Numerous matchups make Week 8 of the high school football season stand out this fall.

While the winners of those matchups will take a big step toward securing a postseason berth, the losers will have only two games left to boost their playoff resumes.

That sense of urgency is important for teams in leagues such as the OCC-Buckeye, OCC-Cardinal, OCC-Central and OCC-Ohio divisions, where there is parity and more teams with good records.

The remaining games for the teams at the top of the City-South, City-North and CCL, however, could be even more vital because the teams at the bottom of those leagues won't offer as many computer points because of their struggles.

Here are five things we expect heading into Week 8:

1. The annual rivalry game between Dublin Coffman and Hilliard Davidson looks as exciting as ever.

There's natural intrigue when these two teams match up. Last season, Davidson went just 5-5 and Coffman went 8-3 and qualified for the Division I playoffs, but the Shamrocks edged the Wildcats 17-14.

This time, both have clear paths to the playoffs as host Coffman is 7-0 and Davidson is 6-1 heading into their OCC-Central Division matchup Friday, Oct. 12.

The Shamrocks aren't as flashy as they have been in past years, but they've got quite an athlete in Mike Drennen and a great defense.

The Wildcats are back to being what they have been for most of the past two decades, a team that does all the little things well on offense and special teams while also fielding a strong defense.

2. There's no reason to think that the battle of Pickerington will be anything but great.

Sure, Central will play host to North in an OCC-Ohio contest a week after having its 18-game winning streak snapped, but this matchup should have just as much luster as any of the previous 14 held between the programs.

The Tigers are 6-1 and hungry to continue their string of 12 consecutive league championships.

The Panthers are 5-2, with their losses coming by a total of five points.

Last season, Central handed North two of its three losses, beating the Panthers 24-21 in the regular season and 31-14 in the Division I, Region 3 final.

3. There won't be a more impactful game in the CCL this season than when DeSales plays host to Hartley.

Both teams are 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the CCL heading into the matchup.

DeSales' rivalry with Watterson has a longer history, but its games against Hartley the past four seasons have been memorable and important.

The Stallions beat the Hawks in both 2015 and 2016 when Hartley went on to win Division IV state titles.

Last year, DeSales ended up missing the Division III, Region 11 playoffs, with one of its four losses being a 23-21 decision at Hartley.

4. One of the more intriguing games in the OCC-Cardinal will take place when Hilliard Bradley visits Dublin Jerome.

The Jaguars are 6-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal, with their only close league game coming against Hilliard Darby, 16-8 on Sept. 14.

Jerome is just 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the league, but its four losses have come against teams that are a combined 22-6. Three of those defeats were by seven points or fewer.

After winning all six of their league games last season by at least 14 points, the Jaguars are trying to run the table again. Their only loss came against Davidson, 17-10 on Sept. 7.

5. The OCC-Buckeye title looks to be up for grabs, but the winner between host Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy will have sole possession of first place.

The Patriots and Braves both are 2-0 in the league after Liberty's 35-31 comeback win over Westerville South and Olentangy's 35-34 overtime victory over Olentangy Orange on Oct. 5.

Liberty is among three teams in the OCC-Buckeye that are 4-3 overall, although its losses have come against teams that are a combined 16-5.

Olentangy is 3-4 overall, but its losses have been to teams that are a combined 22-6.

The Patriots remain a contender to reach the Division I, Region 2 playoffs, while the Braves are in the Division II, Region 8 playoff hunt.

Last season, Liberty won 28-17 but both teams made the Region 2 playoffs.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek