High School Football: Forfeits KO Dunbar, knock Piqua out of playoffs

A double-forfeiture for playing an academic ineligible player has knocked Dunbar out of the high school football playoffs and has taken out Piqua and Princeton, too.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association confirmed Saturday afternoon that Dunbar would have to forfeit Week 9-10 wins over Taft and Belmont. That had a multiple-team affect that reverberated through Divisions III and IV and their first-round opponents.

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• Dunbar (7-3) fell to ninth in the D-IV, Region 16 field and out of the playoffs. Only the top eight teams in each region advance to the postseason.

• Taft (8-2) and Belmont (7-2) both gained unexpected playoff spots. Belmont (7-2) jettisoned to No. 5 in D-III, Region 12 and will open at No. 4 St. Marys Memorial (9-1). That dropped Trotwood-Madison (8-2) to a No. 7 seed in Region 12 and Tippecanoe (7-3) to a No. 8 seed. It also bumped Piqua (7-3) to No. 9 in Region 12 and out of the postseason.

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• Taft moved into the No. 7 seed in D-IV, Region 16 and will play at second-seeded Clinton-Massie (9-1).

• Besides the Week 10 game against Belmont, Dunbar also has forfeited a Week 9 game with Taft. Following the forfeits, Dunbar and Taft essentially swapped playoff positions: Taft in and Dunbar out.

Dunbar had been told at halftime it would forfeit the Belmont game at Welcome Stadium.

Dayton Public Schools athletic director Mark Baker said he learned of the ineligible player and possible Week 10 forfeit during the Belmont game. It was later determined that Dunbar also would forfeit the Week 9 game against Taft.

“We immediately reported it to the OHSAA,” Baker said Saturday. “We’re conducting our own internal investigation. This is absolutely heart-breaking for (Dunbar). They earned a spot in the playoffs. We’re putting new measures in place already to ensure this never happens to students, parents or supporters in the future.”

Neither Dunbar coach Darran Powell nor Belmont coach Earl White would comment. Piqua coach Bill Nees did not return a message for comment.

“A lot of teams are affected, through several divisions and many regions because of all the second-level points,” said OHSAA director of media relations Tim Stried.

Piqua’s outster dropped the Greater Western Ohio Conference playoff representation to eight teams: Wayne, Springfield, Lebanon and Springboro (D-I), Troy and Miamisburg (D-II), and Trotwood-Madison and Tippecanoe (D-III).

The following area playoff projections are based on joeeitel.com, the computer ranking service used by the OHSAA. The official pairings will be released by OHSAA on Sunday. Pairings could be affected by Saturday night’s Week 10 games.

Divisions I, II, IV and VI will play at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Divisions III, V and VII at 7 p.m. on Saturdays through the state semifinals. Championship weekend will be held at Ohio Stadium in Columbus Dec. 1-3.

Division I: As expected in Region 3, Wayne (9-0-1) vaulted to the No. 1 seed following Thursday's 17-6 defeat of Trotwood-Madison and will host Lancaster (6-4). Springfield (7-3) is a No. 6 seed and will play at Pickerington Central (9-1). Wayne and Springfield could have a regional final rematch in Week 13.

No. 2 seed Lebanon (7-3) and No. 8 Springboro (7-3) are the only teams to crack Region 4. Lebanon will host Sycamore (6-4) and Springboro will be at top-seeded Colerain (10-0).

Out: No. 9 seed Northmont (4-6) and No. 10 Centerville (5-5).

D-II, Region 8: Troy (9-1) clinched the top seed following a 37-14 defeat of Piqua and will host Anderson (7-3). Miamisburg (8-2) is the only other area team that qualified. The Vikings won their last three to secure the No. 4 seed and will host Kings (8-2).

The team to watch in this region is two-time defending D-II state champ LaSalle (8-2), which could do no better than a No. 3 seed. The Lancers lost 6-0 to Colerain. Princeton (7-3) slipped to the dreaded No. 9 seed after Dunbar’s forfeits. Princeton handed Dunbar its only on-field loss, 41-12 in Week 3.

Out: Vandalia-Butler (5-5).

D-III, Region 12: This region is loaded with five area teams, including No. 1 seed Franklin (10-0), which will host Tippecanoe (7-3). No. 7 seed Trotwood (8-2) will be at Wapakoneta (9-1). Tipp celebrates its first season in the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division by making the playoffs.

Out: Piqua (7-3), Bellefontaine (6-4) and Wilmington (7-3).

D-IV: Two more regions packed with area teams. Indian Lake (10-0) clinched the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River title with a 35-16 defeat of Ben Logan in Friday's matchup of unbeatens. Third seeded in Region 14, the Lakers will host Caledonia River Valley (7-3). Ben Logan (9-1) fell to the No. 8 seed and will play at top-seeded Port Clinton (9-1).

Wyoming (10-0) overtook Clinton-Massie (9-1) in Week 10 to earn the Region 16 top seed. Valley View (9-1) and Alter (10-0) are tied for the No. 4 seed. If Alter is deemed the home team, it'll host Valley View at Fairmont's Roush Stadiuim.

Out: Fenwick (6-4), CJ (6-4).

D-V, Region 20: Brookville (5-5) is a surprise No. 7 seed after losing two straight and plays at No. 2 seed Coldwater in a rematch of last year's regional final. Streaking No. 3 seed Carlisle (8-2) hosts Greeneview (8-2) and No. 4 seed Milton-Union (7-3) hosts Aiken (7-3).

Out: Versailles (5-5), Anna (5-5) and Preble Shawnee (6-4).

D-VI, Region 24: Top-seeded Marion Local (9-1) will host West Liberty-Salem (6-4), which won four straight to get back into contention. Mechanicsburg (10-0) dropped to a No. 3 seed and will host Miami East (7-3). Fifth-seeded St. Henry (7-3) will be at Spencerville (8-2).

Out: Bethel (7-3), despite four straight wins, Dayton Christian (5-4) and Tri-County North (6-4).

D-VII, Region 28: Top-seeded Covington (10-0) hosts Hillcrest Academy (8-2) and No. 2 seed Troy Christian (9-1) hosts Upper Scioto Valley (7-3). No. 3 seed Minster (6-4) will host Lehman Catholic (7-3) in a rematch of their Week 2 game that Minster won, 44-21. No. 5 seed Fort Recovery (6-4), the fifth Midwest Athletic Conference team to advance, plays at Ada (7-3).

Out: Fort Loramie (5-5) and Catholic Central (7-3).

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