Decisive football weekend

PARKERSBURG – It’s here – the final weekend of the high-school football season in West Virginia and the first weekend of prep grid playoffs for Ohio.

While Fort Frye and Caldwell are engaged in first-round playoff games tonight and Saturday respectively, games in the Mountain State will determine the final rankings and thus the playoff pairings.

There are a handful of games though in the Mid-Ohio Valley tonight that don’t have a direct impact on the ratings.

One is right here in Parkersburg, where 3-6 Parkersburg High, after breaking a four-game losing streak last week, travels to the south side of town for the annual Class AAA battle of Parkersburg against 2-7 Parkersburg South at the home of the Patriots, the Erickson All-Sports Facility, at 7:30 p.m..

It’s not been a stellar season for either squad, with the Big Reds’ only wins coming over Warren, Marietta and Riverside, while South has notched W’s over just Ripley and John Marshall.

The game too has been moved back from the middle to the end of the regular season, where it was first played.

But otherwise, except also for Wirt County (3-6) at South Harrison (2-7) and Valley Wetzel (3-6) at Paden City (4-5), the rest of tonight’s 7:30 p.m. tussles will have an effect on the decisive WVSSAC ratings.

In a key Class AA vs. Class A duel at Williamstown, the Class A No. 9 host Yellowjackets (7-2) will face AA No. 13 Roane County, also 7-2; while at Ripley, the annual Jackson County Battle for the Hatchet will take place between Class AA Ravenswood, 5-4 and ranked No. 16, and the host Class AAA Vikings (2-7).

Meanwhile in Class A, unbeaten (9-0) and No. 2 St. Marys travels out to No. 14 Doddridge County (7-2) to tackle the Bulldogs; Gilmer County (5-4) is at another 9-0 team, Valley Fayette, currently ranked third; and No. 8 Wahama (8-1) is at Buffalo (0-9).

Then there’s co-No. 15 Class A Magnolia (5-4) playing host to winless (0-9) Class AA Oak Glen, and in strictly a Class AA confrontation, No. 12 Ritchie County (6-3) is at 0-8-1 Grafton.

In Ohio playoff matchups, tonight finds eighth-seeded Fort Frye (8-2) in Division VI, Region 21 tangling with top seed Lucasville Valley (10-0) at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday sees 8-2 Caldwell, No. 6 in Division VII, Region 25, playing at No. 3 Malvern (8-2) at 7 p.m.