Highland vs. Danville

Highland jumped into the playoff picture in this week's OHSAA computer ratings, while Centerburg fell out. Northmor and East Knox dropped in the ratings but still stayed within the top eight of their region.

MOUNT VERNON – Three KMAC football teams are in the playoff picture after Week 5, according to the OHSAA’s weekly computer ratings.

It's not the same three as last week, however.

Highland (4-1), which was ninth in Division IV Region 14 last week, moved into the playoff picture this week after beating Centerburg (3-2) on Friday, 36-6. The Scots placed sixth in this week’s ratings, ahead of Bryan (7th) and Edison (8th). St. Mary’s Memorial, Clear Fork, Kenton, Huron and Orange were all ranked before the Fighting Scots this week, from first to fifth, respectively.

Highland has won four straight after dropping its Week 1 matchup to Bloom Carroll, 44-22. The Fighting Scots have won those four games by an average of 29 points per contest.

However, in a computer rating system that prioritizes strength of schedule over win margin, Highland could suffer in the coming weeks. The Scots’ next three opponents currently have a combined record of 1-14. They will wait to face East Knox (5-0) and Northmor (5-0) at home in weeks 9 and 10, respectively.

Northmor (5-0) dropped from third to fourth in Division VI Region 23 ratings this week after throttling Danville (0-5) last Friday, 35-7. Grandview Heights, Fort Frye and Paint Valley were the top three teams in the region this week, respectively.

The Golden Knights’ closest game so far this season came in Week 1, when they beat Elgin by 11. They’ve won by an average of 22 points per contest, although only one of their first five opponents currently has a winning record.

Northmor will have an opportunity to potentially gain ground in the ratings when it faces Highland, East Knox and Centerburg during the last half of the season.

East Knox (5-0) fell from fifth to eighth in this week’s Division VI Region 23 ratings after beating Cardington-Lincoln (0-5) last Friday, 47-17. The Bulldogs were rated behind three one-loss teams: Adena (5th), Shadyside (6th) and Southeastern (7th).

While East Knox has won by an average of 48 points per game so far this season, its first five opponents currently have a combined record of 2-23. The Bulldogs will play Centerburg (3-2), Northmor (5-0) and Highland (4-1) over the next month.

Centerburg (3-2) dropped out of the playoff picture this week, falling from eighth to 10th in the Division VI Region 23 ratings. The Trojans fell to Highland last Friday, 36-6. Centerburg is six spots behind Northmor and two spots behind East Knox in the region.

Centerburg is currently 0-2 against teams with winning records; the Trojans lost to Lucas by 28 and Highland by 30. Their wins have come against opponents with a current combined record of 2-13. They will host East Knox and Northmor in weeks 6 and 9, respectively.

In the OCC: West Holmes (5-0) was rated fifth in Division III Region 9 ratings, while Ashland (4-1) was rated seventh in Division II Region 7. Wooster (3-2), the only other OCC school with a winning record, placed 16th in Division II Region 7.

The OHSAA will publish computer ratings each week until October 28, following Week 10, when the playoff field is announced. The top eight teams in each region will make the playoffs.

The computer ratings favor strength of schedule and wins over bigger schools, according to the OHSAA’s website. To see the complete ratings list heading into Week 6, click here.

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Staff Reporter

Grant is a 2018 graduate of Ohio Northern University, where he studied journalism and played basketball. He likes coffee, books and minor league baseball. He loves telling stories and has a passion for local news.