Hard to believe we're already here. There is some sadness when the regular season ends, but there's the joy of the postseason for many teams and their fans.

Hard to believe we're already here. There is some sadness when the regular season ends, but there's the joy of the postseason for many teams and their fans. Our Game of the Week is a fine example of the highs and lows encountered during a season. Westerville South opened the season with two losses, and Olentangy Liberty was drilled by Dublin Coffman 52-0 in its opener. Both teams have rebounded and are 7-2. For teams not in playoff contention there are other motivations, such as playing for a .500 season. While I have secured a .500 mark in the regular season in the Game of the Week predictions, 6-4 will look a whole lot better than 5-5.

Last week: 16-3
Overall: 146-47
Game of the Week: 5-4

Game of the Week
Westerville South (7-2, 6-0) at Olentangy Liberty (7-2, 5-1)
This game is a fitting end to the OCC-Cardinal Division season. They are the elite of the division as the other six teams are a combined 18-36. Both teams are headed to the playoffs, but of more importance is there's also a league title on the line. The Wildcats win and they are the outright champions. The Patriots win and the two teams will share the title. One of the big questions is which team will be able to adjust to the sever jump in the quality of opponent. South's closest league game is 21 points. Liberty has had four games, including a 23-13 loss to Dublin Jerome, decided by 11 or fewer points. Liberty also will need to find a way to combat South's overall advantage in team speed. After starting 0-2, the Wildcats are seeking their eighth consecutive victory. Prediction: South 27-13

Olentangy Orange (7-2, 4-1) at Delaware (6-3, 4-1)
This contest will determine at least a share of the OCC-Capital championship, as well as the playoff berths for both teams. Delaware is coming off a loss at New Albany where it allowed 239 yards passing and three long touchdown passes. The Pacers have stopped the run against nearly every opponent this season. Expect injured Orange quarterback Corey Joe to return after missing the previous four weeks. And expect the Pioneers to throw the ball often. But in the end, Delaware intercepts a late Orange pass to preserve its victory. Prediction: Delaware 21-14

Groveport (6-3, 3-2) at Gahanna (4-5, 1-4)
The Cruisers, who started the season 4-0, need a win to give themselves a shot to reach the Division I, Region 3 playoffs for the second time in three seasons. Gahanna has looked good at times but has struggled with consistency. If the Lions can play like they did in a 24-21 loss to Worthington Kilbourne, they certainly will have a shot in this OCC-Ohio game. Earl Cunningham has been effective out of the Wildcat offense and as a punt returner, and he will need to hit a couple big plays for Gahanna to win. Prediction: Groveport 20-17

Hilliard Davidson (7-1, 3-1) at Hilliard Darby (3-5, 0-4)
Davidson running backs Spencer Delande (back) and Rico Butler (ankle) may not be able to play, meaning quarterback Jake Trubiano again may be at tailback. Regardless of who plays in the backfield for the Wildcats, expect them to move the ball and score points. The Panthers' multiple-slot back offense has averaged only 5.3 points over its past four games and produced only 58 total yards in a 48-0 loss at Pickerington Central a week ago. Davidson's defense, which is giving up an average of 9.8 points per game, isn't going to make things any easier. Prediction: Davidson 28-7.

Dublin Scioto (4-5, 4-2) at Marysville (3-6, 2-4)
With no playoff berth or OCC-Cardinal championship on the line, this game is more about sending the seniors out with a victory. Marysville returned eight starters on offense, but has been hurt by injuries to quarterback Luke Fleming and running back Hayes Chrispin. Scioto also has suffered through its share of injuries and close defeats. Both teams put up big numbers offensively last week, but look for the Irish to have the bigger number this time. Prediction: Scioto 35-14.

Dublin Jerome (5-4, 4-2) at Westerville Central (4-5, 2-4)
The Celtics are seeking their third consecutive winning season, and coach Mark Hundley is hoping a strong showing by quarterback Ryan Gannon and the remaining underclassmen will help kick off a positive offseason. Meanwhile, Central coach John Magistro has helped turn around a team that was winless last season. With a win, the Warhawks would finish .500. Prediction: Jerome 28-21

Reynoldsburg (2-7, 2-3) at Pickerington Central (8-1, 4-1)
This game appears to be a mismatch when Reynoldsburg has the football on offense. Five times this season the Raiders have been held to a touchdown or less. Central's defense has posted five shutouts, including four in a row. Reynoldsburg's defense has been stingy at times this year, and it won't be a cakewalk for Central's offense. To keep the game close, the Raiders are going to have to sustain drives and punt the football deep into Central's territory. That might be tough to do against a defense that rivals the one Reynoldsburg saw in Dublin Coffman, which defeated the Raiders 37-0 on Sept. 18. Reynoldsburg does have Dominique Walker, who might be one of the better running backs Central has faced this season. He had more than 200 yards rushing a week ago in a 46-23 victory over Gahanna. Prediction: Central 35-7

Thomas Worthington (5-4, 2-2) at Worthington Kilbourne (4-4, 1-3)
In the inaugural "Wo-Town Showdown" last year, Kilbourne dominated from the
opening snap and won by 40 points. A year later the names are the same, but
talent is more even. Thomas is a confident bunch and looking to finish above .500, while the Wolves are licking their wounds from a 35-0 loss to Dublin Coffman last week. The quarterback battle between Kilbourne's Nathan Sparks and Thomas' Sam Bohon is close, but Bohon and his boys put up a fight, but just don't have enough. Prediction: Kilbourne 24-16

Dublin Coffman (9-0, 4-0) at Upper Arlington (5-4, 2-2)
The season is on the line for UA. Win, and the Golden Bears are all but assured of making the Division I playoffs. Lose, and their season is over. Coffman, on the hand, already has secured a first-round home playoff game in Division I. The Shamrocks appear poised to make a deep playoff run. Even the loss of starting quarterback Cole Stoudt to a season-ending injury three weeks ago hasn't slowed Coffman, which is averaging 39 points per game. In addition, the Shamrocks have allowed only 37 points all season. UA may be able to keep the game close but don't expect an upset.Prediction: Coffman 21-7

Westerville North (0-9, 0-6) at Olentangy (2-7, 1-5)
It has been a struggle for both teams this season, but North in particular is feeling the effects of a long year. Down to 35 players and their third quarterback, the Warriors are facing the possibility of finishing the season winless. Defensively North has not been able to stop the run all season. Olentangy, which has started to mix in some I-formation into its traditionally spread offense, will find success on the ground to earn a close win. Prediction: Olentangy 21-14

Johnstown (4-5, 3-3) at Northridge (1-8, 0-6)
This has not been a season either team had expected. The Johnnies had hopes of winning a third consecutive MBC title, and the Vikings wanted to make the leap above .500 for the first time since 2005. This might be a rivalry game, but the competition between rivals might be a year or two away. Look for Johnstown to go to its signature ground attack and keep the ball away from a young Northridge offense. Expect the Johnnies to secure a .500 season in a big way . Prediction: Johnstown 48-7

Columubus Academy (7-2, 5-1) at Whitehall (2-7, 1-5)
Academy has much to play for. With a win, the Vikings will earn at least a tie for the MSL-Ohio title, as Granville and Academy have 5-1 league marks heading into Friday. Academy also enters the game in the eighth and final position to qualify for the postseason in Division V, Region 20. Whitehall must stop the Vikings' leading rusher Preston Pearson (871 yards, 14 touchdowns this season) to stay close. Academy has too much at stake to let the Rams win this one. Prediction: Academy 28-9

Licking Valley (4-5, 3-3) at Bexley (3-6, 2-4)
Bexley has not beaten Licking Valley since 1998 and this might be the Lions' best chance to knock off the MSL-Ohio powerhouse. The Panthers have lost three of four. However the Lions have allowed 25.5 points a game and have struggled against the run. Prediction: Licking Valley 28-7

Newark Catholic (6-3, 4-2) at Granville (8-1, 5-1)
Coach Bill Franks likes the way the Green Wave responded with three consecutive October victories following setbacks against Heath and Academy. Sitting seventh in Division VI, Region 23, his team needs another one or at least some help elsewhere to earn a November game and avoid getting shut out off the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time. The Blue Aces, who can do no worse than share the league title with a win and would likely earn a home postseason game in Division III, Region 11 for the first time, are just too strong defensively, however. Prediction: Granville 24-17

Canal Winchester (7-2, 5-1) at Teays Valley (3-6, 3-3)
This game means little to the Vikings, but a playoff spot as well as a share of the MSL-Buckeye league title are potentially on the line for the Indians. Canal Winchester has been a strong running team all season, but recently it has been the passing game that has got it done. Quarterback Justin Whitlatch has four touchdown passes and one rushing in the last two games. Although Teays Valley always keeps it close with Canal Winchester, expect the Indians to prevail. Prediction: Canal Winchester 28-10

Ready (7-1) vs. Hartley (7-2) at Dublin Scioto
Last season, Ready took advantage of a few mistakes and steam-rolled its way to a 52-6 victory. The result should be much different this time, as these two offensive powerhouses meet with the CCL-Gold Division title and playoff berths on the line. The Silver Knights' defense has been just a little bit better than the Hawks, and because of that we like Ready to pull out a close one. Prediction: Ready 27- 20

Big Walnut (6-3) at Pickerington North (6-3)
The Panthers and the Golden Eagles both enter this non-league game with hopes of reaching the playoffs. Both teams are in the same spot 6-3 records and the No. 12 spot in their regions. North has won four in a row, while Big Walnut ended a two-game slide with a 28-0 victory over Mount Vernon last week. This will be the third meeting between the two teams and the first since 2005. Big Walnut won the first two matchups, but look for a different outcome this time. Prediction: North 21-17

Youngstown Mooney (9-0) at Watterson (7-2)
Plenty is at stake as Watterson looks to lock up the top playoff spot in Division III, Region 10 when they battle Youngstown-Mooney in a non-league game. The Eagles have been a fixture in the postseason under coach Dan Bjelac, but they've struggled against Mooney, losing the last three meetings which includes shutouts the last two times. But Watterson's defense has come together after a 17-10 loss at DeSales two weeks ago. The Eagles have too much talent to let this opportunity slip away. Go with the upset. Prediction: Watterson 19-17

Cleveland Benedictine (3-6) at DeSales (6-3)
With a Division III playoff spot already locked up and not much on the line other than the hope that they'll guarantee a home first-round game, the Stallions might not have much motivation for this non-league matchup. Their talent ultimately should prevail over a program in the midst of its fifth consecutive losing season. Prediction: DeSales 27-13