Final two weeks of GWOC matchups will separate playoff contenders

Wayne’s 49-44 Week 7 defeat of visiting Fairmont rekindled crazy memories for Warriors football coach Jay Minton.

He was in his first football season as coach and Wayne was matched against Springfield South.

“My first year here I was introduced to the (now defunct Western Ohio League),” he recalled. “We had a 51-50, four overtime game with Springfield South. It was like, oh, my gosh. We won it here, but it was crazy.”

South has long since merged with North and Wildcats football has returned to that high level. However, Springfield, just two weeks ago flirting with Wildcats high school football history, now is playing for its postseason life and that’s after winning last week.

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The playoffs essentially start for all Greater Western Ohio Conference National East postseason contenders in Friday’s Week 9 games. Springfield (7-1) hosts Wayne (6-2). Both teams are in Division I, Region 3 playoff contention, but likely will have to split their final two regular-season games to do so. That will be a challenge.

Springfield (7-1) rebounded from its first loss in Week 7 at Northmont with a sluggish 21-14 defeat of Beavercreek last week. What’s wrong with that? Beavercreek has one win and allowed an average of 36 points in its previous seven games.

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That quick-strike offense that had served the Wildcats so well during its 6-0 season start? Gone.

“It was ugly,” Springfield coach Maurice Douglass said. “We just want to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s by one or by 50. We won. That’s the only thing that’s good about it.”

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Springfield hosts Fairmont (6-2) in Week 10. Fairmont, which knocked Springfield out of playoff contention in Week 10 last season, hosts rival Centerville (0-8). Trotwood-Madison (6-2) is at Wayne in Week 10.

Northmont (7-1) appears to be in the best D-I, Region 3 playoff position, but that could change at Miamisburg (6-2) in Week 10, which should also decide the GWOC National West title.

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• Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North rivals Alter (No. 1), Chaminade Julienne (No. 2) and Fenwick (No. 4) all are in D-III, Region 12 playoff contention. CJ (7-1) plays Badin (No. 7) at Fairfield on Friday. Alter (7-1) will host CJ at Fairmont in Week 10.

CJ endured a major midseason shakeup when quarterback Ryan Minor, running back Marquis Henry and defensive lineman Marquel Henry were required to sit out the remainder of the season because of a new transfer rule.

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“We knew the last half of the season was that gauntlet of the GCL,” Eagles coach Marcus Colvin said. “It’s unfortunate that we lost those three guys, but I’m actually pretty proud of our kids. I think they believe that even though we’ve taken a hit at midseason, we can still make a good run here.”

• Here’s why the Midwestern Athletic Conference is considered Ohio’s best for small-school football. Six of the 10 members are among the top eight in their respective regions going into Week 9 games: Anna (D-V, Region 18), Marion Local, Coldwater and St. Henry (D-V, Region 24), Minster and New Bremen (D-VII, Region 28).

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Marion Local and Coldwater already have secured playoff positions and are bidding for first-round home games (top four teams).

Coldwater shook the MAC up by edging Coldwater 21-20 last week. Marion Local takes a 35-game win streak against visiting Fort Recovery on Friday.

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