By the time everyone’s covering themselves in layers of clothing for freezing Friday nights in late October, it will be easier to pick games. We’ll know a lot more about our area teams in Week 9 than in Week 2.
I, for one, showed how little I know in the second week of the Wizard Contest. The Wizard missed six games: Butler over Tecumseh; Graham over Catholic Central; Triad over Marion Pleasant; Northridge over Southeastern; Mechanicsburg over Fairbanks; and Bears over Bengals.
In fairness, the Tecumseh, Triad and Bengals games were all decided by a touchdown or less. They could have gone either way. At least I know to pick against the Browns. That’s a good bet in any year.
Here’s what we do know heading into the third week of the season: A whopping eight area teams are undefeated. Four Central Buckeye Conference team survived the second week unscathed: Shawnee, Kenton Ridge, Northwestern, Urbana. So did four Ohio Heritage Conference teams: West Liberty-Salem, Triad, Cedarville and Greeneview.
Another five area teams haven’t won a game: Springfield, Greenon, Southeastern, Northeastern and Catholic Central.
Here’s a look at a few of the top matchups this week:
Northwestern at Catholic Central: It’s a hard to see a proud program like Catholic Central, which played in the state semifinals six years ago, struggle like it has. The Irish, who started the season with 17 players on the roster, lost 82-7 to Shawnee and 59-12 to Graham.
It doesn’t get any easier for Central this week. It faces a confident Northwestern team that has already beaten two OHC teams. Quarterback Hunter Houseman has thrown for three touchdowns and rushed for six more in wins over Southeastern and Northeastern. Pick: Northwestern 42, Catholic Central 16.
Carroll at Shawnee: The Braves offense put up big numbers in the first two weeks and leads the CBC with 113 points.
New quarterback Saalih Muhammad showed his running abilities last week with 114 yards on the ground, and running back Jalen Nelson has two 100-yard games and four rushing touchdowns. Pick: Shawnee 38, Carroll 14.
Other games: Mechanicsburg 31, Waynesfield-Goshen 6; Southeastern 21, Madison Plains 17; West Liberty-Salem 50, Riverside 10; Triad 31, Fairbanks 13; Greeneview 24, East Clinton 18; Kenton Ridge 44, Benjamin Logan 7; Stebbins 35, Greenon 12; Urbana 44, Bellefontaine 14; Butler 48, Graham 10; Northwest 30, Tecumseh 27; Sycamore 35, Springfield 7; Cedarville 35, Dayton Christian 3; Dixie 21, Northeastern 20; California 33, Ohio State 28; Urbana 28, Notre Dame College 24; Bengals 24, Steelers 20; Ravens 35, Browns 13.
Week 2 winner: Three people tied for first in a field of 53 entries with three misses: Freeman Litteral and Roger Woodworth, of South Charleston, and Rylee Daniels, of Urbana.
Litteral wins the Beat the Wizard T-shirt by taking the tiebreaker. He predicted Northeastern and Northwestern would score 49 points. They scored 63.