Where has the time gone?

Where has the time gone? Is the final week of the high school football season really here? It's been a fun ride, even though for the second time in three weeks, I fell one game short of perfection. Oh, well. Enjoy the final night of the regular season. Also, don't forget to tune in at 10 p.m., for the ThisWeek High School Scoreboard Show on 97.1 The Fan. Let's go out to the games:

Last week: 18-1 (94.7 percent)

Season: 148-33 (81.8 percent)

Game of the Week: 7-2 (77.8 percent)

Hilliard Darby (8-1, 5-1) at Hilliard Davidson (9-0, 6-0)

The squads appear to be fairly evenly-matched with powerful running games and stout defenses, but Davidson holds a huge in big-game experience which will come in handy in a game that will determine the OCC-Central championship and positioning for the Division I Region 3 playoffs. The Wildcats also should receive a boost from playing at home against Darby for the first time. Prediction: Davidson 28-14

Mount Vernon (6-3, 5-1) at New Albany (9-0, 6-0)

The Eagles are seeking the outright OCC-Capital title and their first undefeated season. To do so, they'll need to beat a Mount Vernon team that has given them fits the last two years. Last season, New Albany needed a late interception to seal a 15-10 win. Two years ago New Albany won 3-0. Like New Albany, Mount Vernon is a wing-T team offensively. Both teams are going to be comfortable playing against that alignment. But one thing Mount Vernon can't prepare for in practice is New Albany fullback Alex Hake, who had five carries for 139 yards and two touchdowns against Delaware last Friday. Mount Vernon has a nice running back in Levi Stump, who also had five receptions for 116 yards last Friday against Big Walnut. The Eagles will have more success containing Stump than Mount Vernon will have stopping Hake. That will be the difference in another close one. Prediction: New Albany 24-14

Beechcroft (7-2, 6-0) at Northland (7-2, 5-1)

Because of a rare down season by Brookhaven, the City League-North championship is on the line in this game. Both teams have shown a propensity to shut down opponents defensively as well as run the ball with consistent success. What could set the Cougars apart is their passing game, which has one of the area's top wide receivers in Austin Davenport and is expected to return quarterback Sheldon Akin after a two-week absence. Prediction: Beechcroft 17-14

Dublin Jerome (5-4, 4-2) at Westerville Central (2-7, 2-4)

The Celtics will look to secure second place in the OCC-Cardinal as well as avenge a 20-16 loss to the Warhawks last season. Jerome senior quarterback Ryan Gannon is closing out a stellar career, as he has completed 111 of 213 passes for 1,542 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Meanwhile, Central began the season with high hopes, but a rash of injuries led to its disappointing record. Look Central to keep the game close early, but Jerome will pull away in the second half. Prediction: Jerome 38-20

Worthington Kilbourne (3-6, 2-4) at Thomas Worthington (3-6, 1-5)

Kilbourne and Thomas meet for the third time, and it's the first time in the series that the football team from Worthington's original high school has a legitimate chance to win the OCC-Central game. The Cardinals have gone 2-1 and are averaging 15 more points per game since the return of running back Eric Monfort, who missed the first six games with a broken collarbone. While the Cardinals are hitting their stride as the season ends, the Wolves continue to be inconsistent. They've scored 118 points in three wins, 72 in six losses. Their option offense also could be without fullback Sheldon Tillman, who didn't play last week because of a shin injury. Kilbourne won the first two games in the series - 28-13 last year and 48-3 in 2008. Not this time. Prediction: Thomas 35-31

Olentangy (5-4, 3-3) at Westerville North (0-9, 0-6)

Olentangy coach Ed Terwilliger believes the Warriors, currently mired in a 24-game losing streak, is not that far from getting that elusive win. Chances are pretty good that victory is not going to come this year but the game might be a lot closer than most people think. North held leads against Worthington Kilbourne, Groveport and Marysville but didn't have the depth to close things off. Prediction: Olentangy 24-3

Upper Arlington (6-3, 4-2) at Dublin Coffman (7-2, 5-1)

Darby forced overtime by keeping the Coffman offense off the field. Davidson won by slowing down the game and keeping the Shamrocks offense off the field. With all three of its running backs -- Drew Karram, Ryan McSheffery and Kyle Vesper -- now healthy, Upper Arlington has a shot at winning if it can grind out the clock and keep the Coffman offense off the field. However, don't underestimate the explosiveness of quarterback Cole Stoudt and the Coffman offense. Even with limited opportunities, this offense can hurt you. Stoudt completed 20 of 27 passes for 370 yards and three touchdowns last week. Prediction: Coffman 20-14

Gahanna (4-5, 3-3) at Groveport (6-3, 3-3)

Both the offense and defense has been clicking for the Lions the last two weeks. Offensively the Lions have scored 83 combined points in wins over Grove City and Reynoldsburg. Defensively they have recorded six shutout quarters in the last eight. It is safe to say the Lions are playing their best football of the season. The Cruisers are 2-3 since a 4-0 start and need a victory to have a shot at the Division I playoffs. Quarterback Shane Denny will need a strong performance and a defense that has allowed an average of 36 points a game the last three weeks will have to get better. Look for Gahanna to continue the high level of play and beat Groveport for the second consecutive season. Prediction: Gahanna 23-20

Delaware (3-6, 2-4) at Olentangy Orange (5-4, 4-2)

Delaware has allowed its opponent to score at least 39 points five times this season, including last week in a 49-3 loss to OCC-Capital champion New Albany. Senior night should have provided Delaware a reason to play sharper and more focused. This is the Pioneers' senior night and the Pacers don't have any real motivation, so it could be another blowout. Plus, Orange is on a three-game winning streak and playing its best football of the season. For Delaware, that means a sixth opponent scores 39-plus points. Prediction: Orange 49-7

Pickerington North (6-3, 4-2) at Grove City (3-6, 3-3)

With a victory over the Dawgs, North will clinch its second consecutive Division I, Region 3 playoff berth, but it's not going to be easy. The North defense will have its hands full with Grove City quarterback Luke Smurthwaite, who has passed for 2,146 yards. On the flip side, the Grove City defense is allowing just less than 32 points a game and with an experienced offensive line, North shouldn't have a problem making this game a shootout. Although the Panthers are 0-3 all-time against the Dawgs and with so much on the line, expect North to be celebrating at the game's conclusion. Prediction: North 34-27

Olentangy Liberty (5-4, 3-3) at Westerville South (8-1, 6-0)

While Liberty has technically not been eliminated from playoff contention, a quick glance at the OHSAA's computer ranking shows that it would take something less common than a miracle for the Patriots to sneak into the Region 3 playoffs. And while the Wildcats have clinched a playoff spot, they need a win to secure a first-round home game. Prediction: South 28-10

Pickerington Central (8-0, 6-0) at Reynoldsburg (3-6, 0-5)

The Tigers have not been challenged all season and this OCC-Ohio game will be no exception. The Raiders may be able to match Central's speed at some positions, but don't come close in size and depth. Because the Tigers may rest some and/or most of their starters (and some of the backups) as they prepare for the postseason, the margin of victory is difficult to predict, but here goes anyway. Prediction: Central 38-7

Hilliard Bradley (3-6, 1-5) at Watkins Memorial (5-4, 2-4)

Watkins Memorial looks to have most of the advantages and should be able to close out an up-and-down season that once held so much promise with a relatively easy victory. Factoring in the intangibles makes picking a winner a far more troubling proposition, however. Emotions will be running high (remember that when totaling up the turnovers at the end of the night) as they usually are in what amounts to a farewell to the sport for most of the seniors involved. The Warriors, who are averaging 30.8 points, will find the end zone. But will they score enough to counter the fact that the first senior class in Bradley's history is capable of a statement-making exit? Prediction: Watkins Memorial 34-30

Teays Valley (5-4, 4-2) at Canal Winchester (8-1, 6-0)

The Indians can clinch the MSL-Buckeye title outright, its first since 2007, as well as a playoff berth. Teays Valley has just one win over a team with a winning record this year, and the Vikings are one dimensional on offense, relying on running back Derrick Taylor. Expect Canal Winchester to run the ball early and often to test the Teays Valley defense, thus setting up play-action passes and screens. Prediction: Canal Winchester 28-10

Franklin Heights (0-9, 0-6) at Big Walnut (7-2, 4-2)

Big Walnut has lost two in a row, falling 41-0 to New Albany on Oct. 15 and 36-33 to Mount Vernon last Friday, but look for its skid to end Friday against winless Franklin Heights. The Golden Eagles should be focused, as they do not have a Division II, Region 7 playoff spot secured yet. A win over the Falcons doesn't guarantee a playoff berth, but it should be enough to get the Golden Eagles in. Prediction: Big Walnut 30-13

Ready (4-5) at Hartley (7-2)

Having already clinched a playoff berth, the Hawks will look to avenge last season's 31-21 loss to the Silver Knights that cost them a playoff spot. Hartley running back Noah Key should put an exclamation point on his stellar season against a reeling Ready defense that has allowed more than 30 points five times. Key and Jarrod Zang have combined to rush for 2,327 yards and 29 touchdowns. Demetrius Clark will lead the Ready offense against the Hawks, who have allowed at least 28 points in four games. Hartley has a talent advantage over Ready that will lead to the Hawks' first victory over the Silver Knights since 2006. Prediction: Hartley 42-21

Jonathan Alder (8-1) at St. Charles (5-3)

It may be time for its strength of schedule to catch up with Jonathan Alder. If the playoffs were to begin today, only two of the nine teams the Pioneers have played would be in the postseason with one more -- Washington Court House -- knocking on the door in ninth. On the other hand, six of the eight teams to play St. Charles are in the top eight in the respective regions with Beechcroft sitting in 10th. Plus, the Cardinals have only played one team below Division III and that was perennial Division V state champion Youngstown Ursuline. The Pioneers have four Division IV teams or smaller. Add in the fact that Jonathan Alder crushed the Cardinals playoff chances last year in the final week and it's not difficult to come up with a St. Charles victory. It's all in the numbers. Prediction: St. Charles 26-18

Harvest Prep (5-4, 3-3) at Grandview (6-3, 4-2)

This matchup features playmakers on both sides, but the Bobcats have more to play for. They must win to keep hope alive for the postseason, and they'll be looking to avenge last season's 21-17 loss. Look for Grandview's Jason Franks and Oliver Rouch to take over late as Harvest Prep's lack of depth takes its toll. Prediction: Grandview 31-21

Central Crossing (1-8, 0-6) at Westland (1-8, 0-6)

These South-Western City Schools teams close the season against each other. It may not be a great game, but it should be a close one. Both teams have a couple playmakers in the back field in quarterback Tory Clark and running back Jordan Keaton for the Comets and Korey Browning and Reggie McClain. It's a toss up so go with the home team. Prediction: Westland 24-20

Marysville (5-4) at Dublin Scioto (5-4)

This OCC-Cardinal game is another close matchup. Not only do the teams have the same records, but they both possess strong running attacks. The difference is Scioto's ability to pass the ball better with sophomore quarterback Evan DeMars. Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs so a winning record is the main motivation. Prediction: Scioto 17-14