Of the 16 Division I football teams from central Ohio that have clinched postseason berths or still have mathematical hopes of making the playoffs, eight won by more than two touchdowns during Week 9.
It’s mostly a symptom of a few mismatches that we’ve all known were coming, but it also illustrates that the area’s best teams are getting into postseason mode.
Half of the playoff spots in Region 3 will be filled by Olentangy Liberty, Pickerington Central, Olentangy Orange and Groveport, with Dublin Coffman and Dublin Jerome among those in Region 2 that have qualified with a week to play.
There were a few other things that stuck out from the action Oct. 24 and 25, particularly for a City League program enjoying its greatest season, a pair of MSL teams playing well down the stretch and two OCC programs that have clinched league title shares.
Here are five things we learned in Week 9:
1. Centennial continued its historic season with another breakthrough win.
Since it first began playing football in 1977, Centennial had never won more than seven games in a season or even beaten City opponents Beechcroft and Northland.
That all has changed this fall. The Stars wrapped up at least a share of their first league title with a 33-7 win over Northland on Oct. 25 to improve to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the City-North Division.
Centennial also is in playoff contention for the first time heading into its regular-season finale Nov. 1 against Whetstone.
2. Orange again will be among the champions in the OCC-Buckeye.
With a 10-7 victory over previously undefeated Olentangy Liberty on Oct. 25, the Pioneers improved to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Buckeye to earn at least a share of the league title.
Orange, Liberty and Olentangy shared the championship last season, but the Pioneers already have beaten their sister schools this fall.
Defensively against Liberty, Orange picked up two fumbles and had an interception as it won its sixth in a row.
3. Worthington Christian is an outright league champion for the first time.
In their sixth season, the Warriors are 7-2 overall and in the hunt for a playoff berth in Division VI, Region 24, which would be their first time in the postseason.
On Oct. 25, Worthington Christian racked up 359 yards of offense and blasted Berne Union 41-0 to finish 4-0 in the MSL-Cardinal and capture the outright league title.
It avenged a 22-15 loss to the Rockets last season and improved their record against Berne Union to 4-2 all-time.
4. Another team that can celebrate a league title is Jerome.
The Celtics stumbled 28-7 against Delaware on Oct. 11 but have rebounded with back-to-back wins, including beating Olentangy Berlin 25-20 on Oct. 25 with first place in the OCC-Cardinal on the line.
The latest win gives Jerome at least a share of the league title, with a win over Worthington Kilbourne on Nov. 1 securing it outright.
5. Columbus Academy now controls its playoff hopes.
The Vikings likely are going to finish behind Harvest Prep in the MSL-Ohio standings, but they’re going to make the Division V, Region 19 playoffs with a win Nov. 1 at Bexley.
On Oct. 25, Academy was impressive in beating fellow playoff-contender Grandview 28-7 as Brady Hess threw a pair of touchdowns to Carter Warstler and the Vikings scored one touchdown in each quarter on the way to improving to 6-3.