotwood-Madison (6-3): Game boils
down to a playoff game for both. Although Trotwood looks to be in in
D-II, Region 8 the Rams would rather not have to worry about
calculations. Butler would likely be in the playoffs in Region 8 with
Fairmont (4-5) at Centerville (7-2): Win and Centerville is
in the D-I, Region 4 playoffs. A victory also locks up the GWOC Central
Division title outright. Fairmont is no pushover. After an 0-3 start,
the Firebirds are 4-2 with two narrow losses to Wayne (21-18) and
Beavercreek (28-21 in OT).
Twin Valley South (7-2) at Ansonia (5-4): Both teams are
still mathematically alive for playoff berths. Perhaps the more
important thing for TVS is finishing out a stellar season and
turnaround on the right foot. TVS went 2-28 the last three years before
reeling off seven – and possibly – eight wins this year.
Meadowdale (2-7) at Dunbar (4-5): Game comes down to Dayton
City League championship game. If Dunbar wins, they get title outright.
If Lions win, Thurgood Marshall grabs a share of the crown.
St. Henry (5-4) at Fort Recovery (5-4): Technically both
teams are still alive for playoffs, but the chances are slim. This game
is more about pride than postseason berths. Especially for Fort
Recovery. The Indians would like nothing better than to end the best
season in school history with a victory over neighbor St. Henry.
Mechanicsburg (6-3) at West Liberty-Salem (8-1): Winner of
this game is in the playoffs and loser is left to sweat it out. Teams
also fighting for second place in Ohio Heritage Conference.
Beavercreek (5-4) at Xenia (5-4): No playoff or league
title implications here, just bragging rights for Greene County.
Beavers have chance to finish with winning record for first time since
1991, while Xenia and standout senior RB Aston Jackson have chance to
keep Creek searching.