The Playoff Picture: Here’s what we know – so far

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Coldwater, Delphos St. John’s a several other schools will be laying next week. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

Although the returns are early and nothing is official until the OHSAA
releases the regional parings on Sunday (check here at 2 p.m.), here
are some truths we hold to be self-evident following Friday night’s
action…


Although the returns are early and nothing is official until the OHSAA releases the regional parings on Sunday (check here at 2 p.m.), here are some truths we hold to be self-evident following Friday night’s action…

MARION LOCAL UPSETS ANNA; MAC GETS FIVE TEAMS IN THE POSTSEASON
No way a 4-5 Marion Local team beats 8-1 Anna right? Wrong. The Flyers rose to the occasion Friday and defended their home turf with a 28-21 win over the Rockets at Booster Field. The victory also secured ML a playoff berth at 5-5. The Flyers now become a favorite to win Region 24. The MAC also has four other teams in the postseason: Coldwater, Anna and St. Henry in Region 20 and Delphos St. John’s in Region 22. Two more titles this year in D-V and VI? Odds are good.

GEE-MAN…GALION BACK IN THE DANCE
Galion hadn’t won an outright league title in football since 1985 before claiming the Northern Ohio League championship with a 54-33 win over Bellevue on Friday. The victory propels the undefeated Tigers into the Region 14 playoffs for the first time since 1989. Under the direction of then-head coach Lee Owens (now the head coach at Ashland University), Galion won the D-II state title in 1985. The Tigers also made the postseason in 1986.

Galion’s 10 wins this season eclipse its combined win total from the previous seven seasons went it went a combined 9-61, including back-to-back 0-10 seasons in 2003-04. Four times the Tigers went 1-9.

Galion was 5-5 last year.

9-1 NOT GOOD ENOUGH
New Philadelphia, Athens and Zanesville all finished 9-1 in D-II, Region 7 and were denied a playoff ticket. No other teams with a 9-1 record were left out in any division.

FORT LORAMIE EARNS ITS FIRST BID; BIG NIGHT FOR THE BURGBACHERS
The Redskins have state titles in boys basketball, baseball and cross country. Now they finally have a shot at one in football. A traditional small school power in all sports, Loramie earned its first Division VI playoff berth Friday despite losing 21-0 to Sidney Lehman. This is Loramie’s fifth year as a varsity football program and Matt Burgbacher’s first year as head coach. Burgbacher’s father – Charlie, the head coach at Tippecanoe – is also headed to the playoffs. The Red Devils are in the D-III, Region 10 postseason, while Loramie makes its debut in Region 24. The Redskins only other loss was in Week 7 to Jonathan Alder.

GOOD NEWS OUT OF WILMINGTON
The Hurricane might not have beaten Turpin for the Fort Ancient Valley Conference title, but they did earn the school’s first playoff berth since 2005 and its third overall. This postseason berth is a great rallying point for a community struck hard by the negative effects of the economy and the stinging departure of the town’s largest employer – DHL Shipping. The news even made CBS’ 60 Minutes. Wilmington is led by senior running back Quentin Rollins, a 1,000-yard back and a Miami (Ohio) basketball recruit. He plays point guard. Senior QB Brandon Arehart has thrown for over 1,000 yards as well. If the numbers stay as is, Wilmington and Turpin will meet in Week 11 as well. This time the Spartans will host.

BUCYRUS WYNFORD OWNS STATE’S LONGEST REGULAR SEASON UNBEATEN STREAK
Now that Steubenville had its 68-game regular season win streak snapped by Inkster (Mich.) last week, it was brought to our attention this week by WQEL News Director Gary Ogle that Bucyrus Wynford is now believed to own the state’s longest regular season win streak which stands at 38 and counting after Friday’s win over Crestline.  Look for more from Ogle this week on JJ as he delves deeper into another remarkable Royals season that hasn’t been like the others. This is one story you want to read. Plus, don’t forget that with two SEC recruits in Kentucky bound quarterback Tyler Brause and tight end Teven Eatmon, Wynford – in D-VI for the first time – is a threat to win the state title.

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS
Of the six defending state champions, five returned to the playoffs: Cleveland St. Ignatius (D-I), Aurora (D-III, now in D-II, Region 5), Kettering Alter (D-IV), Youngstown Ursuline (D-V) and Delphos St. John’s (D-VI). Sylvania Southview (D-II, but now in D-I, Region 2) is the only one that didn’t make it back. The Cougars finished No. 9 in their region.

OHIO HIGH MAGAZINE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PREVIEW
The OHIO HIGH MAGAZINE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PREVIEW Issue will be released TUESDAY and will include divisional previews for all six divisions along with several storylines you’ll want to follow before and after kickoff. We’ll also have predictions for each region from the quarterfinals through the finals. We’ll readdress our state champion thoughts as well.

Order your single-copy access or subscription (nine issues annually) today and get instant access online when the issue is released.

PLAYOFF PAIRINGS AND NOTES
Check back at 2 p.m. Sunday for the release of the OHSAA’s official playoff pairings.

We will release the official playoff parings for every division/region on Sunday when they are made official by the OHSAA. We will also address key teams that were left out, surprises and several other aspects of the postseason selections.

JOE EITEL COPMUTER RANKINGS
See the most current and up-to-date playoff positions thanks to Joe Eitel.

PRINTABLE BRACKETS
Like last year, we will produce our own downloadable and printable playoff brackets for each division. To check out last year’s brackets, click here.

FINAL POWER POLL
Who will end up No. 1 in JJHhuddle’s infamous Power Poll? Find out on Monday when we release our final rankings.

FINAL CENTRAL OHIO POWER POLL
Central Ohio football fans – and we know we have a ton on JJHuddle – we’ll also release the final Central Ohio Power Poll on Monday. The current No. 1s have remained the same for the last five weeks. Will they keep that pole position?

FRIDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS RECAPS
Like we’ve done during the regular season, the weekly Friday Night Highlights recap will continue throughout the playoffs. We will continue to name Players of the Week and highlight the top performances from the previous weekend as well as look ahead to the upcoming week’s games.

GAMEDAY COVERAGE AND FEATURES
As always, we’ll continue to bring you the football news, notes and nuggets you’ve come to appreciate and expect. Game coverage, features and more will continue throughout the postseason.

 

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