The high school football season is in Week 10, and several area teams have either clinched a playoff spot or are in the mix for a postseason berth.
Three area football teams would be No. 1 seeds based on the computer ratings, which take into account wins, losses and strength of schedule, if the playoffs were to start today.
The three schools are Highland in Division II, Region 4, St. Vincent-St. Mary in Division III, Region 7 and Manchester in Division V, Region 15.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association approved having playoff participants among seven divisions and 26 regions this football season. Division I has two regions and the top 16 in each region advance to the playoffs. Divisions II-VII are divided into four regions apiece and eight teams in each region advance to the playoffs.
Here is a look at area schools that, according to www.joeeitel.com, a site that calculates the rankings of each team in the state, have either clinched a playoff spot, are currently in and looking good or are currently just outside of a playoff berth but still in contention:
Division I, Region 1 — Clinched a spot: Hudson, Canton McKinley, Stow and Wadsworth. In right now: Brunswick, Solon and Green. Just outside: Jackson, Strongsville and North Royalton.
Division II, Region 3 — Clinched a spot: Brecksville. In right now: Kent Roosevelt.
Division II, Region 4 — Clinched a spot: Highland, Nordonia and Ellet. In right now: Massillon. Just outside: Walsh Jesuit and Lake.
Division III, Region 7 — Clinched a spot: St. Vincent-St. Mary and Louisville. In right now: Marlington and Aurora. Just outside: Norton and Canton South.
Division III, Region 8 — In right now: Buckeye. Just outside: Cloverleaf.
Division IV, Region 11 — In right now: Woodridge. Just outside: CVCA and Minerva.
Division IV, Region 12 — Clinched a spot: Triway.
Division V, Region 15 — Clinched a spot: Manchester and Black River. In right now: Fairless. Just outside: Garrettsville and Canton Central Catholic.
Division V, Region 16 — Clinched a spot: Northwestern. In right now: Chippewa. Just outside: Norwayne.
Division VI, Region 19 — Clinched a spot: Mogadore. In right now: St. Thomas Aquinas.
Division VII — No area school is in contention.
So close to 10-0
Ellet, St. Vincent-St. Mary, Highland, Canton McKinley and Louisville are the five remaining undefeated football teams in the area with 9-0 overall records. Several teams are 8-1, including Hudson, Stow, Nordonia, Wadsworth, Norton, Mogadore and Aurora.
Ellet seeks City Series title
The Ellet football team (9-0, 5-0) can clinch its second outright City Series championship in a row with a win Friday night against visiting North (1-8, 0-5).
Ellet was in the City Series in 1930 and 1931, and then rejoined in 1971 after stints in the Western Reserve League (1932-1936) and the Metropolitan League (1937-1970). Current coach Joe Yost took over the program in 1979 and also guided the Orangemen to a share of the City Series title in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 2006.
Ellet has clinched its third OHSAA playoff appearance and second in a row in Division II. The school made a Division I state playoff appearance in 1991.
Yost earned his 210th career win with a victory over Garfield last week.
Ellet has a 13-game City Series winning streak. The Orangemen have beat East, Kenmore, Buchtel, Firestone and Garfield by a combined score of 177-35 this season.
Irish on a streak
St. Vincent-St. Mary (9-0) brings a 15-game winning streak into its game against Youngstown Ursuline (4-4) tonight at Youngstown State.
St. V-M, the defending Division III state champion and No. 1-ranked team in the state currently in Division III, defeated host Massillon 28-23 last week. St. V-M has a 22-2 record the past two seasons. The Fighting Irish’s last loss was at Massillon, 44-23 on Oct. 19, 2012.
Stark County rivalry
Canton McKinley (9-0) and Massillon (7-2) will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday at Fawcett Stadium in Canton in the annual rivalry football game.
This is the 124th meeting in the series, which Massillon leads 66-52-5. Massillon won both matchups last season (regular season and playoffs). McKinley defeated Massillon in 2011 and 2010, and the teams split in 2009. Since 2000, the schools have met 17 times and Massillon has won 11 times.
Clinched a title
Stow (8-1, 4-0 NOC River), Canton McKinley (9-0, 6-0 Federal League) and Triway (7-2, 6-0 PAC) have each clinched league titles.
Other games to watch
Here are other key Friday matchups with league championship ramifications:
Suburban League — Cloverleaf (2-7, 0-6) at Highland (9-0, 6-0) and Wadsworth (8-1, 5-1) at Nordonia (8-1, 5-1).
Portage Trail Conference Metro Division — Norton (8-1, 5-0) at Kent Roosevelt (8-1, 5-0).
Portage Trail Conference County Division — Garrettsville (5-4, 3-2) at Woodridge (7-2, 5-0) and Southeast (5-4, 2-3) and Mogadore (8-1, 4-1).
Northeast Ohio Valley Division — Mentor (8-1, 4-0) at Strongsville (5-4, 1-3) and Twinsburg (2-7, 0-4) at Hudson (8-1, 3-1).
North Coast League — Walsh Jesuit (6-3, 4-0) at Archbishop Hoban (5-4, 3-1) and Parma Padua Franciscan (4-5, 1-3) at Cleveland Benedictine (6-3, 3-1).
Wayne County Athletic League — Norwayne (7-2, 5-1) at Northwestern (8-1, 6-0) and Chippewa (7-2, 5-1) at Hillsdale (4-5, 3-3).
Northeastern Buckeye Conference — Louisville (9-0, 6-0) at Canton South (6-3, 3-3) and Alliance (6-3, 4-2) at Marlington (7-2, 5-1).
Falcons score 49
The Firestone football team defeated North 49-0 this past Friday at InfoCision Stadium, surpassing its point total (46) from the previous eight games.
Senior Donteal Stone rushed for two touchdowns and freshman Demonte’ Swain rushed for one touchdown to help the Falcons (1-8, 1-4) top the Vikings (1-8, 0-5).
“Three of the touchdowns came from the defense,” Firestone coach Tim Flossie said. “We had two interception returns for touchdowns [senior Brennan Williams and junior Rodney Austin] and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown [junior Isaiah McClain].
“We also stopped making mistakes. It was 7-0 at halftime after we had four offsides and four holding penalties. We stopped doing that in the second half and played well.”
It’s been a frustrating season for Firestone’s offense, which has been shut out by Copley (14-0), Buchtel (19-0) and Ellet (45-0). The Falcons’ previous high point totals of the season came in losses to Massillon (28-14) and GlenOak (28-12).
Firestone’s other losses came to Stow (21-7), Kenmore (14-7) and East (13-6).
“Our defense has kept us in most of the games,” Flossie said. “We have just had a lot of trouble on offense. We have made too many mistakes. We work on it in practice, but the mistakes keep happening. There is talent on this team and we have a good bunch of kids, but we have struggled to put it all together.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.