Friday Night Live: Championship Weekend Staff Predictions

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ThisWeekSPORTS.com Predictions Panel

We head into the final week of the high school football season with six titles on the line; however, two were determined last week as Cincinnati St. Xavier beat Pickerington Central in the Division I final, and Frank DiRenna clinched the ThisWeekSPORTS.com Predictions Panel championship.  

DiRenna leads Steve Blackledge and Eric Frantz by five games, and with only one differing pick with Blackledge and two with Frantz, DiRenna has secured the title with one week remaining … a DiRenna victory lap of sorts.  

Frantz did his best to rally, going a panel-best 11-2 last week, but DiRenna was right behind at 10-3.

We have no unanimous picks this week, which might not be bad after the panel’s only unanimous pick from last week – Central over St. Xavier – didn’t work out too well. 

We have two Lone Wolf picks, however, with Ryan Baker taking New Middletown Springfield to beat Coldwater and Eric Frantz picking Ironton over Kirtland. A week ago, the panel went 0-3 in such picks to fall to 4-22 for the season.

It’s been a great season because of the play on the field and just that the games were played after all the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.  

Olentangy coach Mark Solis might have put it best: “We finished the season 6-3, but as far as I’m concerned we finished 9-0 because we got to play nine football games.”  

Well said, coach.  

We thank everyone who has followed us this season. We hope you had as much fun as we did.  

One more time for the 2020 season: 

Enjoy championship weekend! 

9-1 DeSales vs. 11-0 Chardon 

Stallions: Baker, Blackledge, Borgna, Cochran, Gerfen, Purpura, Resnik, Ulrey 

Hilltoppers: DiRenna, Frantz, Hennen, Stevenson   

10-1 Massillon Washington vs. 10-0 Akron Hoban 

Tigers: Borgna, Cochran, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, Resnik 

Knights: Baker, Blackledge, DiRenna, Stevenson, Ulrey    

8-2 Mentor Lake Catholic vs. 10-1 Van Wert 

Lake: Baker, Cochran, Gerfen, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey 

Van Wert: Blackledge, Borgna, DiRenna, Frantz, Hennen   

10-0 Kirtland vs. 11-0 Ironton 

Hornets: Baker, Blackledge, Borgna, Cochran, DiRenna, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey 

Fighting Tigers: Frantz

11-0 New Middletown Springfield vs. 11-0 Coldwater 

Tigers: Baker 

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

9-2 New Bremen vs. 9-2 Warren John F. Kennedy 

Cardinals: Baker, Blackledge, Cochran, DiRenna, Frantz, Gerfen, Hennen, Purpura, 

Eagles: Borgna, Resnik, Stevenson, Ulrey   

Standings after 12 weeks: 

Frank DiRenna: 10-3 last week, 121-43 overall 

Steve Blackledge: 9-4, 116-48 

Eric Frantz: 11-2; 116-48 

Ryan Baker: 7-6; 114-50 

Andy Resnik: 8-5; 111-53 

Scott Hennen: 7-6; 110-54 

Jarrod Ulrey: 9-4, 110-54 

Jeff Stevenson: 8-5; 106-58 

Lee Cochran: 7-6; 104-60 

Scott Gerfen: 4-9; 100-64 

Dave Purpura: 7-6; 97-67 

Stephen Borgna: 5-8; 88-76 

Previous Predictions

Friday Night Live: Sixth-round Playoff Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Fifth-round Playoff Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Fourth-round Playoff Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Third-round Playoff Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: Second-round Playoff Staff Predictions

Friday Night Live: First-round Playoff Staff 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