It's unlikely that any central Ohio high school football team ever had as much interest in a game between a pair of 3-6 teams from northeastern Indiana as Olentangy Liberty did last Friday.

It's unlikely that any central Ohio high school football team ever had as much interest in a game between a pair of 3-6 teams from northeastern Indiana as Olentangy Liberty did last Friday.

The Patriots knew they needed a win in their regular-season finale and a few scenarios to fall their way to make it to the Division II, Region 6 playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. They did their part with a 21-17 win over Westerville South earlier that day. Then it was computer-watching time.

Because of the tightness in points between Liberty and Greenville, a Southwest District team which like the Patriots finished 7-3, second-level points factored into which team would get the eighth seed in the region.

Greenville beat Portland (Ind.) Jay County 53-20 on Oct. 10, but Jay County needed a win over Marion (Ind.) last Friday to give Greenville enough points to eke out the eighth spot ahead of Liberty. Marion won 47-33.

"It was very hairy for us," Liberty coach Steve Hale said. "We had to wait on a game in Indiana to see if we were in. Greenville had beaten a team from Indiana and we were waiting to see what second-level points they had, and we were all huddled around the computer."

The Patriots weren't the only team to have anxious moments waiting to see if they'd done enough to have a postseason.

Midway through the season, Grove City looked far from playoff-caliber. The Dawgs were 2-3 and had scored 35 points to that point. Grove City got hot in the second half to close at 6-4, and after edging Pickerington North 12-7 last Friday the Dawgs waited for several scenarios to fall their way in Division I, Region 3. The biggest one came when they learned that Dublin Coffman had lost to Upper Arlington 7-6.

Grove City plays Saturday at top-seeded Hilliard Davidson, which beat the Dawgs 15-0 on Sept. 5.

"We heard Westerville South got beat by Liberty and we knew UA beat Coffman," Grove City coach Matt Jordan said. "As a staff, that's all we really knew and we knew both those things had to happen. With Coffman getting beat, there was a chance two spots were open. By the time I got home, my wife was on the Internet and had us seventh. That was at 11 p.m. We were getting reports of Lancaster and knew that Independence was beaten by Walnut Ridge, which helped us to surpass Lancaster. By 1 a.m., we had a good feeling we were in."

Coffman lost its last three, all to Region 3 playoff qualifiers in tight games -- Davidson (14-10 on Oct. 10), Worthington Kilbourne (30-20 on Oct. 17) and UA.

The Shamrocks might be considered the victim of playing in a deep OCC-Central Division, with sixth-seeded Delaware from the OCC-Capital and No. 7 Marysville from the OCC-Cardinal the beneficiaries. Both won last Friday to set up first-round playoff matchups of Delaware at undefeated Pickerington Central and Marysville at UA. Brookhaven plays host to Worthington Kilbourne in the other regional game.

The Pacers qualified despite playing a schedule that included only one Division I school in Mount Vernon, which finished 1-9.

There was plenty of suspense in Division II, Region 7 last weekend as well.

Watterson knew before it traveled to Youngstown Mooney last Saturday that it had clinched a playoff berth, and Independence coach Alan Jones had a feeling his team had made it last Friday even after his team's 48-16 shellacking at the hands of Walnut Ridge.

A series of events last Friday helped Watterson -- which then lost to the Cardinals 28-0 -- qualify after a one-year absence. Canfield lost to Poland Seminary 14-7, Alliance fell to Canal Fulton Northwest 15-14 for its fourth consecutive loss and Dresden Tri-Valley lost three of its last four, including falling to Uniontown Lake 48-26.

Watterson, which is 5-5 with its losses coming to teams with a combined 45-4 record, earned the eighth seed -- and a rematch with the No. 1 team in the state poll, undefeated DeSales. The Eagles lost to the Stallions 21-17 on Oct. 3 in Crew Stadium.

Independence's 51-17 win over Marion-Franklin on Oct. 17 ultimately put it into the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

For the first time, five City schools made the postseason with Beechcroft and the Red Devils in Region 7 and Eastmoor in Division III, Region 12 as the others.

"After we lost (last Friday), my kids didn't know what to do," Jones said. "They asked me why I wasn't collecting equipment. I just said that it's not over yet."

Joining Independence and Watterson as teams that made it to the postseason despite a loss in the regular-season finale was Hartley, which got smoked last Friday at home by Division V, Region 19 qualifier Ready 52-6. The Hawks ended up eighth in Division IV, Region 15.

The Silver Knights needed a win to be assured of a spot and ended up fifth in their region.

Bexley and Heath both needed wins to qualify, but played one another. The Lions won 40-27 to finish seventh in Division III, Region 12. Heath fell to 11th in Division V, Region 19. Bexley, like Delaware, is making its first appearance. No. 6 Canal Winchester also made it in Region 12.

Licking Heights was another team which could have played its way into the postseason, but the Hornets fell to West Jefferson 28-0 and finished 10th in Region 15. The Roughriders are the fourth seed in Division V, Region 20.

Olentangy (Region 6) and Big Walnut (Division III, Region 10), along with Delaware and Liberty, give Delaware County four playoff qualifiers for the first time.

Olentangy earned the seventh seed in Region 6 by beating Westerville North 9-0.

"We didn't know 100 percent that we'd be in with a win, but we knew there was a good chance we would be," Braves coach Ed Terwilliger said. "And we also knew that if we didn't win, there was a good chance we weren't going to get in. The game that we were keeping an eye on was the Maumee-Sylvania South game because if for some reason Maumee were to win that game, they might have taken one of the spots."