The postseason doesn't officially start for another few weeks, but it might be difficult for the Granville High School football team not to have the Division III, Region 9 playoffs on its mind as it prepares for its toughest two-game stretch of the regular season.
Its opponent Thursday, Oct. 24, is Newark Catholic, which could be in line for a home playoff game in Division VI, Region 21 if it wins out.
The host Blue Aces, who then close the regular season Nov. 1 at playoff-contender Licking Valley, were 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the LCL-Big School Division before playing Lakewood on Oct. 18.
Granville's two losses entering that matchup were by a combined three points to Caledonia River Valley (37-35 on Aug. 30) and Licking Heights (27-26 in overtime Oct. 11). Both of those teams were 7-0 before their respective games Oct. 18.
Newark Catholic was 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the LCL-Small before playing Northridge on Oct. 18.
Granville was averaging 42.9 points through seven games as senior quarterback Isaac Maurer had thrown for 2,423 yards. Senior wide receiver Ajay Alderman had 47 catches for 975 yards.
Newark Catholic has lost its last five matchups to Granville but seemed to close the gap a year ago, holding the Aces to a season-low point total in a 14-7 loss.
The Green Wave, featuring senior Mike Lohr at defensive back, was giving up an average of 13.1 points through seven games.
Senior quarterback Chayce Crouch was 80-for-141 passing for 1,131 yards. He had scored 11 touchdowns and was averaging 40.6 yards per punt.
Licking Valley to face Lakewood
Battling for a playoff spot in Division IV, Region 13 is the Licking Valley football team, which was 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the LCL-Big before playing Licking Heights on Oct. 18.
The Panthers travel Friday, Oct. 25, to Lakewood, which was 1-6 overall and 1-0 in the LCL-Big before playing Granville.
Through seven games for Licking Valley, senior running back Hunter Hartshorn had rushed for 736 yards and scored 17 touchdowns and senior wide receiver Ty Griffith had 41 catches for 622 yards.
Panthers girls golf team 10th at state
Making its first appearance in the Division II state girls golf tournament Oct. 11 and 12 on Ohio State's Gray Course, Licking Valley shot 747 to place 10th as Gates Mills Hawken (668) won the championship.
Junior Tori Johnson tied for 21st with a 168, followed by senior Allie Breymaier (178) and sophomore Morgan Gossett (194). Juniors Jennifer Blosser and Haley Smith also competed.
Area girls volleyball teams open postseason
The two-time defending Division IV district champion Newark Catholic girls volleyball team defeated 20th-seeded Village Academy 25-8, 25-7, 25-8 in a second-round match Oct. 17.
The Green Wave, which improved to 20-4, plays eighth-seeded Berne Union in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Big Walnut, with the winner moving on to a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at the same site.
In Division II, third-seeded Licking Valley defeated sixth-seeded Columbus International 25-17, 25-5, 25-11 in a second-round match Oct. 17, improving to 21-3.
The Panthers, who were a district runner-up a year ago, play 13th-seeded Jonathan Alder in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Worthington Christian Middle School, with the winner moving on to a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at the same site.
Aces girls soccer team begins tourney
The top-seeded Granville girls soccer team began its pursuit of a Division II district championship Oct. 19 when it played 16th-seeded International in a second-round game.
The winner plays ninth-seeded Buckeye Valley or 13th-seeded Lakewood in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the site of the better-seeded team. The winner moves on to a district final Saturday, Oct. 26, at Gahanna.
The Aces, who were district runners-up last season, were 13-2-1 entering the tournament as sophomore forward Nikki Cox had scored 34 goals and senior forward Chloe Kent had 19 goals.