Prepping for the playoffs: Week 6 football previews

MIAMI COUNTY — A division championship now in hand, the Piqua football team still has a couple more boxes to check off before the season is over.

The Indians will get the chance to check another goal off of their list in Week 6 as they aim to finish the regular season undefeated, traveling to Sidney in a Miami Valley League crossover matchup, while the Cross County Conference’s teams will all play their crossover games as Week 6 puts the finishing touches on the regular season before the playoffs get started next week.

The week is short two games, however, with Covington (4-1) supposed to play National Trail in its crossover game but the Blazers being unable to play due to COVID-19 concerns, leaving the Buccaneers still searching for an opponent. And Lehman (2-2) is still quarantining, as well, cancelling its home game Saturday night against Perry.

• Piqua (5-0) at Sidney (3-2): Piqua hasn’t finished a regular season undefeated since going 10-0 in 1999. And even though this season is shortened, the Indians still have a chance to finish unbeaten when they travel to Sidney Friday. Last year, Piqua shut out Sidney 29-0, the Indians’ second straight win over the Jackets and third in the last four meetings between the teams.

The Indians have already made their case for the top seed in Division II, Region 8 — the coaches’ votes are in, and the playoff seeds and brackets will be announced on Thursday. Piqua did finish first in the computer points rankings, but those rankings’ accuracy has been thrown off this season by cancelled games, leaving this year’s seeding up to a vote by the coaches.

• Troy (3-2) at Stebbins (4-1): The Trojans could potentially be in line to host a playoff game this year, sitting in 12th out of 25 teams in D-II, Region 8 in the computer standings — though the vote will still decide their fate. Troy will get the chance to build momentum heading into the postseason Friday at Stebbins, this year’s MVL Valley Division champion.

Last year, Troy put away Stebbins with a big second half, winning 42-7 for its second straight win over the Indians. Stebbins’ only loss this season was in Week 4, 27-0 against overall MVL champion Piqua.

• Tippecanoe (3-1) at Xenia (1-4): Tippecanoe will get the chance to bounce back after last week’s loss to Piqua in the MVL Miami title game and head into the playoffs on a positive note, traveling to 1-4 Xenia. Last year, the Red Devils lost to Xenia 37-3, but the Buccaneers finished that season 9-2. This year, though, the Bucs lost their first four games before defeating Butler 17-12 in Week 5 for their first win.

• Dixie (1-4, 1-4 SWBL Buckeye) at Milton-Union (3-2, 3-1 SWBL Buckeye): Milton-Union still has a slim chance to win the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division title, but it needs division leader Waynesville to lose to winless Northridge Friday. The Bulldogs will focus on their own opponent, Dixie, which enters Friday night’s action on a three-game losing streak. Milton-Union has won two straight against Dixie and six of the last seven meetings.

• Bethel (2-3) at Arcanum (2-3): After three straight losses to begin the season, Bethel heads into the CCC’s crossover week on a two-game winning streak. The Bees will travel to Arcanum, which the Bees last played in 2018, a 21-20 win. Bethel has won the last four meetings between the teams.

• Miami East (1-4) at Mississinawa Valley (1-4): After a narrow 7-6 win over Twin Valley South in the season opener, the Vikings have dropped four straight, including last week’s 28-19 loss at Bethel. This week, Miami East travels to Mississinawa Valley, whose only victory this year was an overtime win over winless Bradford in Week 3. The two teams haven’t met since 2016, when the Vikings won 70-0.

• Grove City Christian (4-1) at Troy Christian (2-3): Troy Christian snapped its three-game losing streak in Week 5 with its second win this year over Dayton Christian. Now the Eagles will finish their five-game homestand in Week 6 against Grove City Christian, a team coming in on a four-game winning streak, its only loss back in Week 1 to 5-0 Worthington Christian. Depending on the coaches’ voting, the two teams could potentially meet again in Week 7 in the playoffs, as well.

• Bradford (0-5) at Twin Valley South (0-5): Bradford will look to end its 37-game losing streak Friday at Twin Valley South in a matchup between two 0-5 teams. Last year, the Panthers defeated Bradford 31-7. The last time Bradford defeated Twin Valley South was during the Railroaders’ last playoff season in 2012.