The 36th annual OHSAA Football Tournaments/Playoffs continue tonight with the Divisions II, III and V regional semifinals. Saturday, Divisions I, IV and VI follow. Below we take a look at everything you need to know before heading out to the games. Consider this the ultimate fans guide to the football postseason. Buckle up – and this weekend bundle up.
WHAT: 36th Annual OHSAA Football Tournaments (Regional Semifinals/Second Round)
WHEN/WHERE: Friday, Nov. 9-Divisions II, III and V; Saturday, Nov. 10-Divisions I, IV and VI; All games at neutral sites.
TIMES: Games on Friday begin at 7:30; games on Saturday begin at 7:00.
FORMAT: Sixteen teams remain in the tournaments in each of the six divisions (96 total schools) following action last week in the first round (regional quarterfinals). Thirty-two teams in six divisions (192 total schools) originally qualified for the tournaments, with selections based on the OHSAA Football Computer Rankings. To qualify for the tournaments, schools must have finished first through eighth in their assigned region.
ADMISSION: $6.00 per person presale; $8.00 per person at the gate.
NINTH YEAR WITH 192 QUALIFIERS: This is the ninth year that the OHSAA football tournament field consists of 192 total qualifiers. Each of the 24 regions has qualified eight teams to the tournaments, which consist of five rounds. The first round is the regional quarterfinals, and teams that finish first through fourth in their regions in the final OHSAA computer rankings serve as hosts. Teams may choose an alternate site to host first-round games and do not need approval from the OHSAA to do so. In bracket order, team 1 will host team 8, team 4 will host team 5, team 2 will host team 7 and team 3 will host team 6. The HSAA will designate neutral sites for regional semifinal, regional final and state semifinal games, and no rebracketing will occur until the state semifinals.
DEFENDING STATE CHAMPS: D-I Hilliard Davidson – Wildcats did not qualify for the tournament. Finished 7-3 and No. 10 in Region 3 computer points; D-II Piqua – Indians beat Toledo Central Catholic in Region 6 quarterfinal and now face Sylvania Southview in semis at Lima Senior; D-III Steubenville – Big Red are now in D-IV and beat Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Region 14 quarterfinal, Steibenville now faces Canton Central Catholic in semis at Austintown-Fitch; D-IV Youngstown Cardinal Mooney – Cards beat Coschocton in Region 14 quarterfinal and now face Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in semis at Beloit West Branch; D-V St. Henry – Redskins did not qualify for the tournament. St. Henry finished 6-4 and No. 13 in Region 20 computer points; D-VI – Marion Local – Flyers bumped up to D-V and shut out Casstown Miami East in Region 20 quarterfinal. Now play Cincinnati Deer Park in semis at Clayton Northmont.
FOOTBALL SCHOOLS: There were 715 football-playing schools this year. The division breakdowns are: Division I: 115 schools (enrollments of 524 or more); Division II: 120 schools (enrollments between 365 and 523); Division III: 119 schools (enrollments between 257 and 364); Division IV: 119 schools (enrollments between 187 and 256); Division V: 121 schools (enrollments between 131 and 186); and Division VI: 121 schools (enrollments of 130 or less). Divisions are based on enrollments of males in grades 9 through 11 as reported to the State Department of Education in October 2006.
STATE FOOTBALL FINALS TICKET BOOKS ON SALE: Ticket books for all six state football championship games are currently on sale through the Canton/Stark County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. The state football finals are November 30 and December 1 at Fawcett Stadium in Canton and Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon. Tickets can be ordered on-line at www.ohsaafbfinals.com. Ticket books are $42.00 for the six games. Also available prepaid two-day parkings passes for $10.00, prepaid two-day motorhome parking passes for $20.00 and state tournament souvenir programs for $4.00 (a savings of $1.00 from the price at the games). Priority seating will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a $3.00 ticket precessing fee per order and a $2.00 postage fee per order. For addition information, contact the Canton/Stark County Convention & Visitors’ Bureau at 1-800-533-4302 or 330-454-1439. Orders must be postmarked by Nov. 16, and single game tickets are not available.
FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANTS: There are 14 schools that are making their first appearance in the OHSAA football tournaments this year (there were 10 in 2006, 12 in 2005, 16 in 2004, 12 in 2003, 21 in 2002, 17 in 2001, 26 in 2000 and 32 in 1999). The first-time participants are: Division I (3): Hilliard Darby, North Royalton, Perrysburg; Division II (2): Akron Firestone, Cleveland South; Division III (1): Mogadore Field; Division IV (3): Belmont Union Local, Genoa Area, Pataskala Licking Heights; Division V (1): Casstown Miami East; Division VI (4): Arlington, Portsmouth Sciotoville Community, Toledo Christian, West Unity Hilltop.
NO. 1 SEEDS GO UNDEFEATED: For the first time since expansion occurred in 1999, the No. 1 seeds sported a 24-0 mark against the No. 8 seeds in the regional quarterfinals last week. The previous best record was 23-1 in 2005. In addition, the 74 wins by the higher seeds are the most in the regional quarterfinals (74-22 overalll record). In 2003 the higher seeds went 73-23.
REPEAT QUALIFIERS FROM 2007: Of the 192 schools that qualified for the OHSAA football tournaments, 113 also qualified in 2006. The number of schools by division that have again qualified in 2006 is as follows: Division I: 19; Division II: 18; Division III: 18; Division IV: 21; Division V: 19, and Division VI: 18.
WELCOME BACK: Several schools in this year’s tournament have had long droughts since their last post-season showing. In Division I, Groveport-Madison last appeared in 1988; in Division III, Canal Winchester last appeared in 1988 and Goshen last appeared in 1993; in Division V, Belpre last appeared in 1988; and in Division VI, Lockland last appeared in 1993 and Sugar Grove Berne Union last appeared in 1994.
FIRST-TIME TOURNAMENT WINNERS: There were 12 schools that garnered their first-ever wins in the OHSAA football tournaments during the 2007 regional quarterfinals: Groveport-Madison and Hilliard Darby in Division I; Dresden Tri-Valley and Parma Normandy in Division II; Canal Winchester, Circleville and Rocky River in Division III; Genoa Area and Pataskala Licking Heights in Division IV; Cincinnati Deer Park in Division V, and Ada and Arlington in Division VI
RESPECT YOUR ELDERS: There are seven schools that are making at least their 20th appearance in the OHSAA football tournaments: Division I (2): Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller-26th; Cleveland St. Ignatius-20th; Division IV (2): Steubenville-20th; Youngstown Cardinal Mooney-21st; Division V (1): Wheelersburg-20th; Division VI (2): Mogadore-21st, Newark Catholic-30th.
MOST TOURNAMENT WINS: Twelve schools in the tournaments have at least 25 OHSAA tourney victories: Newark Catholic (57-22, Div. VI); Cleveland St. Ignatius (50-10, Div. I); Mogadore (40-17, Div. VI); Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (39-14, Div. IV); Columbus St. Francis DeSales (38-14, Div. II); Steubenville (36-16, Div. IV); Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (33-18, Div. I); Germantown Valley View (30-10, Div. III); Maria Stein Marion Local (26-6, Div. V); Coldwater (26-11, Div. IV); Mentor Lake Catholic (25-12, Div. III); Warren John F. Kennedy (25-15, Div. VI).
FORMER STATE CHAMPS: Forty-two former state champions have qualified for this year’s tournaments, accounting for 97 total championships. The number of state championships won and the schools are: (9 titles/1 school)— Cleveland St. Ignatius; (7 titles/2 schools)—Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, Newark Catholic; (6 titles/2 schools)—St. Henry, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney; (4 titles/1 school)—Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary; (3 titles/9 schools)—Cincinnati Princeton, Columbus St. Francis DeSales, Elyria Catholic, Germantown Valley View, Maria Stein Marion Local, Marion Pleasant, Mentor Lake Catholic, Mogadore, Steubenville; (2 titles/4 schools)—Canton Central Catholic, Cincinnati Elder, Fostoria, West Jefferson; (1 title/23 schools)—Archbold, Avon Lake, Bedford St. Peter Chanel, Beloit West Branch, Carey, Cincinnati Colerain, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Cincinnati Wyoming, Columbus Brookhaven, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, Clyde, Coldwater, Columbus Bishop Ready, Liberty Center, McComb, Patrick Henry, Poland Seminary, Steubenville Catholic Central, Toledo Central Catholic, Upper Arlington, Warren John F. Kennedy, Wheelersburg, Youngstown Ursuline.
UNDEFEATED SCHOOLS: Twenty-nine schools finished the regular season undefeated this year, and all qualified for the tournaments. The undefeated schools are as follows (all are 10-0): Division I (5): Brunswick, Cincinnati Colerain, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Dublin Coffman, Pickerington Central; Division II (4): Avon Lake, Cincinnati Turpin, Columbus St. Francis DeSales, Warren Howland; Division III (3): Canal Fulton Northwest, Rocky River, Tipp City Tippecanoe; Division IV (5): Kettering Archbishop Alter, St. Clairsville, Steubenville, Williamsport Westfall, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney; Division V (7): Bucyrus Wynford, Findlay Liberty-Benton, Lore City Buckeye Trail, Maria Stein MarioN Local, North Lima South Range, Vienna Mathews, West Jefferson; Division VI (5): Bascom Hopewell-Loudon, Beallsville, Covington, Portsmouth Sciotoville Community, Springfield Catholic Central.
CONSECUTIVE SHOWINGS: Teams in this year’s tournament with the most consecutive tournament appearances are Cleveland St. Ignatius (20th consecutive), Columbus St. Francis DeSales (14th consecutive) and Coldwater and Newark Catholic (both with their 11th consecutive)
CHAMPIONSHIPS BY REGIONAL FINISH: When the OHSAA tournament had four qualifiers per region between 1985 and 1998, 75 state champions were crowned. Of those 75 champions, 48 finished first in their region in the final OHSAA computer rankings, 16 finished second, seven finished third and four finished fourth. During the past eight years (after the expansion to eight qualifiers per region) there have been 48 champions, and 21 of those schools finished first in their region, 13 finished second, five finished third, three finished fourth, two finished fifth, one finished sixth, two finished seventh and one finished eighth. 2001 marked the first time a school that finished lower than fourth in its region won a state championship (Division III, Mentor Lake Catholic, fifth; Division I Cleveland St. Ignatius, seventh), while St. Henry became the first eighth-seed to win a state championship in 2004 (Division V).
HOW THE SEEDS HAVE FARED: During the 2006 tournaments, the higher-seeded teams held a 113-68-5 lead over the lower seeds (62.1 percent). During the 2005 Tournaments, the higher-seeded teams held a 123-57-6 (.677) lead; in 2004, the higher seeded teams held a 112-70-4 (.613) lead; in 2003, the margin was 126-58-2 (.683); in 2002 it was 129-55-2 (.699); in 2001 it was 118-66-2 (.640); in 2000 it was 128-52-6 (.704), and in 1999 it was 113-70-3 (.616).
THE OHIO HIGH/ONN POWER POLL: The Power Poll was updated for the final time on Monday. Here is a look at some of the top teams in each division, listed in order: Division I – Cincinnati St. Xavier (10-0), Cincinnati Colerain (10-0), Dublin Coffman (10-0), Brunswick (10-0), Pickerington Central (10-0), Euclid (9-1), Cleveland St. Ignatius (8-2), Mentor (7-2), Macedonia Nordonia (9-1), Hilliard Darby (9-1). Division II – Columbus DeSales (10-0), Cincinnati Turpin (10-0), Avon Lake (10-0), Warren Howland (10-0). Division III – Canal Fulton Northwest (10-0), Newark Licking Valley (9-1), Rocky River (10-0), Tipp City Tippecanoe (10-0). Division IV – Youngstown Mooney (10-0), Kettering Alter (10-0), Steubenville (10-0), Williamsport Westfall (10-0). Division V – Maria Stein Marion Local (10-0), North Lima South Range (10-0), Findlay Liberty-Benton (10-0), West Jefferson (10-0). Division VI – Springfield Catholic Central (10-0), Bascom Hopewell-Loudon (10-0), Mogadore (9-1), Norwalk St. Paul (9-1).
REGIONAL SEMIFINAL PAIRINGS:
Here are the regional semifinal high school football playoff pairings, with seedings, as provided by the Ohio High School Athletic Association:
All Games at 7 p.m. Saturday unless noted
1 Mentor (8-2) vs. 4 Solon (8-2) at Parma Byers Field – Mentor beat Solon 27-0 in Week 3. Mentor also ousted Solon 45-0 in a first-round playoff game last year. This game will be shown live on Sports Time Ohio and will be replayed at 9 a.m. Sunday.
7 Cleve. Glenville (9-2) vs. 6 Youngs. Boardman (8-3) at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium – Glenville features top prospect WR-DB Cordale Scott.
1 Brunswick (11-0) vs. 4 Tol. Whitmer (9-2) at Fremont Ross Paul Stadium at Harmon Field
2 N. Canton Hoover (9-2) vs. 3 Macedonia Nordonia (10-1) at Massillon Washington Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
1 Hilliard Darby (10-1) vs. 5 Groveport-Madison (8-3) at Upper Arlington Moorehead Memorial Stadium – Groveport-Madison dealt Darby its only loss, 34-17, in Week 10.
2 Pickerington Cent. (11-0) vs. 3 Dublin Coffman (11-0) at Gahanna Lincoln Stadium – Coffman features OSU verbals OL Mike Adams and WR Jake Stoneburner. This game matches teams ranked third (Coffman) and fifth (Central) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
1 Cin. St. Xavier (11-0) vs. 4 Centerville (9-2) at 5 p.m. at Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium
2 Cin. Colerain (11-0) vs. 6 Cin. Moeller (7-3) at 2 p.m. at Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium – Colerain defeated Moeller 34-31 in triple OT in a first-round playoff game last year.
All Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday
1 Warren Howland (11-0) vs. 5 Mayfield (8-3) at Solon Stewart Field
2 Tallmadge (10-1) vs. 3 Parma Normandy (9-2) at Bedford Stewart Field at Bearcat Stadium — This game matches teams ranked ninth (Tallmadge) and 10th (Normandy) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll. This game will be shown on tape delay at 10 p.m. Friday on Ohio News Network.
1 Avon Lake (11-0) vs. 4 Ashland (10-1) at Brunswick Kirsh Field
2 Sylvania Southview (10-1) vs. 6 Piqua (8-3) at Lima Senior Stadium
1 Cols. DeSales (11-0) vs. 4 Canfield (10-1) at Canton Fawcett Stadium — This game matches teams ranked first (DeSales) and fifth (Canfield) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll. This game will be shown on tape delay by Sports Time Ohio at 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.
2 Louisville (9-2) vs. 6 Dresden Tri-Valley (10-1) at New Philadelphia Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium
1 Cin. Turpin (11-0) vs. 5 Trotwood-Madison (8-3) at Centerville Stadium
2 Cin. Anderson (9-2) vs. 6 Day. Carroll (10-1) at Cin. Princeton Mancuso Field in Viking Stadium
All games at 7:30 p.m. Friday
1 Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (9-1) vs. 5 Cortland Lakeview (9-2) at Ravenna Stadium/Gilcrest Field
2 Rocky River (11-0) vs. Mentor Lake Cath. (7-4) at Lakewood Stadium – MLC defeated Rocky River 24-0 in a first-round playoff game last year.
1 Sunbury Big Walnut (10-1) vs. 5 Shelby (9-2) at Lewis Ctr. Olentangy Braves Field
2 Napoleon (10-1) vs. 6 Clyde (10-1) at Tol. Cent. Cath. Gallagher Athletic Complex — This game matches teams ranked seventh (Clyde) and ninth (Napoleon) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
1 Canal Fulton Northwest (11-0) vs. 4 Dover (8-3) at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
2 Newark Licking Valley (10-1) vs. 3 Beloit West Branch (9-2) at Wooster Follis Field – Licking Valley features OSU verbal junior RB-LB Storm Klein.
1 Cin. Indian Hill (9-2) vs. 5 Circleville (8-3) at Hillsboro Richards Memorial Field
2 Canal Winchester (10-1) vs. 6 Monroe (9-2) at Dayton Welcome Stadium
All Games at 7 p.m. Saturday
1 Youngs. Mooney (11-0) vs. 4 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (9-2) at Beloit W. Branch Heacock Stadium – Mooney, the defending D-IV state champion which has won 25 in a row, rallied for a 21-17 win over SVSM in Week 8. This game matches teams ranked first (Mooney) and ninth (SVSM) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
2 Steubenville (11-0) vs. 3 Canton Cent. Cath. (10-1) at Austintown Fitch Falcon Stadium – Steubenville, the reigning two-time D-III state champion that has won 41 in a row, nipped CCC 35-34 in Week 9. This game matches teams ranked third (Steubenville) and fifth (CCC) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
1 Pemberville Eastwood (10-1) vs. 5 Genoa Area (10-1) at Millbury Lake Flyer Stadium – Genoa Area stopped Eastwood 21-14 in Week 7.
7 Ottawa-Glandorf (9-2) vs. 3 Marion Pleasant (10-1) at Tiffin Columbian National Field at Frost-Kalnow Stadium
1 St. Clairsville (11-0) vs. 4 Pataskala Licking Heights (10-1) at Zanesville Sulzberger Memorial Stadium — This game matches teams ranked sixth (St. Clairsville) and 10th (Licking Heights) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
2 Williamsport Westfall (11-0) vs. 3 Waverly (10-1) at Ashville Teays Valley Viking Stadiu: Westfall started season with win at Teays Valley. Mustangs would like season not end on same field.
1 Kettering Alter (11-0) vs. 5 Coldwater (10-1) at Piqua Alexander Stadium/Purk Field — This game matches teams ranked second (Alter) and seventh (Coldwater) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll. This game will be webcast on PressBoxProductions.net. Just click on that site at game time.
2 West Milton Milton-Union (10-1) vs. 3 Clarksville Clinton-Massie (10-1) at Kettering Fairmont Roush Stadium
All Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday unless noted
1 N. Lima S. Range (11-0) vs. 4 Gates Mills Gilmour Acad. (9-1) at Warren Harding Mollenkopf Stadium
2 Youngs. Ursuline (9-2) vs. 3 Apple Creek Waynedale (9-2) at Canton Cent. Cath. Klinefelter Stadium
1 Patrick Henry (10-1) vs. 4 Lima Cent. Cath. (10-1) at Findlay Donnell Stadium –This game matches teams ranked ninth (LCC) and 10th (Patrick Henry) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
2 Findlay Liberty-Benton (11-0) vs. 6 Defiance Tinora (9-2) at Lima Bath Stadium – Liberty-Benton ousted Tinora 35-21 in a first-round playoff game last year.
1 Cols. Ready (10-1) vs. 4 Johnstown-Monroe (9-2) at Newark White Field – This game will be webcast on PressBoxProductions.net.
7 Fredericktown (9-2) at 3 Wheelersburg (8-3) at Lancaster Fulton Field
1 West Jefferson (11-0) vs. 4 West Liberty-Salem (10-1) at Urbana High School Stadium
2 Maria Stein Marion Local (11-0) vs. 3 Cin. Deer Park (9-2), Saturday at 1 p.m. at Clayton Northmont Stadium/Dudon Memorial Field – Marion Local is the reigningD-VI state champion and has won 23 in a row.
All Games at 7 p.m. Saturday unless noted
1 Bascom Hopewell-Loudon (11-0) vs. 4 Mogadore (10-1) at 7:30 p.m. at Ashland Community Stadium — This game matches teams ranked second (Hopewell-Loudon) and third (Mogadore) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
2 Norwalk St. Paul (10-1) vs. 3 Warren JFK (9-2) at 7 p.m. at Medina Dukes Stadium
1 McComb (10-1) vs. 4 Arlington (9-2) at Findlay Donnell Stadium – McComb downed Arlington 19-16 in Week 6.
7 Defiance Ayersville (8-3) vs. 3 Ada (7-4) at Lima Senior Stadium
1 Newark Cath. (9-2) vs. 4 Danville (8-3) at 1 p.m. at Mount Vernon Yellow Jacket Stadium
2 Shadyside (10-1) vs. 3 Hannibal River (10-1) at Martins Ferry Purple Rider Alumni Field — This game matches teams ranked sixth (Shadyside) and 10th (River) in the state in the final ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.
1 Covington (11-0) vs. 5 Sidney Lehman (8-3) at Troy Memorial Stadium
2 Springfield Cath. Cent. (11-0) vs. 6 Mechanicsburg (7-4) at Sidney Memorial Stadium – SCC stopped Mechanicsburg 34-7 in Week 4.
Ohio High wants to give a special thanks to the OHSAA for helping with this article