Local grid squads in good shape for possible state playoff berths

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North Union’s Colton Clark (54) tackles a Fairfield Christian ball carrier on this play. The Wildcats are ranked sixth in this week’s Division V, Region 18 poll. Also pictured for NU is Jaxson Harrah (11).
(Photo submitted)
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If this week’s computer ratings remain somewhat the same over the next three weeks, the Union County area will have three and possibly four teams in the state high school football playoffs.
If that happens, it would mark the most gridiron teams from this area in the post-season in the same year.
In year’s past, Union County has, at most, been represented by two teams in the state playoffs during any given campaign.
This week’s ratings have Marysville at No. 8 in Region 2 of Division I, Fairbanks at eighth in Region 23 of D-VI and North Union at sixth in Region 18 of Division V.
Jonathan Alder is on the cusp of a playoff berth at ninth in Region 16 of Division IV.
The top eight teams in each region at the end of the regular season (Oct. 26-27) will earn a playoff berth.
The top four in each region will host first-round games.
The Monarchs (4-3) jumped three spots from last week’s 11th spot.
MHS was assisted, in part, by Jonathan Alder’s victory over Kenton Ridge.
That win by JA, which the Monarchs soundly defeated during the first week of the season, added second-tier points to Marysville.
“This was a good week for us,” said MHS head coach Brent Johnson. “We’re in place for the playoffs right now and we’re in tune with that.”
The Monarchs will host Upper Arlington on Friday. The Golden Bears are 13th in Region 2.
“It’s exciting,” said FHS head coach Patrick Cotter about a possible post-season berth for his 5-2 Panthers.
“The great thing about the playoffs is that they’re only three weeks away,” he said. “The bad thing about the playoffs is that they’re still three weeks away.
“A lot can happen in those three weeks,” he said. “We just have to do our thing and take it one game at a time.”
Fairbanks would pick up key computer points with a victory at West Liberty-Salem on Friday.
The Tigers will take a matching 5-2 record into the game.
North Union (5-2) has been a solid playoff contender the entire season, despite falling to Pleasant nearly two weeks ago.
The Wildcats also have a key game at Galion on Friday.
The Tigers (4-3) are a Division IV team, so a victory by NU would garner the Wildcats some solid points for the D-V post-season.
NU will play at Buckeye Valley on Oct. 19. If the Wildcats beat the Barons, they would earn valuable secondary points for BV’s win over Pleasant.
North Union head coach Nick Hajjar has said his team isn’t looking ahead to a possible Week 11, adding that the Wildcats are just “taking it one game at a time.”
The Jonathan Alder Pioneers are in a big spot when they travel to Bellefontaine this week.
The Chieftains are a Division III team with a 5-2 record.
“This is a huge game for us,” said Alder coach Brett Glass. “A lot of computer points are on the line for us if we beat a good Division III team.
The Pioneers will then close out the regular season against Division II Tecumseh and D-IV Springfield Shawnee.
Both of those teams have won four of their first seven games.



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