— By Shawn Rine
GAMES TO WATCH: Northern Panhandle
No. 1 Wheeling Central (8-0) at Shadyside, Ohio (8-1)
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
Last week: The Maroon Knights remained undefeated with a 32-30, neutral-site victory against Portsmouth West, Ohio. The Tigers won their eighth straight after a season-opening loss, 55-6, against Bridgeport, Ohio.
Why it’s important: A victory by Wheeling Central, which will be without injured QB Curtis McGhee III, would clinch the No. 1 overall seed and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. This will also decide the OVAC Class 2A title.
Who to watch for Wheeling Central: Quarterback Jacob Rine gets his first career start after rushing for more than 100 yards in relief last week.
Who to watch for Shadyside: Senior quarterback Anthony Coggins has completed 117 of 180 passes for 1,856 yards. He has 18 touchdowns and two interceptions.
No. 9 Wheeling Park (6-2) at No. 5 Parkersburg South (6-2)
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Wheeling Park handled Princeton at Wheeling Island Stadium, earning a 52-20 victory. Parkersburg South crushed Greenbrier East, 48-14.
Why it’s important: Wheeling Park (eighth in the WVSSAC Ratings) and Parkersburg South (seventh) are fighting to stay in the upper half of the playoff bracket, thus earning at least one home postseason contest.
Who to watch for Wheeling Park: In a series that seems to come down to the last minute almost every meeting, sophomore kicker Andrew Glass could be key. He has 46 points this season on 37 PATs and three field goals.
Who to watch for Parkersburg South: Running back Nick Yoho has rushed for 942 yards and 16 scores while catching 26 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns.
Other OVAC Games: Briddgeport, Ohio, at Cameron; Clay-Battelle at Notre Dame; Warren, Ohio, at John Marshall; Madonna at Conotton Valley, Ohio; Beaver Local, Ohio, at Oak Glen; Beallsville, Ohio at Paden City; Valley (W) at Tyler Consolidated; University at Morgantown; Linsly at Crestview, Ohio; Weir at Brooke.