The central Ohio high school football regular season officially is at its midpoint this week, which means that records, computer ratings and league title races are about to take shape.

In regards to playoff standings, Division I, Region 3 has 11 teams with records of 4-0 or 3-1, while Division III, Region 11 has 16 teams at 4-0 or 3-1. The top eight in each region qualify for the postseason.

Here are five things to watch heading into Week 5:

1. Either Pickerington North or Olentangy Liberty will get a big lift heading into its league opener.

One of the more intriguing contests in Week 5 pits North at Liberty in a matchup of 2016 playoff teams off to 3-1 starts.

Both teams lost to out-of-town opponents that are 4-0.

Liberty, which edged North 33-28 a year ago, was expected to be seventh in Division I, Region 2 after Week 4, while the Panthers were expected to be sixth in Division I, Region 3.

2. Is this the week Grove City snaps a 16-game losing streak and earns its first win under new coach Tennyson Varney?

The Dawgs are 0-4 heading into their matchup Friday, Sept. 22, at Franklin Heights, which was a playoff qualifier last season when Varney was its coach. The Falcons are 2-2 under first-year coach Cory Fenner.

Grove City has come close to snapping its skid the past two weeks, falling to Central Crossing 49-48 on Sept. 8 and then leading Marysville heading into the fourth quarter before losing 23-14 on Sept. 15.

The Dawgs had only three losses by 14 points or fewer last year when they finished 0-10, including a 28-14 loss to Franklin Heights in Week 5.

3. Licking Valley plays host to Northridge in the area's only matchup of 4-0 teams.

A perennial playoff qualifier under veteran coach Randy Baughman that went just 4-6 a year ago, Licking Valley has won handily the last two weeks after two close victories to open the season.

Northridge, which also finished 4-6 last season, is off to its best start since 2004 when it posted a perfect regular season that included a forfeit victory over Licking Valley. The Vikings have had just two non-losing seasons since then.

4. How will Dublin Coffman, DeSales and Thomas Worthington respond after their first losses?

Each of the three teams appears to have a difficult matchup Sept. 22, as Thomas plays at unbeaten Hilliard Bradley, DeSales travels to undefeated Covington (Kentucky) Catholic and Coffman plays host to Gahanna in a matchup of 3-1 teams.

On Sept. 15, Thomas was edged by Worthington Kilbourne 26-25 in overtime, Coffman lost to Olentangy 31-14 and DeSales fell to Indianapolis Chatard 42-7.

5. Who will begin to emerge in the City League-South Division?

The City-South is off to a strong start.

Independence, Marion-Franklin and Walnut Ridge all are 4-0, while defending league champion Eastmoor Academy is 2-2 but has faced the toughest schedule among the four teams.

The biggest league test to date for any of the four will take place Sept. 22 when Walnut Ridge visits Eastmoor.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek