With one week left in the regular season, the Canal Winchester High School football team is hoping a win Friday at Teays Valley will extend the season.

With one week left in the regular season, the Canal Winchester High School football team is hoping a win Friday at Teays Valley will extend the season.

An added bonus would be a share of the MSL-Buckeye Division title. But in order to accomplish that, the Indians need to beat Teays Valley and have Amanda-Clearcreek lose to Bloom-Carroll to forge a two-way tie for first with the Aces.

Canal Winchester currently is on the outside of the playoffs looking in, as it was expected to be ninth in the Division II Region 7 computer standings, which were released last Tuesday. The easiest scenario for the Indians would be a win at Teays Valley and have both New Philadelphia and Olentangy Orange lose Friday. Beyond that, there are a number of complicated scenarios in which the Indians would earn the eighth and final playoff spot.

For now, though, the Indians are focused on Teays Valley.

"They've had some success moving the ball on offense. I know they're a good team," Indians coach Phil Mauro said. "I know they've struggled this year, but they've won two of their last three and had some big games earlier in the year. So, they're a pretty good team."

The Vikings started off the season with four consecutive losses, but won three of their last five games and are sitting at 3-3 in the league. However, all of the wins are against teams with losing records. Last Friday, Teays Valley improved to 3-6 with a 39-13 decision over Hamilton Township.

For Teays Valley, it's been pretty clear where the success, and failure, has come from. In their three wins, the Vikings have averaged 31.3 points per game. In their last four losses, they've allowed an average of 40.8 points per game.

Teays Valley's offense is based around quarterback Trevor Cowles and running back Derek Sturgell, both Grove City transfers, as well as running back Derrick Taylor.

Countering that offense will be a Canal Winchester defense led by defensive tackle Sedarrian Booth, linebackers Zack Hitchens and Ryan Rose and defensive backs Conrad Rosch and Nathaniel Adkins. Mauro said that Daniel Bailey, who played well in relief against Logan Elm last Friday, will see some time at linebacker this week after having two tackles for loss and a sack in a 23-20 win over Logan Elm last Friday. However, defensive tackle Dujshon Stevens, who appeared to sustain an ankle injury against the Braves and rotates in along the defensive line, is doubtful for Friday.

"They're going to give us multiple formations and try to spread us out a bit," Mauro said. "With Taylor, they'll try to get the ball on the edge a lot. A big key is just not giving up the big play. We need to contain Derrick and not give up big plays to him."

Offensively, the Indians are hoping to maintain a good balance between the run and the pass, something that has served them well the last two weeks. Canal Winchester has been a strong running team all season with running back Mike Mainella and wide receiver Tyler Thompson. But the play of quarterback Justin Whitlatch the last two weeks has been a boon for the Indians. In the last two games, the win over Logan Elm and a 43-0 win over Hamilton Township on Oct. 16, Whitlatch combined to go 17-for-25 for 256 yards with four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

Mauro is looking for the Indians to improve in a few areas this week, including pass defense. He wasn't thrilled when his team gave up a 29-yard touchdown pass against Logan Elm.

"Well, we want to continue to do a good job on protection," Mauro said. "I think defensively we can still get a bit better at our pursuit angles."