|League titles, playoffs at stake (10-31-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 31 October 2013 08:43|
There's plenty at stake Friday night for four Wood County high school football teams.
Perrysburg and Northwood attempt to wrap up league championships on the final night of the regular season for the 10 county schools.
Perrysburg also still has a chance to host a first-round game in the state playoffs, and Northwood also is striving for a playoff berth.
Meanwhile, 15th-ranked Eastwood is looking to host a first-round playoff game and Lake appears headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
The final computer rankings and first-round pairings will be announced Sunday.
Perrysburg, 7-2 overall and 6-0 in the Northern Lakes League, can clinch the outright league title with a win over arch-rival Maumee (2-7, 1-5).
If the Yellow Jackets lose, Southview (6-3, 5-1) can tie for the title with a win against Northview (2-7, 1-5).
Perrysburg was a 55-26 winner over Maumee last season, but hasn't beaten the Panthers in back-to-back seasons since 2006 and 2007.
"The number one thing is we're playing our biggest rival and the game is a real big deal to both communities," Perrysburg coach Matt Kregel said. "Our goal is to win the league outright. We don't want to share it."
The Yellow Jackets have won six straight games since a Sept. 13 loss to Central Catholic, ranked second in Division III.
"I feel really good about the way we're playing," Kregel said. "It's hard to pinpoint exactly when it happened but sometime between the Napoleon game (Sept. 27) and the Southview game (Oct. 4), the kids really figured things out, and are playing the game at full speed. They're working hard every day, and it's been a lot of fun coaching them."
Kregel said Perrysburg has an "outside chance" of hosting a playoff game.
The Yellow Jackets fourth in their Division II region. The top eight teams in the region make the playoffs, with the top four hosting first-round games.
"We'll focus on playing Friday night and then we'll wake up Saturday morning and see where we stand," Kregel said.
Northwood also faces one of its biggest rivals when it hosts Cardinal Stritch.
The Rangers, 7-2 overall, are 6-0 in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference, can win the TAAC outright with a win over Stritch (0-9, 0-6).
But a Northwood loss opens the door for Edon (7-2, 5-1) to tie for the championship with a win at Gibsonburg (5-4, 4-2).
The Rangers already have clinched a tie for the title, their third straight and 11th in the last 13 seasons.
"Being a rivalry game, (Stritch is) going to be ready for us and we'll have to be ready," said Northwood coach Ken James, whose team has won seven straight after an 0-2 start.
"Stritch runs a lot of different stuff offensively and they play a defense we haven't seen in a while, so we'll need to have a good week of practice to make sure we're ready. And if we do get a shot at the playoffs, we want to make sure we're playing well."
The Rangers are eighth in their Division VI region, but mostly likely will miss the playoffs if Patrick Henry (6-2) beats Wauseon (8-1).
A playoff berth would be Northwood's fifth straight.
"If Patrick Henry wins, we're pretty well cooked," James said.
Eastwood has clinched a Division V playoff berth as it prepares to visit Otsego. The Eagles are 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the NBC. Otsego is 4-5, 2-4.
"Now that we know we're in the playoffs, the thing for us is to continue to get better," Eagle coach Jerry Rutherford said. "If we want to have a shot at playing another home game, we have to beat Otsego and that's our focus."
The Eagles have won four straight since losing Sept, 27 to Genoa (9-0, 6-0). The Comets are ranked third in Division IV.
Rutherford said the Eagles probably will need at least one of the following three teams - Huron, Liberty-Benton or West Salem Northwestern - to lose in order to host a playoff game.
"We've improved a lot since (Genoa)," Rutherford said. "We're playing pretty well right now."
Lake, 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the NBC, is sixth in its Division IV region entering its game at Fostoria (0-9, 0-6).
The Flyers have clinched a playoff berth, according to the website, www.fantastic50.net. But the website, www.joeeitel.com, doesn't have the Flyers in the playoffs yet.
"We're worried about ourselves, taking care of the things we can control," first-year Lake coach Mark Emans said. "We want to keep getting better and improve on the little things."
The Flyers' only losses are to Genoa and Eastwood.
"We're playing pretty well," Emans said. "The offense has been doing a real nice job. We have a real nice balance between the run and the pass, Jared (quarterback Rettig) is making some great reads and the line is doing a good job of protecting him. Defensively, we're doing some nice things. They've done a nice job of becoming more physical."
|Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013 10:45|
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