There might not have been any dramatic endings during games between area high school football powers Oct. 12, but Week 8 didn’t fail in the area of importance.
There are now five teams in Division I, Region 3 that are 7-1, and another four have just two losses in a region that has 13 teams mathematically alive for the playoffs.
Among a group of rivalry games, Hilliard Davidson handed Dublin Coffman its first loss, Central beat North in the battle of Pickerington, Olentangy Liberty held off Olentangy and Hartley beat DeSales for the third time in five seasons.
Here are five things we learned in Week 8:
1. Davidson is good because of all the little things it does so well.
During a 24-7 victory over previously unbeaten Coffman, the Wildcats kept it so simple offensively that they didn’t attempt a pass.
They also produced a key stop on fourth down and turned a fumble recovery into a field goal that gave them the lead for good in the third quarter.
Including the second half of last season when the Wildcats won four of their last five games, they’ve won 11 of 13 with a pair of three-point losses and are 7-1 this season.
2. Hartley made a big move in Division III, Region 11 with its win over DeSales.
Since losing 34-31 at Clarksville Clinton-Massie on Sept. 21, the Hawks have won three in a row, including rallying from a 14-point deficit to win 21-14 at DeSales to improve to 6-2.
Hartley, which could make the playoffs regardless of whether it wins another game, also put a dent into the Stallions’ playoff hopes in Region 11.
3. There isn’t a deeper pool of Division II teams than in Region 7, and most of those teams continue to win.
There are three teams in Region 7 that are 8-0, including Massillon Washington, which beat Aston (Pennsylvania) Sun Valley 101-6 on Oct. 12.
Whitehall, Canal Winchester, Walnut Ridge, New Albany, Northland and Licking Heights all won their games in Week 8 to keep their postseason hopes alive, although only Whitehall and Canal Winchester currently are in the top eight in computer points.
4. Division I, Region 2 is slowly starting to take shape.
There are more teams with realistic hopes of making the Division I, Region 2 playoffs than there are in Division I, Region 3, but Reynoldsburg, Coffman and Liberty will make the postseason if they win out.
Gahanna and Westerville Central are only 4-4 but would seem to be in good shape with another win or two. One of the Lions’ wins was over Reynoldsburg, which is 7-1, and the Warhawks have victories over Whitehall and Eastmoor Academy, both of which are 7-1.
Delaware and Olentangy Orange have opportunities but tough schedules the rest of the way. Upper Arlington also has a chance if things shake out correctly.
5. Hilliard Bradley is starting to pile up impressive victories.
Since losing to Davidson 17-10 on Sept. 7, the Jaguars have wins over a pair of 6-2 teams in Hilliard Darby and Dublin Scioto.
On Oct. 12, the Jaguars won 38-7 over a Dublin Jerome team that had won back-to-back games and seemed to be hitting its stride.
Quarterback Griffin Veil has developed into one of central Ohio’s best quarterbacks, throwing for 288 yards and two touchdowns and also rushing for two scores against the Celtics.