PARKERSBURG - It's Week 7 of the high school football season, so it's getting to be ''crunch time'' for those teams striving to make the state playoffs.
In the Mid-Ohio Valley, currently that number of playoff contenders is still quite a few, somewhere between nine and a baker's dozen. But the next few weeks will sort out the contenders from the pretenders.
In Class AAA tonight, it's the annual Battle of Parkersburg as Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South clash at 7:30 p.m. at Stadium Field. PHS (4-2) is ranked 16th, what will eventually be the final playoff spot, with the Patriots now 3-3 after dropping a 60-10 decision to Friendship Collegiate Academy last week while the Big Reds outscored Riverside 38-35.
The PHS-South series, played every year since 1967, is led by the Big Reds by a substantial 33-12 margin, although the Patriots have been victorious in three of the last four meetings, including 17-0 last season, and six out of the last 10 matchups.
In Class AA, the area's two state contenders right now are No. 9 Ritchie County at 3-2 and Roane County, tied for 14th with a 3-3 mark. The Rebels play tonight at Lincoln (1-4) at 7:30 p.m. while the Raiders are off this week.
In Class A, at least six teams - and maybe more - still have a shot at the playoffs, some of course better than others.
Today's High School Football games
(All kickoffs 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
(All kickoffs at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)
Parkersburg South (3-3) at Parkersburg (4-2)
Belpre (1-5) at South Gallia (0-6)
Parkersburg Catholic (2-4) at South Harrison (3-2)
Ritchie County (4-2) at Lincoln (1-4)
Calhoun County (2-4) at St. Marys (4-1)
Wirt County (4-1) at Buffalo (4-1)
New Philadelphia (6-0) at Marietta (1-5), 7 p.m.
Oak Glen (3-3) at Tyler Consolidated (1-4), 7 p.m.
Conotton Valley (3-3) at Paden City (1-4)
Gilmer County (2-4) at Doddridge County (4-2)
Caldwell (1-5) at Frontier (2-4), 7 p.m.
Trimble (5-1) at Eastern (4-2)
Fort Frye (4-2) at Buckeye Trail (4-2), 7 p.m.
Wahama (6-0) at Federal Hocking (5-1)
Warren (2-4) at Chillicothe (1-5)
Ripley (3-3) at Hurricane (3-2)
Braxton County (3-3) at Ravenswood (2-3)
Fraklin Furnace Green (3-3) at Waterford (1-5)
Magnolia (5-1) at Weir (0-6), 7 p.m.
IDLE: Roane County (3-3), Williamstown (3-3)
Saturday's College Football games
West Virginia (4-0) at Texas (4-0), 7 p.m.
Tulsa (4-1) at Marshall (2-3), 3:30 p.m.
Nebraska (4-1) at Ohio State (5-0), 8 p.m.
Buffalo (1-3) at Ohio (5-0), noon
Glenville State (2-3) at Concord (2-3), 2 p.m.
Marietta College (0-4) at John Carroll (2-2), 2 p.m.
Heading the local contingent of playoff possibilities are No. 4 Wahama, still unbeaten at 6-0, followed by No. 7 Magnolia (5-1), co-No. 8 entries St. Marys and Wirt County, both 4-1, No. 17 Doddridge County (4-2) and No. 20 Williamstown (3-3).
Tonight, the White Falcons could find a tough hurdle awaiting them in a 7:30 p.m. TVC contest at 5-1 Federal Hocking while Magnolia plays at 0-6 Weir at 7 p.m.
Three of the four LKC Class A state-rated playoff contenders are in action at 7:30 p.m. tonight as St. Marys plays host to Calhoun County (2-4), Wirt faces a stern test at 12th-ranked Buffalo (4-1) and Doddridge takes on Gilmer County (2-4) in West Union while Williamstown also has the week off.
In Ohio, two MOV squads are state-rated - Fort Frye (4-2), ranked 12th in Division V, Region 17, and Eastern (4-2), ranked 10th in Division VI, Region 23.
The Cadets tackle 4-2 Buckeye Trail tonight on the road at 7 p.m. while the Eagles are home to square off with a regional foe in 5-1 Trimble, which sits at No. 6 in the Region 23 rankings, at 7:30 p.m.
Other games on tap tonight, all 7:30 p.m. kickoffs unless noted, are Belpre (1-5) at South Gallia (0-6), Parkersburg Catholic (2-4) at South Harrison (3-2), New Philadelphia (6-0) at Marietta (1-5), 7 p.m.; Oak Glen (3-3) at Tyler Consolidated (1-4), 7 p.m.; Caldwell (1-5) at Frontier (2-4), 7 p.m.; Warren (2-4) at Chillicothe (1-5), Ripley (3-3) at Hurricane (3-2), Braxton County (3-3) at Ravenswood (2-3), Conotton Valley (3-3) at Paden City (1-4) and Franklin Furnace Green (3-3) at Waterford (1-5).