Titles, playoffs on the line


All the work in the summer and throughout the season comes to down to one final game in Week 10 of high
school football Friday.
Three county teams go into games with a chance to make the state playoffs: Perrysburg in Division I,
Eastwood in Division IV and Northwood in Division V.
Northwood also has a chance to clinch the outright Toledo Area Athletic Conference championship, while
Perrysburg still has a chance to tie for the Northern Lakes League title and Eastwood can still earn a
share of the Suburban Lakes League title.
For Perrysburg, the Yellow Jackets’ game at cross-river rival Maumee in the annual battle for the Ding
Dong Bell has extra importance.
Perrysburg is ranked eighth in this week’s computer ratings, holding the final spot in Division I, Region
2. Even with a win over Maumee, the ‘Jackets will likely need help to make the playoffs.
"Our thing for the past several weeks has been ‘just beat Maumee,’" Perrysburg coach Matt
Kregel said. "We’ll wake up on Saturday and see where everything else is, but this is more
important to us than anything right now. We just want to beat Maumee."
Kregel said he won’t allow his players to look into the team’s multiple playoff scenarios.
"I have, but the kids haven’t been allowed to," Kregel said. "I’ve got a pretty good idea
of where we could end up but we’re kind of putting that on the back burner until Saturday."
The ‘Jackets also still have an outside shot at sharing the first place in the NLL, but will need to beat
Maumee and have Northview defeat Southview.
Maumee is ranked sixth in computer points in Division II, Region 6, making the game a must-win for both
teams. The top eight teams in each region qualify for the state playoffs.
"We’re kind of peaking at the right time right now. We’ve done some things offensively and put some
pieces together," Kregel said. "It’s one of those things you count on in it being a rivalry
game; we’re going to give our best and they’re going to give their best and anything could happen this
Eastwood, 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the SLL, attempts to bounce back from a 35-0 loss to Patrick Henry, the
state’s top-ranked team in Division V.
The Eagles most likely will finish second in the league for the third straight season.
Genoa (9-0, 5-0), ranked fourth in Division, is expected to clinch the title with a win over Elmwood
(3-6, 2-3). Gibsonburg is 3-6, 1-4.
"The first thing is we have to beat Gibsonburg," Eagle coach Jerry Rutherford said. "We
can’t worry about anything else. If we don’t do that, there are no playoffs for us."
The Eagles currently hold the eighth and final playoff berth in their Division IV region. The top five
teams have clinched playoff berths, and the sixth- and seventh-place teams control their destiny.
Eastwood is one of 10 teams competing for the final three spots.
The Eagles have been hit hard by injuries and personnel issues, and lost to Patrick Henry and Genoa by an
89-11 score in their two biggest games of the season.
Eastwood is seeking is sixth trip to the playoffs in the last eight seasons.
"The important thing is going into Week 10, we’re still in position to make the playoffs,"
Rutherford said. "You look at everything we’ve gone through and we couldn’t ask anything more of
our kids."
A win over arch-rival Cardinal Stritch would give Northwood the TAAC championship.
The Rangers (6-3, 5-0) clinched a tie for first last week with a 38-11 win over Toledo Christian (6-3,
5-1). Stritch is 1-8, 1-4.
"We’re focused on Stritch and the league title," said Ranger coach Ken James, whose team
graduated 14 seniors last season’s team which finished 9-1, 6-0.
The Rangers are one of seven teams fighting for the region’s eighth and final playoff berth in Division
None of the seven can clinch by winning their final game as each will need help from other teams.
Northwood’s last playoff berth came in 2004.
"We’ve worked the kids hard and they’ve responded," James said. "They’ve gotten better and
now they’re position to do some pretty cool things. It’s nice to see their hard work rewarded."

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