After months of preparation, practice, hard work and sweat the high school football season will come to an end for many of the area's teams this weekend.
Many teams have already sealed their playoff fates. Others are still fighting for positioning and working their way off the bubble.
In Indiana, the playoffs have already begun. It has the making of a historic night in the GCL South and there will be plenty on the line in what amounts to be a FAVC Cardinal Championship game!
We get you ready for kickoff of what promises to be an amazing final weekend of the regular season:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Kings at Turpin
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This matchup has been greatly anticipated since before the season began. Turpin (9-0, 3-0) comes into the game hobbled on the offensive side of the ball. Stars Eric Martin, Will Stocker and Shade Whitfield were all to be counted on for a deep Spartans' playoff run now that seems for not. Kings (8-1, 3-0) will be in great shape if they can force an inexperienced Turpin offense into throwing the ball downfield versus a Knights' secondary that has 14 interceptions. Both teams are in the Region 8 playoffs it is just a matter of where they will be seeded and avoiding Winton Woods and Trotwood-Madison as much as possible.
The Kings' offense has the weapons to keep opposing defenses honest and at bay. Led by running back Jamire Westbrook and his 1,547 all-purpose yards and 20 total touchdowns the Knights are explosive everywhere. Quarterbacks Jonny Brewster and Jensen Gephardt have thrown for 1,415 yards, 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Turpin has counted on their defense to get them through the injuries. The Spartans allowed 20 points per game in September, but just 10 in the month of October. Kings likes to throw and that bodes well for the Turpin secondary that has 16 picks. Five players have two interceptions and 11 different Spartans have nabbed opposing quarterback passes. A large part of that success is due to the play of the front seven, which has 19 sacks and forced 11 fumbles. Despite the 27 takeaways, Turpin has not turned one of them into a defensive touchdown. The Spartans do not have a special team's score either on 47 total touchdowns.
Hidden yardage and converted miscues will be the difference in this contest. Kings has over 1,200 total return yards and six scores (two via fumble recoveries and kickoff returns and one each by punt and interception returns). The Knights have feasted on the opposition's breakdowns on special teams and turnovers.
LaSalle at Elder
Head coach Tom Grippa could not have dreamed up a better scenario. His LaSalle Lancers (9-0, 2-0) look for their first undefeated season and a GCL South championship against his former team, Elder (3-5, 0-2), at The Pit. The Panthers will make the playoffs with a win and that could knock out Wayne and Northmont. The Lancers front seven on defense should prevail as Elder could wind up with their fifth straight game with less than 100 yards rushing.
Harrison at Anderson
There is much at stake for both schools. Harrison (5-4, 1-3) has had trouble versus their FAVC Buckeye foes in October having lost three games by 11, 10 and eight points. Anderson is not guaranteed a spot in the post-season, even with a victory. In all likelihood they will finish on the outside looking in. The Redskins are playing at home and its Senior Night so look for big performances from Jake Nelson and Jordan Shelton.
Springfield at Northmont
It is do-or-die time for Northmont (6-3, 3-1). The young Thunderbolts are in a position to win the GWOC Central crown and leave them with a chance to make the postseason. Springfield (7-2, 3-1) can also ill-afford a loss as their number #4 position in the Region 3 Harbin ratings would be in great jeopardy of a fall from grace. It is a simple key to victory for both teams, who feature sophomore quarterbacks, and that is stop the run and make the youngsters try to beat you with their arms.
McNicholas at Badin
This is one of the best small-school tilts on the Week 10 slate. This contest has all the makings of a hard-hitting, defensive battle. Badin (5-4, 3-3) plays everyone tough, but the Rams are 1-4 in games decided by 10 points or less. All those games were without star quarterback, Patrick Coyne. McNicholas (7-2, 4-2) has relied on a defense that has allowed 14 points or fewer seven times, including seven or fewer five times. Badin is playing for their post-season lives at home so don't expect Coyne to let his teammates to let up at any point.
Bishop Fenwick at Carroll
It was just a few weeks ago both teams looked like locks for Week 11. Now the loser of the contest is probably going home. Bishop Fenwick was (7-2, 4-2) cruising right along until back-to-back losses to Alter and Badin by a combined 10 points heading into this one. Carroll (6-3, 3-3) did not come to play against McNicholas in a 31-point loss last week. If the Patriots don't wake up they will be left out in the cold scratching their heads at what could have been in 2010.
Cincinnati Country Day at CHCA
Left for dead three weeks ago, Cincinnati Country Day (4-5, 2-3) could salvage a rough year with a win over CHCA (6-3, 4-1). The Indians could still make the Region 24 post-season with a road victory. As great as that sounds, look for the Eagles to attack CCD through the air and coming out to stick a dagger in their hearts early in the first half. CHCA has little margin for error in a tough Region 20 post-season stretch run.
Summit Country Day at Clark Montessori
There are so many questions marks and post-season scenarios surrounding this contest. The one thing that is certain is that the loser will not make the playoffs in Region 20. Summit Country Day (6-3, 3-2) was in the driver's seat for a Week 11 game midway through the schedule, but losses in three of their last four have left them fighting for their lives. A win would make the year for Clark Montessori (6-3, 2-3). The Cougars have the skills players to take the Knights down so look for a big play or two to make the difference in the outcome.
East Clinton at Clinton-Massie
Clinton-Massie (9-0) has owned East Clinton (8-1, 4-0) winning the past three games by a combined 97-6 margin. The Falcons are coming off a 76 point performance against Madison Plains so expect a ton of scoring in this affair. The Astros have won eight straight and are on their way to the Region 20 playoffs, but they just don't match up with a stronger Clinton-Massie squad.
Highlands at Ryle
Can Ryle (8-1, 5-0) avenge a Week 1 loss to the Bluebirds in prime time in a Thursday night made-for-television special? Highlands (9-0, 3-0), who has won 37 straight games, might just be ready to be knocked off of their streak. The Raiders will need a much more balanced offensive attack to stay close in this affair. The Bluebirds can wear down Ryle with several sustained drives in the first half. If that happens look for the Highlands winning streak to continue.
Dixie Heights at Boone County
Don't expect much of a showing out of Dixie Heights (4-5) in this game. The Colonels health going into next week's playoff game is more important than getting more banged up against Boone County (3-6). A huge game out of Jordan Oppenheimer in his last home game as a Rebel would only be fitting.
Holy Cross at Brossart
How often do you see a game where both schools are coming into a contest after 50-point outbursts the week before? It should be another entertaining shootout between the two schools that are quickly becoming a classic Week 10 small-school rivalry. The battle between quarterbacks Jerry Arlinghaus and Jesse Orth will be worth the cost of admission.
Beechwood at Newport Central Catholic
This is a great test for Beechwood (6-3, 5-0), who has had trouble all season long outside of Class 1A play. The Tigers averaged 53.2 points in District 3 competition. NewCath (8-1, 4-0) is also looking for a great tune up before the post-season begins. The Thoroughbreds have played in numerous close games this year and it may very well be the deciding factor in this tilt.
Class 4A Sectional 15
Both East Central (9-1), who is at Greenwood, and Franklin County (6-4), who is at Shelbyville (4-6), go on the road against sub .500 teams. Expect the EIAC foes to come back victorious and face off in a Week 4 rematch that East Central won at home, 29-6.
Class 3A Sectional 22
Batesville (6-4) should take care of business against Rushville (2-7), who has lost seven straight. The Bulldogs have won four of their last five under the guidance of quarterback Brady Cavinee, the EIAC's Offensive Player of the Year.
Class 2A Sectional 31
Lawrenceburg (4-6) has a tough draw getting Paoli (8-2), who is the reigning regional champs. Don't let the Tigers record fool you they are 8-4 in Sectional games since 2005 under head coach Bob Brookbank. Lawrenceburg is capable of pulling the upset but they must play a mistake-free game, covet every possession and not give up the big play on defense which is a tall order.
Written by: Greg Shoemaker, TriStateFootball.com