With the top three teams in the Ohio Capital Conference Central Division making the football postseason playoffs this year, it leaves the five remaining schools to ponder the "close calls" and "what ifs" of another campaign in one of the state's toughest leagues.
Thomas Worthington, toiling in the OCC Central, finished its 2011 campaign with a 4-6 record overall and a 3-4 mark in the league play. Both ledgers are one win better than 2010.
Cardinals coach Scott Gordon knew his squad would be more competitive this season, and the scores bear that out. The Cards lost two OCC Central games by a touchdown, including a 14-7 loss to Upper Arlington (9-2, 6-1 OCC Central for second place), which won its playoff opener Nov. 5.
"We were competitive in just about every conference game," Gordon said.
TWHS lost 14-7 to Hilliard Darby, which finished 7-3 and fourth in the OCC Central, but the Cards went the way of most teams in one-sided losses to champion Hilliard Davidson (33-0) and third-place Dublin Coffman (24-0).
"(The season's) disappointing with the (won-loss) results (won-loss record)," said Gordon, in his fifth year with Thomas.
"I thought we'd have a better record. We had a few games that we had a chance to win that we let slip away. It changes how you look back on the season. I thought we had a 7-3 in us."
As it turned out, the season opener was a bit of a "trap game," as Jonathan Alder, a Division III team which won its first playoff game Nov. 4, eventually went undefeated during the regular season (10-0). Alder caught the Cards a bit off guard to start the year, winning 37-0. Four of the teams on the Thomas 2011 schedule made the playoffs.
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