October 21, 2017

The OHSAA playoff picture is full of GWOC National East teams, as every team in the division is still alive in the playoff hunt going into the final game. The National East is by far the most competitive of the GWOC’s four divisions, if not one of the toughest conferences in Ohio.  Centerville is currently atop the division at 8-1, 3-0 in division play, and has clinched the division title by virtue of its win over Wayne (7-2, 3-1).  Both Centerville and Wayne have already clinched playoff spots and both teams would clinch first round home games with wins next week.  Centerville has not made the playoffs since 2014, when the Elks went 10-0 but lost in the first round to Lakota West.  Wayne has been in the postseason the past five years, twice playing for the state title but falling short in both to St. Edwards.  Last year, the Warriors were upset by Pickerington Central 17-14 in the state quarterfinals.

Fairmont, currently the last place team in the division, surprisingly enough controls its own destiny — a win over Springfield at home next week would propel the Firebirds into the playoffs for the first time in forever.  Fairmont has has a resurgence behind second-year head coach Dave Miller.  Although the Firebirds sit at 6-3, as do Springfield and Beavercreek, the Firebirds’ strength of schedule has given them an edge.  Fairmont is the only team to have beaten division III power Alter (8-1) and is the only blemish on division I Milford’s record (8-1), as the Firebirds demolished Milford 42-0 on the road.  Those two wins, in addition to a strong GWOC National East schedule, have the Firebirds in position to clinch with a win at home against Springfield, but also possibly sneak in even if they lose to Springfield and get some help with other teams losing.  Head-to-head, Beavercreek dominated the Firebirds in week 5, 14-3, the only game in which Fairmont failed to score a touchdown, but lost 64-28 at Springfield.

Springfield would likely be in with a win at Fairmont, although they do not control their own destiny at this point.  A Wildcat win, and with the help of other teams, could produce a scenario in which four GWOC National East teams make the playoffs.  Another four-team playoff scenario may arise if Beavercreek can upset Centerville on the road, and if Fairmont beats Springfield.  Under that scenario, and with some help, Beavercreek could jump Springfield to take the 8th and final playoff spot in Region 3.

Under no scenario can all five GWOC National East teams make the playoffs, as only the 7th and 8th spots are still in play with three teams (Fairmont, Springfield, and Beavercreek) competing for those two spots.

Other GWOC teams in the playoff hunt include:

Division I:

  • Northmont (7-2) – clinched a playoff spot in Region 3.
  • Miamisburg (4-5) – needs a win against Northmont (7-2) and lots of help.
  • Springboro (4-5) – needs a win against Lebanon (3-6) and lots of help.

Division II:

  • Sidney (8-1) – is in with a win against Greenville (2-7).
  • Troy (7-2) – is in with a win against Piqua (6-3).

Division III:

  • Trotwood Madision (9-0) – clinched playoff spot and currently top overall seed (faces Wayne in season finale).
  • Piqua (6-3) – is in with a win against Troy and some help.
  • Tippecanoe (4-5) – is in with a win against Butler and some major help.

All other GWOC  teams have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.  See all unofficial playoff rankings at: http://www.joeeitel.com/hsfoot/