Friday Night Live: First-round Playoff Staff Predictions

ThisWeek Sports Staff
ThisWeekSPORTS.com
ThisWeekSPORTS.com Predictions Panel

The top of the ThisWeekSPORTS.com Predictions Panel got a little tighter as Steve Blacklege and Andy Resnik each went 10-5 to cut one game from Frank DiRenna’s lead and now are two games back. Ryan Baker continues his move toward the top, going a panel-best 12-3 last week to tie Scott Hennen for fourth, five games back.

We are picking 14 games this week, and six of those were unanimous picks.

After having five Lone Wolf picks last week, there is one for the first round of the playoffs with Jeff Stevenson. Dave Purpura earned the panel’s only Lone Wolf win to close the regular season, picking Independence to beat Walnut Ridge as the staff is 3-11 in such games. In a rematch of that game, Purpura again picked the 76ers but is joined this time by Stephen Borgna and Jeff Stevenson.

Enjoy the first round of the playoffs!

First-round playoff predictions

Note: Seeds are in parentheses

3-3 Hilliard Darby (9) at 3-3 Gahanna (8) 

Panthers: Baker, Blackledge, Borgna, Cochran, Frantz, Gerfen, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson 

Lions: DiRenna, Hennen, Ulrey   

3-3 New Albany (10) at 5-1 Westerville North (7) 

Eagles: Cochran, Ulrey 

Warriors: Baker, Blackledge, Borgna, DiRenna, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson 

2-4 Upper Arlington (11) at 3-3 Olentangy Orange (6) 

Golden Bears: DiRenna, Stevenson 

Pioneers: Baker, Blackledge, Borgna, Cochran, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, Resnik, Ulrey 

2-4 Lancaster (12) at 3-3 Reynoldsburg (5) 

Golden Gales: Baker, Blackledge 

Raiders: Borgna, Cochran, DiRenna, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey   

1-5 Hilliard Bradley (13) at 4-1 Groveport (4)  

Jaguars: Baker, Hennen 

Cruisers: Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Frantz, Gerfen, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey 

2-4 Bellefontaine (19) at 2-1 Columbus South (14)  

Chieftains: Hennen, Purpura, Ulrey 

Bulldogs: Baker, Blackledge, Borgna, Cochran, DiRenna, Frantz, Gerfen, Resnik, Stevenson   

2-1 Independence (18) at 1-2 Walnut Ridge (15)  

76ers: Borgna, Purpura, Stevenson 

Scots: Baker, Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Resnik, Ulrey 

2-4 Canal Winchester (17) at 2-3 Mount Vernon (16)  

Indians: Baker, Blackledge, Borgna, Cochran, DiRenna, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, Resnik, Ulrey 

Yellow Jackets: Stevenson   

2-4 Dublin Jerome (10) at 5-1 Marysville (7) 

Celtics:  

Monarchs: Unanimous pick 

1-5 Marion Harding (21) at 3-3 Worthington Kilbourne (12)  

Presidents: 

Wolves: Unanimous pick   

1-2 Northland (19) at 3-3 Watkins Memorial (14)  

Vikings:  

Warriors: Unanimous pick   

2-1 Whetstone (20) at 2-4 Licking Heights (13)  

Braves:  

Hornets: Unanimous pick   

2-1 Beechcroft (22) at 4-1 Hamilton Township (11)  

Cougars:  

Rangers: Unanimous pick   

1-5 Whitehall (22) at 3-3 Berlin (11)  

Rams:  

Bears: Unanimous pick 

Standings after six weeks: 

Frank DiRenna: 9-6 last week, 66-25 overall 

Steve Blackledge: 10-5, 64-27 

Andy Resnik: 10-5; 64-27 

Scott Hennen: 9-6; 61-30 

Ryan Baker: 12-3; 61-30 

Jarrod Ulrey: 8-7, 59-32 

Eric Frantz: 11-4; 58-33 

Jeff Stevenson: 11-4; 57-34 

Lee Cochran: 10-5; 56-35 

Scott Gerfen: 9-6; 55-36 

Dave Purpura: 10-5; 51-40 

Stephen Borgna: 7-8; 45-46 

Previous Predictions

Friday Night Live: Week 6 Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Week 5 Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Week 4 Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Week 3 Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Week 2 Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Week 1 Staff Predictions