We're coming into the midway point of the '09 football season and the games get bigger and bigger in relation to the playoff race.
In region 2...
Toledo Whitmer(4-0) the current #1 team in R2 takes on Toledo St. Johns(2-2) at Toledo Starts Spartan Stadium. St. Johns is currently 14th in the region and coming in after losing to Toledo St. Francis last weekend 7-6. Whitmer rolled over Toledo Rogers 43-20 last weekend. The Titans would roll up some serious harbins with what would be an upset win but I don't believe that will happen. Whitmer is the real deal this year.
#2 Brunswick(4-0) hosts #8 Twinsburg(3-1) Friday night. This is a huge R2 battle with the winner cementing their presence in the top 8. Brunswick was a 43-22 winner over Garfield Heights last weekend while the Tigers easily knocked off Parma Normandy 27-7.
#5 Hudson has a big battle with the Comets of Solon(4-0) at home. The Explorers were 35-34 overtime winners over winless Strongsville last weekend while Solon, currently the #4 team in R1 was a 42-6 winner over Parma.
As far a our Little Giants go it would helpful if Twinsburg and Solon were to win. #7 Perrysburg and #9 Oregon Clay, two teams ahead of #11 Ross face winless teams. The Yellow Jackets take on 0-4 Bowling Green while the Clay Eagles face winless Toledo Start. Look for a mild upset in that Start-Clay game as I expect the Spartans to pull out the win.
In other games of interest this weekend....
The Napoleon Wildcats of the Greater Buckeye Conference, currently 4-0 and the #1 team in R10 take to the road to visit the Irish of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary(3-1). SVSM is ranked 4th in R9 this week. I know Napoleon fans see red when people criticize their non-conference schedule as weak, but frankly, it is compared to who SVSM plays in the first part of the season. Because of that I look for the Irish to win this one.
This weeks "are they for real" team is the Galion Tigers(4-0). The Tigers are enjoying some football success after a long drought. Galion is currently the #4 team in R14 and will be seriously tested by the Tornadoes of Tiffin Columbian(2-2) this Friday night in Galion. Columbian is currently 15th in R10 and a win would help them move up handily, not to mention how much it would help teams that have beaten the Tornadoes, such as Fremont Ross. I expect Tiffin will win this one.
The high-flying Comets of Genoa(4-0), currently 5th in R14 visit the 2-2 Northwood Rangers on Friday night. Genoa has outscored their opponents 228-7 in their first four games. This weekend should be no different up along I-280.
A big battle will take place Saturday night in Delphos when the Jefferson Wildcats(4-0) host the Thunderbirds of Lima Central Catholic(3-1). Jefferson, the "other" team in Delphos is currently ranked 3rd in R18 and are coming off a 17-7 win over Allen East. LCC is 10th in the same region and hammered Columbus Grove last weekend 43-0. A Thunderbird win would move them up nicely in R18. Look for that to happen.
Hicksville(4-0), currently the #5 team in R18 visits Wayne Trace(3-1) the #12 team in R18. The Aces were 48-19 winners over Antwerp last weekend while the Raiders were edged by Edgerton 33-32. This one could be a great one to watch for folks in far Northwest Ohio.
Lakota(3-1), a 16-0 loser to Fremont SJCC last Saturday night continues their buzzsaw introduction to the Midland Athletic League this weekend. The Raiders, currently #7 in R18 despite losing to the Crimson Streaks take on unbeaten Carey(4-0) on Friday night. The game is at Lakota. Carey was a 14-8 winner over Tiffin Calvert last weekend. The Blue Devils are currently ranked 5th in R22.
Then there is the huge MAL battle between two 4-0 team in Bascom on Friday night. The Cheiftans of Hopewell-Loudon host the suprising Crimson Streaks of Fremont St. Joseph Central Catholic. H-L is currently in 4th in the R21 playoff chase after beating Mohawk 28-6 last weekend. SJCC is sitting in 3rd in the R22 playoff chase after knocking off Lakota last Saturday night. SJCC can make a big statement with a win in this one but it won't be easy. We'll be rooting for the Streaks to get the win.
Ashland Crestview hosts Monroeville on Friday night. Both teams come into this one at 3-1 and in the playoff hunt in their respective regions. The Crestview Cougars, who lost their first game of the '09 campaign last weekend to Norwalk St. Paul 27-7 are currently ranked 6th in R18. Monroeville is in 7th place in R21 and was a 60-18 blowout winner over New London last Friday night.
As always lots of great games to choose from this weekend as the playoff races begin to take shape. Get out and support your team. Support the kids.