SCIOTO COUNTY — And then there were four.
Although it is just the third weekend of October, Scioto County’s number of teams still competing this postseason is down to less than five — and could certainly be half or less than half of that after this weekend’s matchups.
Now that each of these teams (sans Wheelersburg) have gotten one postseason game and another full week of practice under their belts, will they be able to carry their momentum into the regional quarterfinals?
Northwest and Valley will be making their trips north to the Columbus area for their contests, while West and Wheelersburg will meet back at Ed Miller Stadium for the third time in the last two calendar years — postseason or otherwise.
In an added regular-season game, Portsmouth plays at Marietta on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Don Drumm Stadium.
Division V, Region 19: (6-1) Northwest at (5-2) Cols. Bishop Ready
OBETZ — Since dropping games versus Liberty Union (5-1) and Harvest Prep (5-1) by a combined four points, Bishop Ready has surrendered just 17 points in three wins — prior to its opening-round postseason game against the Mohawks.
In those contests, Ready outscored teams by a combined 117-16 — wins versus teams with a combined 1-14 record.
Northwest’s defense has held strong since its season opener — surrendering just 54 total points in the last six contests.
The Mohawk defense will certainly be tested in their second-ever playoff game as they ride a six-game winning streak.
Interestingly enough, with Bishop Ready not having a home field, this playoff game will be played at the outstanding facilities that are Fortress Obetz.
For the Mohawks to come away with a win in their 166-mile round trip toward the state’s capitol, they will no doubt need to put up a defensive blockade against the Silver Knights’ offense at the Fortress — as Ready vies for its first postseason win since 2016.
Bishop Ready last playoff appearance: 2017, Regional quarterfinals vs. Wheelersburg (34-0 Wheelersburg)
Bishop Ready last playoff win: 2016, Regional quarterfinals vs. River (28-21 Ready)
Northwest last playoff appearance: first
Northwest last playoff win: 2020, First round vs. Portsmouth (21-20 Northwest)
Last result between two: first meeting
Division VI, Region 23:(3-4) Valley at (5-1) Worthington Christian
WORTHINGTON — While the Warriors of Worthington Christian do have the better overall record in this matchup, it is Valley who has history on its side in this second-round playoff meeting.
The Warriors — now making their second straight playoff appearance for the first time in school history — will also be seeking their first-ever playoff win.
Worthington Christian is coached by 10-year NFL veteran Jeff Hartings.
Hartings played collegiately for Penn State and former head coach Joe Paterno, and was later selected the 23rd overall pick of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.
Valley catches the Warriors at a good time, not having played since their 28-21 loss to Division VII Berne Union on Friday, Oct. 2.
The Indians’ defense seems to have found a groove as of late — limiting their opponents to just 27 points in back-to-back October wins.
For Valley to hand its hosts on the north side of Columbus an October surprise, and return to the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2015, getting a quick start and avoiding turnovers will be more-than-crucial.
Worthington Christian last playoff appearance: 2019, Regional quarterfinals vs. Covington (33-27 Covington)
Worthington Christian last playoff win: none
Valley last prior playoff appearance: 2015, Regional semifinals (14-6 L vs. Grandview Heights)
Valley last playoff win: 2020, First round vs. Northridge (34-13 Valley)
Last result between two: first meeting
Division V, Region 19: (4-3) West at (5-1) Wheelersburg
WHEELERSBURG — For an in-depth preview of the Senators and Pirates’ second meeting this season, see “Familiar Foes” in the Saturday print edition of The Portsmouth Daily Times.
Given the nature of the rivalry, these teams are never strangers when they typically meet for their week-10 contest at either ‘The Rock’ or Ed Miller Stadium.
In the last two calendar years since their week-10 meeting on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, West and Wheelersburg will have met five times following Saturday’s second-round playoff matchup.
West last prior playoff appearance: 2018, Regional quarterfinals (52-7 L at Wheelersburg)
West last playoff win: 2020, First round vs. Chesapeake (34-14)
Wheelersburg last prior playoff appearance: 2019, Regional semifinals (42-17 L vs. Ridgewood)
Wheelersburg last playoff win: 2019, Regional quarterfinals vs. Minford (28-23)
Last result between two: Wheelersburg 28, West 0 (Oct. 2, 2020)
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved