By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — Hard as it may be to believe — its seems like teams were just starting summer camp a blink ago — we’ve already reached the midway point of the high school football season.
And, while it still may be only the halfway point, the Ohio High School Athletic Association released its first official set of computer points standings — which means it’s not too early to start thinking about the playoffs. Currently, only three area team — Miami East in Division V, Bethel in Division VI and Lehman in Division VII — are in the top eight in their region.
With six weeks to play, however, no area teams have been mathematically eliminated, either. There’s still plenty that can — and almost certainly will — happen this season. It gets started this week with a key match-up between a pair of county teams and conference rivals.
Miami East (3-1, 2-0 in the CCC) at Bethel (4-0, 2-0)
Sure, it’s early in the season, but based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s hard to believe this game won’t have massive Cross County Conference title and playoff implications down the road.
The Bees and Vikings are the only remaining teams in the CCC without a conference loss, so the winner of this game will take over sole possession of first place. Also, it would seem as though there’s a huge amount of playoff points to be had by the winner, depending on how things play out for both teams the rest of the season.
Yes, it’s still early — but this game could very well decide a CCC champion in Week 5.
Tippecanoe (2-2) at Fairborn (1-3)
It’s been a rough two-week stretch for Tippecanoe, which lost consecutive regular-season games for the first time in more than a decade. It does bear mentioning, however, that of those two losses, one came against Division I Northmont (44-12) and the other was to undefeated state powerhouse Trotwood-Madison (56-10).
The Red Devils will look to rebound this week against Fairborn. Last year, the two teams played a classic, with Tippecanoe winning 45-44 on Caiden Smith’s 29-yard field goal with 10 seconds to play in the game.
McClain (0-4) at Troy Christian (2-2)
Last week, Troy Christian had to hop on a bus and travel for more than two hours to get to Lucas. That game resulted in a 50-12 loss. This week, the Eagles are hoping to take advantage of another team making a loss bus ride as they play host to McClain, which is located in Highland County.
The Tigers have been outscored 144-27 in four games this season. This might be an opportunity for Troy Christian to get back on track before traveling to undefeated Carey next week.
Preble Shawnee (3-1, 0-1 in the SWBL) at Milton-Union (2-2, 1-0)
After opening the season 0-2, Milton-Union evened its record with back-to-back victories over Northwestern and Northridge. The Bulldogs will look to pick up a second Southwest Buckeye League Buckeye Division win this week as they play host to Preble Shawnee.
Preble Shawnee started the season 3-0, but lost 47-0 to Middletown Madison last week. In last year’s meeting between the two teams, Milton beat Preble Shawnee 20-7.
Arcanum (1-3, 1-1 in the CCC) at Covington (1-3, 1-1)
Covington snapped its uncharacteristic three-game losing streak with a 20-7 CCC victory over a good Tri-County North team last week. The Buccaneers will look to keep things rolling again this week with a match-up against CCC foe Arcanum.
With contests against conference leaders Miami East and Bethel coming in the next two weeks following Arcanum, Covington needs to win this week to keep momentum going if it wants to successfully defend its CCC title.
Xenia (0-4) at Piqua (2-2)
After losing its previous two games, Piqua blasted West Carrollton 35-0 last week in a game that was essentially over by halftime. This week, the Indians take on Xenia, which may be looking for its first win of the season, but also gave undefeated Sidney all it could handle last week in a 55-48 loss.
Elgin (3-1) at Lehman (3-1)
Lehman’s offense has been in high gear the past two weeks, scoring 51 points against 1-3 Graham and 62 points against 0-4 Ridgemont. Things would appear to get a little tougher this week as the Cavaliers play host to Elgin. Elgin’s offense comes in averaging 49.6 points per game. This one could very easily turn into a shootout.
TC North (2-2, 1-1 in the CCC) at Bradford (0-4, 0-2)
It’s been a struggle this season for Bradford, which has been outscored by an average of 36.0 to 3.0 so far this season. The Railroaders will look to get things on the right track this week against TC North.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong