Staying perfect, as the Pickerington Central and Reynoldsburg high school football teams would attest to, gets tougher each week.
When including the losses by fellow Central District programs Amanda-Clearcreek, Marion Pleasant and East Knox, it was a rough night for teams that entered their games Oct. 5 at 6-0.
Reynoldsburg, which is out to its best start since 1961, lost to Gahanna 10-7.
Defending Division I state champion Central couldn’t hang on to a late lead and fell 31-30 at Lancaster to have its 18-game winning streak snapped.
Dublin Coffman is 7-0, but its perfection is sure to be tested Oct. 12 when it plays host to Hilliard Davidson.
Here are five things we learned in Week 7:
1. Gahanna and Lancaster are the latest OCC-Ohio Division teams to post huge wins.
There is no discussion necessary regarding how deep the OCC-Ohio is again this fall.
While Central and Reynoldsburg both are 6-1 and Pickerington North is 5-2, Gahanna and Lancaster are showing that five of the league’s six teams could end up in the playoffs.
The Golden Gales’ victory over the Tigers improved their record to 4-3, and their remaining opponents are Gahanna, North and Reynoldsburg, so there are plenty of computer points available for their Division I, Region 3 postseason hopes.
The Lions, despite losing their first two games, have won four games by a combined eight points and appear to be in fine shape in Division I, Region 2.
2. Proof is beginning to mount that Dublin Jerome is a much better team than its 3-4 record would indicate.
The Celtics lost four of their first five games, but the teams they lost to are a combined 22-6.
On Oct. 5, Jerome built a 28-7 halftime lead and held off a rally attempt to beat Delaware 35-21 to improve to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in a deep OCC-Cardinal.
Considering the Pacers are 5-2, it was a big win for the Celtics’ playoff hopes in a wide open Region 2.
3. There are three really good teams in Hilliard again this season.
Davidson has a well-earned reputation for being among central Ohio’s top teams every year considering it has made the playoffs in 15 of the past 18 seasons.
Bradley is coming off a perfect regular season last fall and has made back-to-back playoff appearances, and Darby, too, has been in the postseason seven times in 11 seasons.
There’s never been a season in which all three made the playoffs, but that could change this fall.
Davidson beat Upper Arlington 17-7 to improve to 6-1 and Bradley defeated Olentangy Berlin 48-20 in games Oct. 5 as both improved to 6-1.
Darby is now 5-2, with its only losses to its Hilliard rivals.
4. Worthington Christian is in playoff contention for the first time.
There is still work to be done for the fifth-year program, but a 40-29 victory over Fisher Catholic on Oct. 5 has the Warriors knocking on the postseason door for the first time.
The three teams Worthington Christian lost to are a combined 20-1 and its win over the Irish was its third in a row in the MSL-Cardinal.
That league could end up with four playoff teams, as Harvest Prep, Fisher Catholic and Berne Union all are in the hunt in Division VII, Region 27 and Worthington Christian is in contention in Division VI, Region 23.
5. Some really good teams in Division II, Region 7 are going to be left out of the playoffs.
There are 15 teams in the region that are 5-2, 6-1 or 7-0.
Among those are Northland, Walnut Ridge and Licking Heights. Each is going to need a few things to fall its way to land in the postseason.
Another squad that may need help over the next few weeks to get into the postseason is New Albany, which is 4-3 with wins over solid teams such as Dublin Scioto and Olentangy.