Fab Five remains after area’s unbeaten football club loses 3 members

The area’s undefeated high school football club lost three members this past Friday night: Centerville, Sidney and Clinton-Massie. That leaves a fabulous five in Belmont, Trotwood-Madison, Valley View, Greeneview and Marion Local. All those teams are 8-0.

Sidney’s exit was the most profound, losing 48-21 to visiting Troy in a Greater Western Ohio Conference American North matchup. Centerville rallied but fell 21-14 at Northmont and Clinton-Massie dropped a 33-31 decision at unbeaten Goshen.

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Only Belmont and Greeneview appear a cinch to complete an unbeaten regular season. In Week 9 games this coming Friday, Valley View hosts Brookville (6-2) and Marion Local is at St. Henry (6-2). Trotwood has a Week 10 game against visiting Wayne (6-2).

There’s no letup for Centerville, which hosts rival Fairmont (6-2) in Week 9. Massie also will get a stiff challenge against visiting New Richmond (7-1).

The good thing is all these teams are likely playoff bound. The top eight teams each regional qualify for the postseason.

• Northmont (6-2) appears headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The Thunderbolts will play Springboro (4-4) and Miamisburg (4-4) the next two weeks to decide the GWOC National West title.

Northmont’s upset of Centerville earned a ton of computer points and was easily the greatest moment in Thunderbolts’ coach Tony Broering’s three-season run.

“The boys who are seniors on this team, they started with me two years ago,” he said following a raucous on-field celebration. “We took some lumps, some beatings. But they hung in there, kept working, got in the weight room and they stuck with it. I’m very happy for them, mostly.”

• Belmont’s incredible defensive run continued with a 63-0 defeat of Cincinnati Shroder. The Bison (8-0) have allowed just nine points and one touchdown when Hughes scored against backups in Week 6.

Belmont has outscored its opponents 364-9. The Bison will finish their regular season by hosting Cincinnati Western Hills (3-5) on Saturday at Welcome Stadium. Despite playing just nine games, Belmont is a lock to qualify for the D-II, Region 8 playoffs. What isn’t certain is if the Bison will host a first-round game.

Where does that place Belmont among the all-time best defensive seasons in Ohio history? According to OHSAA records, not close. Five teams have not allowed a point in 10 regular-season games, the most recent Findlay Liberty-Benton in 2008.

• Reader Steve McAllister shared that Minster (4-4) of the Midwest Athletic Conference is a lock to make the D-VII, Region 28 playoffs even if the Wildcats lose their final two games. That projection is based on Drew Pasteur’s Ohio Fantastic 50 website.

Pasteur has devised multiple algorithms that calculate each team’s playoff projections, probabilities and even seeding. The probability of all these projections being correct are an estimated 98 percent. That’s because computer points are based on math calculations only. Factors such as scoring differential, program history or consecutive wins are not included in the formula. Upsets are the only factor to skew the projections.

• Reader Dave Ross of Sidney reminded us that first-round host playoff teams are paid a rental fee by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The only gate profit for both teams are pre-game ticket sales, which a portion is returned to the schools.

The significant money-making process for playoff openers is in parking fees, concessions and program sales. Those are all dependent on the size of a crowd.

The top four teams in each region host first-round games. The playoffs are held at neutral sites after that.

• Cincinnati Colerain defeated Fairfield 38-12 on Friday. What’s significant about that? Besides likely securing another Greater Miami Conference title, it was Cardinals’ 65th consecutive conference win. Colerain hasn’t lost a regular-season GMC game since falling at Middletown 42-39 in Week 7 of 2008.

OHSAA team records don’t include consecutive league wins. Cincinnati Moeller won 71 consecutive regular-season games from 1978-85.

• Eaton (3-5) is at Carlisle (5-3) in Thursday’s only game (ABC 22 / FOX 45, Ch. 45.2, Ch. 995, Spectrum, mytvdayton.com). Carlisle has lost successive games to Madison and Milton-Union and is on the bubble for D-V, Region 20 playoff contention.

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