CLEVELAND - Week 10 of the 2011 high school football regular season should be exciting, with conference titles and playoff berths on the line. There also are those classic and historic rivalry battles. Let's take a look at five of the top matchups.
Eastlake North at Willoughby South: This Thursday night clash at Harry Winters Stadium features two school district rivals. The North Rangers and South Rebels are both 7-2 overall. South, the defending league champion, leads the Premier Athletic Conference with a 6-0 record. University School is second at 5-1. North is tied for third with Madison at 4-2. South has clinched a playoff berth in Division I, Region 1 but could host a first round game with a win over the Rangers. North is sitting ninth in the playoff chase and needs a victory for a chance of reaching the playoffs. The top eight teams in each region qualify. The Rangers are led by senior quarterback George Gresko, senior linebacker Brennan Torok, senior running back Jordan Morris and junior wide receiver Ben Josipovic. Key South players are junior quarterback Casey Klicman, junior wide receiver Andrew Venclauskas and junior running back Kareem Hunt. Klicman has passed for 1,683 yards and 13 touchdowns. Hunt has rushed for 1,801 yards on 210 carries with 31 touchdowns. North leads the series, 27-22 with two ties. Pick: South
Lake Catholic at Avon: An intriguing clash of two playoff teams on Friday night. Avon Eagles are aiming for their second straight perfect regular season record. The Eagles (9-0) have won 19 of their last 20 games. Their only setback was to Sandusky in the first round of the playoffs last season. They lead Division II, Region 6 of the computer rankings and have clinched a first round home playoff game. Avon is the top-ranked Division II team in the Associated Press state poll. Eagles are led by senior quarterback Justin O'Rourke and senior running back/inside linebacker Matt Eckhardt. Lake Catholic Cougars (8-1), who lost to state champion Maple Heights in the Division II state semifinals last season, have dropped to Division III this year. They have clinched a playoff spot in Region 9 but are looking to host a first round game. Only loss this season is two-point setback to Walsh Jesuit. Cougars will be counting on quarterback Mark Baniewicz, wide receiver Aaron Phillips and running back/linebacker Evan Gormley to have a big night. Lake Catholic won the state Division III championship in 1991, 1992 and 2001. Pick: Lake Catholic
Cleveland Heights at Maple Heights: Battle of two unbeaten teams for the Lake Erie League title on Friday night at Stafford Stadium. Game features interesting coaching matchup between Cleveland Heights coach Jeff Rotsky and his former assistant at Maple Heights and now head coach Todd Filtz. Rotsky is in his fifth season at Cleveland Heights. The Tigers are going to the football playoffs for the first time in school history. They've clinched a postseason berth in Division I, Region 1 and could host a first round game with a win. Key players for Cleveland Heights are senior quarterback Bryce Jones, senior offensive tackle Kyle Dodson and wide receiver Shelton Gibson. Dodson (6-6, 315) is a University of Wisconsin recruit. Maple Heights is the defending Division II state champion. The Mustangs own a 23-game win streak, the longest in Ohio. Their last setback was the state title game in 2009. The Mustangs have won 28 of their last 29 games. They have clinched a playoff spot in Division II, Region 6, and would like to host a first round game. Mustangs are led by senior quarterback Da'Junn Graham, senior wide receiver Jeremy Graves, senior right tackle/defensive end Alex Jones, junior left guard/defensive end Devin Revels and senior defensive lineman Aaron Pipkins. Pick: Cleveland Heights
St. Ignatius at St. Edward: Also called the "Holy War," this 48th meeting of west side school rivals St. Ignatius and St. Edward will be played Saturday night before a packed house at Lakewood Stadium. The St. Ignatius Wildcats lead the series, 25-21. There has been one tie. The Eagles won last year, 33-10. Both teams are 7-2 this season with a loss to Cincinnati St. Xavier. St. Edward is coming off an impressive 42-27 victory over Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller. Junior quarterback Ryan Fallon had his best game of the season completing 18 of 23 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Anthony Young and senior flanker Quincy Jones were his favorite targets. Kyle Kalis and Tyler Orlosky, a pair of 6-5, 300-pound seniors, anchor the Eagles offensive line. Kalis is a University of Michigan recruit and Orlosky is West Virginia bound. The St. Ignatius Wildcats will be aiming to bounce back from their 14-12 setback last week to St. Xavier. Key St. Ignatius players are senior quarterback Eric Williams, junior running back Tim McVey, senior strong safety Mike Svetina and senior kicker Tim Shenk. St. Edward is the defending state Division I champion. St. Ignatius