It certainly doesn't seem like it, but Friday will be the final game of the prep football season for some teams.
Yes, that's right. Week 10 is upon us already.
However, two local teams are still fighting to keep their seasons going, while four others are already assured of playing in the postseason.
Monroe Central and Beallsville are on the proverbial bubbles in Division VI and VII, respectively. Jay Circosta's Seminoles (6-3), who visit Buckeye Trail (4-5) Friday night at 7, are currently sixth in Region 21 with 11.7475 bonus points. Seventh-place belongs to Oak Hill (7-2) at 11.7167, while fellow OVAC member Fort Frye (7-2) is eighth with 9.9444. Paul Kanzigg's Blue Devils (5-4), who host St. John Central (0-9) the same night and time, are seventh in Region 25 with 8.1816 points. No. 8 is Crown City South Gallia (5-4) with 7.0. Lancaster Fairfield Christian (6-3) is ninth at 6.5215.
In other 7 o'clock Friday contests, Bridgeport (2-7) closes out its season at home against Cameron (4-5) and River (3-6) and Frontier (4-5) renew acquaintances in Beaverton.
A preview of Friday night's games follow:
Monroe Central vs. Buckeye Trail
At the Baker Activity Center in Old Washington, despite an 0-2 start, Monroe Central has reeled off six wins in the last seven weeks to keep its postseason hopes alive.
The Seminoles are led by the two-headed monster backfield of tailback Levi Brown and quarterback Curtis Nixon, both seniors. Brown has amassed 844 yards and 15 touchdowns via the ground, just ahead of Nixon's 812 and 13 TDs. Nixon, however, has also blossomed into a pretty good passer as he went over the 1,000-yard mark last week and now totals 1,083 with 11 TDs and six picks in just nine games. His 203-yard effort through the air last week was a career-high.
Brown also has four interceptions from his defensive back slot, while Cordell Gauding, Marshall Mozena, Chase Carothers and Mikey Jones are always around the football.
The Warriors have been led by junior quarterback Morgan Dougherty, who has really come into his own the last three weeks. In those three games, he has accounted for more than 1,000 total yards and 12 touchdowns. He has ran for 487 of his 804 stripes and four of his six TDs, while also passing for 532 of his 718 yards and eight more six-pointers.
Senior Travis Pontius leads Buckeye Trail with 780 yards. rushing.
St. John Central vs. Beallsville
At Beallsville, the Blue Devils will observe Senior Night when the winless Irish venture to Monroe County.
The Blue Devils have been on a rollercoaster of sorts this season, having strung together a three-game winning streak after a season-opening blowout loss. Then, after back-to-back losses they won two straight before falling last week at Bishop Donahue.
Junior quarterback Chase Mercer is the engine that makes the Big Blue go as he needs just three yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark passing. He has thrown for 13 TDs. On the ground, he has 229 yards and two TDs. However, he was injured in the first half last Saturday against the Bishops and didn't return, so his status is questionable.
Receivers Derek Lucas (42-422-4TDs) and Mikey Palmer (32-400-5) are two of the top receivers, as far as receptions go, in the Ohio Valley. Bruce Sefert and Joey Cunningham both have over 300 yards rushing, with Sefert scoring seven six-pointers.
The Irish have been plagued by mistakes and injuries so far.
Cameron Opic and Kyle Coppa are a pair of promising players.
Quarterback Dario Paolina has passed for 315 and three scores.
Cameron vs. Bridgeport
At Bill Jobko Stadium in Brookside, a pair of teams playing out the season meet on Perkins Field.
The Bulldogs have been hit by the injury bug as well as junior QJ Williams was hurt late in the season-opening win versus Columbiana and hasn't returned.
However, junior quarterback Bailey McGrath and classmate running back Jacob Ray have been steady performers on the offensive side of the ball. Senior Dakota Gabel came up big in last week's loss to Shadyside, and also played well at Beallsville.
The Dragons are led by 6-8 senior quarterback Logan Routt.
River vs. Frontier
At Beaverton, the Pilots saw any hopes of a possible playoff berth go by the wayside in last week's 21-17 loss at Buckeye Trail.
Tailback Jordan Sapp has rushed for 699 yards and 14 touchdowns for River. Bryce Cross has 35 receptions for 345 yards and two touchdowns.