OHSAA Football Playoffs Set

By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

With the computer rankings official, the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced its regional quarterfinal matches for high school football on Sunday.

The regional quarterfinals will be played on Friday and Saturday throughout the state with Division I, II, III and VI schools playing on Friday and Division IV, V and VII playing on Saturday.

St. Marys and Minster, Division III and VI schools, will play Friday and Division VII New Bremen will play on Saturday.

The Roughriders (8-2) — making their fourth straight playoff appearance and 19th playoff appearance all-time — will travel to Franklin to play the Wildcats at 7 p.m. Friday at Franklin Lions Club Community Park.

The two teams last played each other in 2016 in a regional semifinal in Huber Heights where the Riders won 55-31. St. Marys is 2-0 all-time against the Wildcats, but will be making its first trip to Franklin. 

The toughest region in the state is in Region 23 where Minster (9-1) will host Anna (9-1) at 7 p.m. at Minster Memorial Stadium. Minster will be making its sixth straight playoff appearance and neither team — both co-Midwest Athletic Conference champions — has played each other since 2017 when the Wildcats won 20-7. 

In its first trip to the playoffs since 2004, New Bremen (7-3) will play top-seeded New Miami (9-0) in Hamilton at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Vikings' record is 9-0 because they had a game that did not count toward the OHSAA rankings.

Including St. Marys, four Western Buckeye League qualified for the playoffs — the most in a season since 2011. Wapakoneta is the No. 2 seed in Region 12, Kenton is the No. 4 seed in Division IV, Region 16 and Ottawa-Glandorf as a No. 6 seed in Division IV, Region 14. 

The Redskins (9-1) will play in a rematch in last year's regional quarterfinal as they host Trotwood-Madison (7-3). The Redskins defeated the Rams 24-21 at Harmon Field. The winner of that game and the St. Marys vs. Franklin game will play each other in a regional semifinal. 

According to OHSAA, Division VI Coldwater qualified for the playoffs for the 23rd-consecutive season, which is a new state record, while five schools are in the playoffs for the first time in their school’s history, including Xenia (D-II), Delaware Olentangy Berlin (D-II, opened in 2018), Columbus Centennial (D-III), Worthington Christian (D-VI) and Cincinnati College Prep Academy (D-VII).

For the first time since 2001, an undefeated record wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs. It happened to both Northwood (D-V, Region 18) and Gibsonburg (D0VI, Region 23), which both went 10-0. Previously, Newcomerstown in 2001 was the last school that went undefeated but didn’t make the playoffs, according to the OHSAA.

Several schools are back in the playoffs after a long hiatus. Leading the pack is Cleveland Heights Lutheran East (D-V) and Reedsville Eastern (D-VII), which both qualified for the first time since 2001.