There is just one week remaining in the regular season, but there were still some scores that didn’t make sense in Week 9.
New Albany got shut out Oct. 13 but came away with eight touchdowns in a 55-36 win over Franklin Heights on Oct. 20.
A similar scenario played out when Columbus West, which didn’t score a point in Week 8, ran away from Africentric 90-42 on Oct. 20.
Speaking of news of the weird, nothing might have been more surprising than Dublin Jerome needing to block an extra-point attempt to win 28-27 over Watterson. The Celtics are battling for a playoff berth in Division I, Region 2 and the Eagles have just two wins this fall.
It’s refreshing from a dramatic standpoint to know there are so many uncertainties even this late in the season.
Here are five things we learned from Week 9:
1. Olentangy Liberty is a bona fide threat to win Division I, Region 2.
On Sept. 22, the Patriots were 42-0 losers at home to Pickerington North.
Fast-forward a month, and Liberty is one victory away from winning the outright OCC-Buckeye Division title and likely ending up with a home playoff game.
Among the reasons behind the turnaround is senior standout linebacker Edward Warinner has been back from injury the last two weeks to help the Patriots beat Olentangy (28-17 on Oct. 13) and Olentangy Orange (25-24 on Oct. 20).
Liberty’s offense, which features several juniors in key roles, also has continued to mature.
2. Pickerington Central will end up with at least a share of its 12th consecutive league championship, and it also will be in the playoffs for the 12th year in a row.
The Tigers have won six consecutive games since losing to Trotwood-Madison 28-19 on Sept. 8, and they’ve been impressive in several of those wins, including a 41-7 decision over Reynoldsburg in Week 9.
Central should wrap up a home playoff game in Division I, Region 3 and likely will be the team no one in the region wants to play considering its pedigree, which includes a run to a state semifinal last fall.
3. The biggest surprise of the week might have been Whitehall’s performance against Ready.
The Rams needed to win at least one of their final two games to have a chance to make the Division II, Region 7 playoffs, and they ended up posting a 32-2 victory Oct. 20 over Ready, which will be in the Division V playoffs.
The Rams have won four in a row since losing to Columbus Academy 31-14 on Sept. 22 and even have an outside chance at a home playoff game after entering Week 9 at No. 13 in Region 7.
4. Walnut Ridge has qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2009 and is projected to earn a home playoff game.
Even after losing Columbus South from its schedule after their matchup Oct. 13 was canceled because of an incident that took play at Walnut Ridge the day of the game, the Scots should end up with the No. 1 seed for the Division II, Region 7 playoffs.
The Scots, who beat Marion-Franklin 36-28 on Oct. 20, are 8-0 against a non-league slate that includes two teams with winning records and a City League-South schedule that should get three or four teams into the postseason.
5. DeSales likely will be at home during the postseason after making three consecutive playoff appearances.
The Stallions have several players who already have committed to play collegiately from the 2018 class and have beaten a pair of teams that could end up in the playoffs in Youngstown Mooney and Trenton Edgewood.
The four teams DeSales has lost to are a combined 30-7, including Cincinnati Winton Woods, which it fell to 42-7 on Oct. 20.
The Stallions have made 25 playoff appearances.