Playoff projections through week 8

Football Friday Nite

Eight weeks have gone by in the high school football season leaving only two weeks left in the regular season. With the playoffs less than three weeks away, now is a good time to take a look at where area teams stand in the unofficial playoffs rankings.

Division 1, region 3 features some of the best teams in the state. Liberty holds steady at No. 1 after beating Olentangy 24-21. Right behind the Patriots is Pickerington Central, which is coming off a 16-7 win over Pickerington North. No. 3 Groveport beat down Newark 49-0 to improve to 7-1, the No. 4 Orange Pioneers took down Westerville Central 14-6 and No. 5 Reynoldsburg cruised past Grove City 35-0.

Two area teams rank in the Division I, region 2 top five with 2nd-ranked Dublin Coffman (6-2) and 4th-ranked Dublin Jerome (6-2).

In Division II, region 8, a pair of Columbus-based teams hold steady near the top. No. 5 Walnut Ridge remains undefeated after beating Marion Franklin 33-6 while No. 6 St. Francis DeSales scored 14 fourth-quarter points to beat St. Charles 26-14.

In Division III, region 11, Hartley keeps its spot at the top after topping Watterson 39-0. Right behind the Hawks sit the undefeated Jackson Ironmen followed by two other unbeaten teams in Jonathan Alder and Granville.

In Division IV, region 15, No. 2 Licking Valley is also undefeated and perhaps its biggest game of the season comes next week when the Panthers hit the road to take on the 8-0 Granville Blue Aces for our Football Friday Nite Game of the Week.

A pair of Division V teams rank inside the top-five starting with region 19 where Amanda Clearcreek ranks as the 4th-best team and in region 20 where West Jefferson ranks at number three.

In Division VI, region 24, Southeastern ranks as the number one team with an 8-0 record while 6-2 Grandview Heights comes in as the fourth-ranked team.

And finally, in Division VII, region 27 Harvest Prep is at the top with a 7-1 record while 5-3 Newark Catholic ranks at number five.

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