Several teams have clinched playoff spots, the Buckeye State hosted some of the best football of the week, and the national all-star games have named most of their participants. The high school season isn't over yet, but some squads have only one game remaining, and contending teams must soon be thinking about the playoffs. Playoffs? Probably. And that joke isn't funny anymore.
Week 9 has concluded. The rankings barely moved, but the playoff tension is growing.
And since it provided the best storylines of the weekend, Week 9 Power Rankings is the Ohio Edition: From Cuyahoga to Great Miami.
Most Americans are probably more concerned with Ohio's 18 electoral votes than they are with the state football circuit, but the prep stars have earned the ink just two weeks before the election. The Buckeye State produced three of the top games this weekend: One included a team that started the season unranked and has since rocketed into the top five, another that won after a 21-point deficit, and a third that rolled up 509 yards of total offense and 57 points.
The Wildcats have earned widespread praise with its disciplined play and steady dominance despite a demanding schedule. Veteran coach Chuck Kyle, who is in his 30th year at the helm, coaches a traditional brand of football that relies heavily on a successful running game and a highly physical offensive line. The discipline Kyle has instilled is reaping its benefits.
But the hardest matchup still remains; St. Ignatius will take on St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), ranked No. 2 in the Cleveland area by the
Even if it plays St. Ignatius, St. Edward will be itching to return to the field after a weekend thrill ride.
But St. Edward had an undefeated record to preserve, so it rattled off 28 unanswered points.
Running back Dwayne Aaron ran for 250 yards on an astonishing 36 carries, and would clinch the game with a 26-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Head coach Rick Finotti preached "no breaking point" to the Plain-Dealer after the game, and his defense only allowed seven second half points (none in the fourth quarter) after surrendering five touchdowns in the opening half.
The Eagles now move to 9-0 and enter the battle for Cleveland against St. Ignatius next week.
And onto the rankings:
The Hurricanes' recorded another dominant win (they were winning 28-13 at halftime), but the defense allowed over 20 points for the second consecutive week. This is a team that is too powerful to displace from the top spot, but the last two performances have been less impressive.
If you proof of Bellevue's dominance this season, then simply look to its performance against Liberty. The 11 points allowed by the Wolverines was the highest total it allowed to an in-state opponent in 2012. The win is also Bellevue's 34th in a row.
The Patriots were off this week, and they have two regular season games before entering the playoffs. Curtis has allowed 31 points all season, they have scored at least 31 in six of its seven wins this year.
The Wildcats recorded a great win last weekend, but the battle for the city bragging rights takes place next weekend. Athletic director Rory Fitzpatrick told SI that the school has already sold out over 7,000 tickets for the upcoming tilt against St. Edward, which might be the best game in the country next week.
Camden County is chock full of Division-I prospects, but it is a rare school that has four players committed to three different SEC schools (Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn). The Wildcats get a fairly easy Brunswick side before two difficult road games (at Lowndes and at Colquitt County to end the season).
The Spartans recorded one of their most complete victories of the season, even if they have won the last five games by at least three scores. The victories are expected for a team that simply doesn't lose in the regular season, but Friday's victory should propel coach Bob Ladoceur's squad into the CIF Playoffs.
Trinity will be facing a reeling Moeller side (which, as we mentioned before, blew a 21-point second half lead on Friday). The hyper talented Shamrocks have blown through most of their opponents this season, but Moeller will be a significantly tougher challenge.
The Tigers have solidified themselves as probably the top team in Texas, and a big win over a city rival only helped matters. Katy has now clinched a playoff berth with three games remaining until the playoffs begin.
The Broncos won the battle of Murrieta in dominating fashion (they led 31-7 at halftime) over Murrieta Valley. The explosive offense continues to succeed, and Murrieta Valley may be Southern California's finest squad.
The star-studded group continued its defensive dominance by posting its third shutout of the season. The Bulldogs close the season with one of Charlotte's finest in Independence, who is 9-0 and has scored at least 31 points in nine of its 10 games this year.