The Marion-Franklin High School football team could be joined by as many as four other City League programs when the playoffs begin Nov. 8.
With a 49-14 win over Briggs on Oct. 25, the Red Devils clinched a first-round home game in Division III, Region 9. They are 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the City-South Division entering their regular-season finale Friday, Nov. 1, at Columbus South.
Marion-Franklin has won 32 consecutive league games and will be in the postseason for the 10th consecutive season.
Also looking for berths in Region 9 are Brookhaven and Beechcroft, while Northland and Walnut Ridge are battling for spots in Division II, Region 5.
In other games with playoff implications Friday, Nov. 1, Northland travels to Beechcroft, Mifflin plays host to Brook-haven and Independence plays at Walnut Ridge.
Brookhaven, which is 7-2 overall and 6-0 in the City-North, can win the outright league championship and clinch a playoff spot if it beats Mifflin for the third consecutive season. The Punchers are 5-4 and 4-2, but out of the playoff race in Region 9.
The Bearcats will try to use the all-around abilities of sophomore quarterback Macyah Fleming and a rushing attack led by senior running back David Peoples against a Mifflin defense that has been inconsistent. The Punchers gave up just 13 yards of offense in the first half of a 21-20 win over Beechcroft on Oct. 3 but have lost two of their last three, including 42-7 to Northland on Oct. 11.
Fleming had two touchdown passes and ran for a score while Peoples added two touchdown runs in a 43-6 win Oct. 25 over Columbus East.
Also on Oct. 25, Northland beat Linden-McKinley 66-16 to improve to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the City-North, while Beechcroft beat Centennial 36-7 to improve to 5-4 and 4-2.
The Cougars, who won at least a share of the last three City-North titles but are out of the league title race, got 107 yards rushing and two touchdowns from L.J. Cox and 137 yards and a score from Khalor Franklin against the Stars.
That duo and quarterback Mike Powers, who threw for a touchdown and ran for another against Centennial, will try to match a Northland team averaging 43 points.
Northland will make the Region 5 postseason if it can snap a two-game losing streak to Beechcroft. In 2010, the Vikings beat the Cougars 12-7 in their regular-season finale to make the playoffs for the first time. Northland then lost to Hilliard Davidson 47-6 in the first round in Division I, Region 3.
Against Linden, quarterback Nick Fischer threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another and running back Nateshawn Hargrove rushed for two scores.
Walnut Ridge, which is 7-2 overall and 5-1 in the City-South, must beat Independence and get help to make the playoffs in Region 5.
International boys fall in district final
The fifth-seeded Columbus International boys soccer team lost to top-seeded Columbus Academy 1-0 on Oct. 26 in a Division III district final at Gahanna.
The Lions, who were City champions and finished 16-3-1, edged fourth-seeded Gahanna Christian 2-1 on Oct. 23 in a district semifinal at Grove City Christian.
Junior forwards Hakim Diaw (19 goals, 7 assists) and Abdoul Sene (11 goals, 4 assists) led International this season.
In a Division II boys district semifinal Oct. 22, 11th-seeded Mifflin lost to sixth-seeded Bexley 2-1. The Punchers finished 10-6-1.
Football | Week 10
NORTHLAND at BEECHCROFT
•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
•Last meeting: 2012, Northland 41-0
•Northland (7-1 overall, 5-1 in City-North) to date: Defeated Independence 20-18; def. Cincinnati Taft 36-30; lost to Brookhaven 29-28 (OT); def. Columbus East 64-20; def. Centennial 55-6; def. Mifflin 42-7; def. Whetstone 33-24; def. Linden-McKinley 66-16
•Beechcroft (5-4 overall, 4-2 in City-North) to date: Def. Dayton Dunbar 14-0; lost to Dublin Jerome 26-14; lost to Walnut Ridge 24-0; def. Whetstone 15-8; def. Linden 81-8; lost to Mifflin 21-20; def. East 21-14 (OT); lost to Brookhaven 34-7; def. Centennial 36-7
•Top Vikings: Jhustus Cornley (WR/DB), Nick Fischer (QB), Nateshawn Hargrove (RB/LB), Malcolm Marshall (WR/DB) and Abu Turay (RB/DB)
•Top Cougars: Adonis Davis (RB/LB), Darius Ford (WR/DB), Khalor Franklin (RB/LB), Rayshawn Norah (WR/DB) and Mike Powers (WR/DB)
BROOKHAVEN at MIFFLIN
•When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
•Last meeting: 2012, Brookhaven 20-13
•Brookhaven (7-2 overall, 6-0 in City-North) to date: Def. Columbus West 49-20; lost to Marion-Franklin 27-2; lost to Central Crossing 10-7; def. Northland 29-28 (OT); def. Whetstone 46-24; def. Linden 33-0; def. Centennial 54-7; def. Beechcroft 34-7; def. East 43-6
•Mifflin (5-4 overall, 4-2 in City-North) to date: Lost to Licking Heights 40-6; def. Westland 24-0; lost to Watkins Memorial 26-12; def. East 48-12; def. Centennial 53-21; def. Beechcroft 21-20; lost to Northland 42-7; def. Linden 33-6; lost to Whetstone 21-14
•Top Bearcats: Bruce Foster (QB/LB), Paul Hughes (TE/LB), Davonte Lewis (RB/LB), David Peoples (RB) and Takeyvion Simmons (RB/LB)
•Top Punchers: Marsaan Banks (QB), Montrese Frazier (WR), Michael Gause (OL/DL), Jakob Green (WR/DB) and Stanley Jackson (WR/DB)