When it comes to forecasting and predictions in high school athletics, absolutely nothing is certain.
Trying to make some sense of it, however, does help as we enter the final week of the 2021 gridiron regular season in Ohio.
Half of the Ohio Valley Publishing area has a realistic chance of earning one of the 16 playoff spots within their respective divisions this weekend, but at most only two of those teams will be moving on — mainly due to scheduling.
Both Eastern (3-4) and Southern (4-4) have strong mathmatical chances of sneaking into the top 16 spots with a win, although a few things will also have to work in the winner’s favor.
The Eagles are currently 18th in the Division VII, Region 27 bracket as they travel to Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field on Saturday night for the annual Meigs County Bowl. The hosting Tornadoes are currently 19th in the same bracket.
South Gallia (0-7) is also in the Region 27 bracket, but the Rebels have been eliminated from contention. SGHS will host River Valley (2-5) this Friday night in a second matchup of these programs this fall.
Gallia Academy (3-3) completes its OVC schedule Friday night when it travels to South Point, and the Blue Devils definitely need a win to stay alive in the Division IV, Region 15 bracket.
GAHS is currently 14th overall in the rankings, but a win doesn’t lock them in place. In fact, at least four teams could possibly leap-frog the Blue Devils — even with a win Friday at SPHS — by weekend’s end.
In the cases of Gallia Academy, Eastern and Southern, one of the main deciding factors — outside of a win — will come down to secondary points. A lot of outcomes this weekend will also play a major role in who moves on and who calls it a season.
The Raiders — who are also traveling to South Point next weekend for another regular season game to fill out the schedule — have already been eliminated from contention in the Division V, Region 19 bracket.
Meigs (2-6) — which is 20th overall in Region 19, one spot ahead of River Valley — is completing its regular season this Friday when it hosts Alexander in TVC Ohio play.
The 2021 OHSAA playoff qualifiers and pairings will officially be announced early Sunday morning.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.