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High school football playoff plot thickens
Conflicting court rulings could leave four teams' playoff hopes in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court

Jasen Sokol
Mayfield and three other schools are in limbo after conflicting rulings regarding their playoff status. The Wildcats hope to play St. Edward tomorrow.
Courtesy of Ohio Helmet Project
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Two conflicting court orders Thursday threw Ohio’s high school football playoffs into chaos. WKSU’s Jasen Sokol has more on the fight over forfeits and computer points.

Sokol on the playoff chaos

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For a few hours Thursday, it looked like Cleveland Heights and Beachwood made the Ohio High School Athletic Association football playoffs while Mayfield and Ashtabula Edgewood were out.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge ruled that the OHSAA had to recognize a forfeit by Cleveland John F. Kennedy. They used a player in their game against John Adams that was ineligible by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s standards, but eligible by the OHSAA’s.

But later in the day a judge in Ashtabula County ruled the association does not have to recognize the JFK forfeit. That put Edgewood and Mayfield back in… for now.

The case gets into the intricacies of the computer point system used to determine who makes the playoffs in football. It takes into consideration each team’s win-loss record and the record of the teams they play. Without the forfeit by JFK, Cleveland Heights doesn’t have enough points to make the playoffs. So they took the OHSAA to court.

After the ruling came down, Edgewood asked for and won a temporary restraining order as well. That created conflicting rulings that will likely have to be ironed out by the Ohio Supreme Court.

An OHSAA spokesman says none of the games in question will be played until the courts have the final say. The Plain Dealer reports the Ohio Supreme Court could make a ruling as early as this morning.

Edgewood and Beachwood are both getting ready to play Brookfield out of Trumbull County in a game scheduled for tonight. Cleveland Heights and Mayfield both hope to play St. Ed’s tomorrow.

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