This weekend, our Ohio teams wrap up the regular season. For some, a win in that 10th game is need to earn an 11th one. For others, this final week is a chance to go out with a bang.
Cardinal O'Hara at Big Red
Last week, Big Red's 68-game regular-season streak came to end as did its bid for as seventh-straight perfect season. That is now behind the Red. What's in front of them, is a lot of football. Steubenville will finish on top in Division III, Region 11. No matter what, no one can catch Big Red and it will host a first-round playoff game next week at Harding Stadium.
Tonight we'll see them wrap up the regular season with Tonawanda Cardinal O'Hara. We will also see the Red roll, as it gets back to its old self with a 46-6 routing of the Hawks.
Harrison Central at St. Clairsville
This one will be a barnburner because this one means the most.
Both the Huskies and the Red Devils need a win tonight to make it to the playoffs. Harrison Central is on the outside looking in right now in the 10th spot in Division III. Region 11. The Red Devils are 12th in Division IV, Region 13. A win tonight is huge for whoever gets it.
It'll come down to the wire, but the Huskies will prevail in a 14-13 nailbiter.
Indian Creek at Edison
Speaking of needing a win, 5-4 Indian Creek has to beat Edison in the Route 43 Bowl, and get some help, to earn an 11th game. The Redskins currently hold the eighth and final spot in Region 11.
Edison is 3-6 this season, but has proved quite capable of hanging with most teams. The Wildcats will put another fight, tonight, but the Redskins have some much more to play for. That will fuel Creek to a 28-15 win.
Bishop Donahue at Madonna
The Bishops are probably one of the better teams record-wise Madonna has played. They bring a 6-3 mark to the fight.
The Dons have rolled over everybody. Five of its eight wins have been lopsided shutouts. The other three opponents have scored just one TD against the Dons.
Tonight, Madonna may allow two scores, but don't count on more than that. I'm taking Madonna in a 42-14 win.
Oak Glen at Magnolia
If the Golden Bears win tonight, the Golden Bears are in the playoffs.That's easier said then done as Oak Glen travels to No. 2 Magnolia.
Still, don't expect to see the Bears bow out easily. This one will be closer than you might think. Oak Glen will give the Eagles a game, but Oak Glen will not give the Eagles a loss. The Bears will wrap up 2009 with a 20-14 defeat.
Brooke at John Marshall
The big bad Bruins will look just as big and just as bad when they visit John Marshall.
The Monarchs, like they have in recent seasons, are struggling. The Bruins are soaring. It'll take more than John Marshall to ruin Brooke's inevitable 10-0 regular season. I expect Cotey Wallace and Ryan Lazear to put up some impressive numbers in a 42-12 win.
Weir at Buckeye Local
The Panthers have also cemented a home playoff game in Region 11. The Red Riders, with just one win this season, have been out of playoff contention for weeks. No matter what tonight's outcome at War World II Stadium, nothing will change for either team.
An upset simply will not happen. The Panthers will win in lopsided fashion, cruising to a 42-12 victory.
Toronto at Morgantown Trinity
The Red Knights would love nothing more than to pick up their second win of the season tonight at Morgantown Trinity. Trinity would love more than to add another game to its two-game streak. Something and someone has to give.
I think that someone will be Trinity who gives up a late game-winning TD to Toronto. The Red Knights will win, 28-20.
LaBrae at Catholic Central
The Crusaders are our only team taking the field, Saturday. They will make the most of the big spotlight by closing out 2009 with a big win at Harding Stadium.
Central has had a disappointing run. There's no denying that, but Central has played some tough, tough opponents and has hung with just about all of them.
Personally, I don't think LaBrae is going to know what hit them after 48 minutes on the field with Central. The Crusaders will go out with a big bang, 40-12.
(Elverd, a resident of Toronto, is a sports writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)