Welcome to the final week of the high school football regular season.
All the remaining questions will be answered, before new questions arise for those lucky enough to play in Week 11 and beyond.
All league championships will be decided, unless they already have been, and at least one has with Worthington Christian having clinched the outright MSL-Cardinal Division title last week.
For some teams, a big finish to the regular season is the top goal with equipment pickup days and playoff meetings on the horizon.
Here are five things we expect heading into Week 10:
1. Hartley will come out fast on its home turf with a CCL championship on the line.
What a way for Week 10 to begin, with DeSales visiting Hartley on Thursday, Oct. 31, to decide the CCL title.
The Hawks are looking to extend their winning streak over the Stallions to three games. Earlier this season, Hartley began a game against then-4-1 St. Charles by scoring in the first 10 seconds on a 25-yard fumble return. That helped make a statement – which the Hawks did in a 30-7 rout of the Cardinals – that league supremacy resides at the corner of Livingston Avenue and Zettler Road. Expect the same kind of start this week in some fashion.
2. The outright OCC-Central championship is on the line for Upper Arlington.
In its first season under coach Jeremey Scally, the Golden Bears have overcome two longtime issues in the program – winning a league championship and earning a rivalry win.
UA’s 10-7 win over Hilliard Davidson in Week 7 was its first over the Wildcats since 2008.
The Bears haven’t defeated this week’s opponent and their other primary rival, Dublin Coffman, since a rain-soaked 23-14 victory in 2012 that cost the Shamrocks an undefeated regular season and the outright OCC-Central title.
With a win over visiting Coffman on Friday, Nov. 1, Upper Arlington secures its first outright league championship in 11 years and would complete a 2-0 season against teams to which it had lost a combined 13 games in a row prior to this year.
3. Westerville Central visits Olentangy on Nov. 1 in a game that suddenly has huge implications for both teams.
Neither the Braves nor the Warhawks are in contention for the OCC-Buckeye championship, but Central needs a win simply to prolong its season after creating a buzz during its dominant 5-0 start.
The Braves appear to be safely in the playoffs, as they were projected to be sixth in Division II, Region 7 this week and had a 98 percent chance of making the postseason, according to Fantas-tic50.net.
That same website has Central’s chances of postseason play in Division I, Region 3 at 45 percent overall, but 76 percent with a win.
4. Groveport must go through an OCC-Capital power to win the league title outright.
The Cruisers earned a share of their first league championship in 37 years with a 49-0 rout of Big Walnut on Oct. 25, their third shutout in a row.
At 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Capital, Groveport visits New Albany on Nov. 1 and must defeat an Eagles team that has been at or near the top of the league each of the past three seasons to guarantee the outright title. Both teams love the run and run the time-tested wing-T offense, although the Cruisers’ dominant and sizable lines are a concern for the Eagles and coach Bubba Kidwell.
5. Walnut Ridge could conclude the regular season as the area’s only undefeated team.
There’s more motivation for the Scots when they play host to Independence on Nov. 1 than finishing off the first 10-0 regular season since the school opened in 1961.
Walnut Ridge needs a win to secure a playoff berth, as it was projected to be seventh in Division II, Region 7 this week. The Scots, who have won their six City League-South games by an average of 42.8 points, almost certainly will be on the road to start the postseason.
The two teams behind Walnut Ridge in the region, Cincinnati Winton Woods and Cincinnati Anderson, are within 1.3 computer points of the Scots, so a loss to the 76ers would make matters interesting.