Jason Christian can recall when 7-3 was a “down” year for Cedarville High School football.
“We went 7-3 my junior year and that wasn’t a very good season,” recalled Christian, a 1992 Cedarville grad who’s in his second season as head coach. “Now, that’s what we’re shooting for.”
Cedarville (6-3) must win at Northeastern (3-6) in Friday’s regular-season finale to do that. That will also punch a rare Indians’ playoff ticket.
At least 32 area teams are in postseason contention. Some, like Centerville (Division I, Region 2) and Franklin (D-III, Region 10) have already secured first-round home games. Others, like Cedarville and even Trotwood-Madison (6-2) must win and hope for the best.
First-round pairings will be announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association on Sunday. There will be only two D-I regions, with 16 teams in each region advancing. The other six divisions are comprised of four regions each, with eight teams in each region advancing.
Teams earn computer points for wins and secondary points from wins by a beaten opponent.
Cedarville hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2001. That’s a long way from last season’s 1-9 team. Junior running back Caleb Coe has rushed for 1,300-plus yards.
Shawnee (D-III, Region 10) probably must win at Tippecanoe (9-0) in a rare Week 10 showdown of unbeatens. That’ll also decide the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Division title.
Urbana (9-0) is the only unbeaten D-IV, Region 14 team, but that’s only good for the No. 6 spot. The Hillclimbers must win at Graham (2-7).
Northmont (8-1) is at Wayne (8-1) in a game that was moved to Thursday to accommodate FOXSportsOhio. That will determine the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division champ and vault the winner into a D-I, Region 2 home playoff game. Lebanon (7-2) probably must win at Springboro (8-1) to advance in Region 2.
Like last season, Trotwood (6-2) must beat Vandalia Butler (6-3) to make the D-III, Region 10 field. If the Rams do that, Kenton Ridge is likely out. Butler is No. 8 in D-II, Region 6 and will certainly advance by beating Trotwood.
Alter (8-1), Valley View (8-1) and Urbana appear to be D-IV, Region 14 locks. On the bubble is No. 9 Carlisle (6-3), which hosts Dixie (2-7).
Chaminade Julienne (6-3) can earn a D-V, Region 18 home game by beating Alter at Wayne on Friday. No. 8 Waynesville (7-2) must win and hope.
Miami East (8-1) leads six area teams vying for D-VI, Region 22 spots. Among them is No. 7 National Trail (7-2), which is seeking its first playoff bid.
D-VII, Region 26 is loaded with unbeaten Triad, Covington and Marion Local, all 9-0 and safely in the postseason.