By Josh Brown
MIAMI COUNTY — There’s more than just one football game going on in Miami County this week.
No, really, there is.
Aside from Troy and Piqua, there will be seven area teams vying for playoff spots and seeding Friday night as the regular season comes to a close — two that have clinched home games, two that have clinched spots and are fighting to host first-round games, and three more on the bubble fighting to get in or stay in.
Week 10 will have everything to say about what Week 11 looks like.
The Tippecanoe Red Devils have played in Week 11 each of the last 11 seasons, with 2004 being the last time they did not qualify for the postseason. With a 6-3 record, 2-2 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division, Tippecanoe is currently sitting on the outside looking in in the Division III, Region 12 standings, two spots out of the playoffs in 10th and with the top eight teams all controlling their own destiny.
The Devils are facing Butler (5-4, 2-2 GWOC American North), which is currently in ninth place in the D-II, Region 8 standings and is worth significant points. It’s a must-win game for Tippecanoe, but it will also need losses from a few teams ahead of it. Ninth-place Wilmington plays 7-2 Chillicothe, eighth-place Norwood plays 8-1 New Richmond and seventh-place Piqua plays 8-1 Troy — meaning the Devils very well may need to get the help they need if they take care of business.
In D-V, Region 20, Milton-Union (6-3, 4-1 Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division) sits in fourth place and has already clinched a playoff spot, but the Bulldogs are hoping to hang on to the final home game. The host 0-9 Waynesville, so they won’t get much help on their own front — but fifth-place Aiken plays 1-8 and sixth-place Greeneview plays 0-9 Cedarville, so they won’t get much help, either. Seventh-place Brookville, which controls its own destiny, plays 9-0 Franklin, though, and a win could jump the Blue Devils up in the standings.
The Bulldogs need a win and a loss by Carlisle to earn a share of the SWBL Buckeye title, meaning 4-5 Dixie would need to upset the Indians for that to happen.
In D-VI, Region 24, Miami East (6-3, 6-1 Cross County Conference) also needs a win and help to earn a share of the conference title, but they’re also in a region that has lots of room for change in Week 10. The top three teams have clinched home games and four have clinched playoff spots, but only the top five control their own destiny. The Vikings sit in seventh place, facing Twin Valley South (3-6, 3-4 CCC) on the road, and while the likelihood of climbing the ranks into a home game is low, they should be able to clinch a spot with a win.
Bethel (6-3, 4-3 CCC) is in a more precarious position, sitting in 10th place. They will face a tough test with a game against Arcanum (4-5, 4-3 CCC), a dangerous team that has been competitive against quality squads. In eighth, Allen East faces 6-3 Ada and ninth-place Fayetteville faces 6-3 Bishop Ready, meaning the Bees could theoretically get the help they need to get in should they win.
Covington has already clinched the No. 1 seed in D-VII, Region 28, but the Buccaneers (9-0, 7-0 CCC) can clinch the outright CCC championship with a win at Ansonia (2-7, 2-5 CCC). A win is all but a foregone conclusion, and the Buccs will look to keep everyone healthy to prepare for their Week 11 opponent.
Speaking of foregone conclusions, 8-1 Troy Christian hosts Mississinawa Valley, which is 0-9 and about to finish its third straight winless season. The Eagles hold the No. 2 seed in the region and have already clinched a home game and, like the Buccs, will be looking to stay healthy and prepare for the playoffs.
Lehman (6-3, 5-1 Northwest Central Conference) travels to winless Waynesfield-Goshen (0-9, 0-6 NWCC) for one last matchup with little drama. The Cavaliers have clinched a playoff spot and sit in fifth, hoping to move up a spot and host a playoff game. If they traded places with the No. 4 team, Fort Recovery, they would still play each other in a rematch of Week 1 — which Fort Recovery won 21-20.
That leaves Bradford (3-6) as the lone area team not to post a winning season this year. The Railroaders have been eliminated from playoff contention, and they travel to 6-3 Danville on Saturday for the true regular-season finale.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.