Playoff Matchups Set

By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

Now that the regular season is over and the computer rankings are complete, matchups are set for the regional quarterfinals in football around Ohio for this coming weekend.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association released pairings for the first round of the football playoffs on Sunday with 224 of the 718 OHSAA member schools entering the first weekend of the postseason.

During the first four rounds of the playoffs, all games will kick off at 7 p.m. with Division I, II, III and VI games to be played on Fridays, while Division IV, V and VII games will be on Saturdays.

According to the OHSAA, two schools are in the playoffs for the first time in their school’s history in Springfield Northwestern and Toledo Start, while one school has tied the state record for most playoff appearances in Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller with 35. With its playoff appearance, Coldwater has tied the state record for most consecutive playoff appearances with 22.

In its third straight season with a home playoff game and 18th playoff appearance in program history, No. 2 seeded St. Marys in Region 14 will play No. 8 seeded Pepper Pike Orange High School at Skip Baughman Stadium.

For the Lions (7-3), it is a 201-mile drive from Pepper Pike to St. Marys (9-1). Pepper Pike is an eastern suburb of the Cleveland area in Cuyahoga County.

The Lions were the No. 4 seed in last season’s playoffs — losing in a home regional quarterfinal to Bellevue — and have lost three of their final five games to conclude the 2018 regular season.

According to Drew Pasteur’s Ohio Fantastic 50, a website of the Ohio high school football rankings and predictions, his website predicts a 91 percent chance of a Roughriders’ victory over the Lions.

St. Marys and Pepper Pike have never played each other.

The No. 1 seed in the region, Bellville Clear Fork (10-0), will host No. 8 seeded Bryan (7-3). It is the first time since 2013 that the Golden Bears have qualified for the playoffs. Clear Fork was also the No. 1 seed last season — getting upset by Bellevue in a regional semifinal — and has won 21 of the last 22 games.

Western Buckeye League foe Van Wert (8-2) — qualifying for the postseason for the first time since 2000 — is the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 seeded Huron (7-3), while No. 4 seeded Lorain Clearview (9-1) will host No. 5 seeded Marengo Highland (9-1).

Highland lost 48-8 to St. Marys in last season’s regional quarterfinal.

__

In Division VII, Region 28, the No. 3 seeded Minster Wildcats (7-3) will host De Graff Riverside (6-4) at Minster Memorial Stadium for their regional quarterfinal. The last time these two teams met was during a 2015 Division VII regional semifinal that Minster won, 21-6, at Sidney Memorial Stadium.

Fort Loramie (9-1) is the No. 1 seed in the region and will host No. 8 seeded Hamilton New Miami (6-4) — who beat out New Bremen for the final playoff spot. It is New Miami’s first time qualifying for the postseason since 2008.

Last season’s top-seeded team in the region, Convoy Crestview (9-1) is the second seed this year and will host No. 7 seeded Cincinnati Miami Valley Christian Academy (7-2).

No. 4 seeded Ansonia will host fifth seeded Sidney Lehman Catholic (7-3).

Postseason ticket information will be released from St. Marys and Minster on Monday.