(WTOL) - Many of the conferences in northwest Ohio have their champion pretty much determined with two weeks remaining in the city. But there are playoff seeds, undefeated records and pride on the line in week 9.
Eastwood (8-0) faces possibly their last true test until the playoffs when they visit Genoa (7-1).
Eastwood is still ranked number one in the state in Division V. The Eagles no doubt earned that right for being nothing short of dominant throughout their season.
The Eagles are coming off their best game of the season, defeating Woodmore 77-7. It is the seventh time this season Eastwood's defense allowed seven points or less this season. Rossford was the only team to score more than one touchdown against Eastwood this season. The Eagles still beat the Bulldogs 56-22.
But the Eagles are not just an immovable object, but an irresistible force in the Northern Buckeye Conference. Eastwood's offense is averaging 42 points per game. Eastwood scored under 30 points only once this season.
But if there is a team in conference that can beat Eastwood, it is Genoa.
The Comets are coming off a 56-33 win over Rossford. Their sole loss this season was 35-32 against Otsego.
Like Eastwood, Genoa boasts a high powered offense that averages 45 points per game. Only twice this season have the Comets scored less than 50 points.
But unlike Eastwood, Genoa's defense is not as stiff. The Comets give up an average of 17 points per game and allowed seven or less points only twice this season.
If the Comets pull off the upset, it would create a three-way tie in conference heading into the final week of the season between Genoa, Eastwood and Otsego.
In Sylvania, Perrysburg Yellow Jackets (3-5), coming off an upset win over Springfield, faces a Northview (7-1) team coming off it's first loss of the season.
Week 8 was memorable for the Northern Lakes League.
Northview and Anthony Wayne squared off in an undefeated defensive struggle that ended with a 10-7 win for the Generals. Meanwhile, Perrysburg pulled out a 34-32 victory over Springfield in the waning seconds of the game.
In week 9, these two teams now meet with different motivations.
The Wildcats are looking for playoff seeding, There is also a slim chance they could win the conference if Anthony Wayne is upset in consecutive weeks by the struggling Napoleon and Springfield.
Meanwhile, Perrysburg is hoping to build momentum before their season-ending rivalry against Maumee. Also, if the Jackets are able to finish the season 5-5, they would have plenty of momentum to build off when they enter the off-season.
Finally at the Glass Bowl, Whitmer (8-0) hopes to continue their undefeated season against St. Francis.
Whitmer is the class of the Three Rivers Conference and there is little doubt the Panthers will win this game. But the biggest question for St. Francis is how close can they stay with Whitmer.
Although the Knights have only one win on the season against winless Madison Comprehensive, there is no doubt St. Francis is improving under first-year coach Dan Chipka.
The Knights have come within one score in three of their seven losses this season. St. Francis held a lead in all three of those games. But how they perform against the best in conference may determine how much fight they have in them.
Whitmer, meanwhile, is searching for their first TRAC Championship, and first undefeated season, since 2012. And with the albatross of Central Catholic far in the rear-view mirror, the Panthers are cruising toward that goal.
St. Francis will have their hands full to keep it close. Whitmer has an average margin of victory of nearly 27 points.
Other games featured on Jim White Toyota Big Board Friday include:
- St. John's @ Lima Senior
- Belleville @ Bedford
- Rogers @ Start
- Southview @ Bowling Green
- Elmwood @ Otsego
- Napoleon @ Anthony Wayne
- Maumee @ Springfield
- Norwalk @ Clyde
- Clay @ Ross
- Sandusky @ Bellevue
- Gibsonburg @ Cardinal Stritch
- Findlay @ Central Catholic
- Toledo Christian @ Ottawa Hills
- Pandora-Gilboa @ McComb