Playoff Football: Seven things we learned Friday


State Football Playoff News

No one does the dramatic like Coldwater; Steubenville and
Mooney will meet next Friday; Antwan Gilbert will not set the state rushing
record; the Ohio Cardinal Conference wins in defeat and more…what a night!

Twelve games, 24 teams and 48 minutes. For some that still wasn’t enough. Following Friday’s state football playoff action only 12 seasons still have a pulse. Here’s what happened…

1. No one does the dramatic like Coldwater: The Cavaliers
won their second straight game over a fellow Midwest Athletic Conference member
in overtime when they finally survived archrival St. Henry 47-41 in four OTs in
the D-V, Region 20 final at Wapakoneta’s Harmon Field. This is on the heels of
last week’s 28-21 OT win over Anna. Coldwater has made a living though thriving
in the closest games on the state’s grandest stage. In 2007 the Cavs ousted
Kettering Alter 59-52 in five OTs and then beat heavily favored and nationally
ranked Youngstown Mooney in the state championship by scoring 21 fourth quarter
points and blocking a potential game-tying extra-point in the final seconds.
Now this…

2. Steubenville and Mooney will meet next Friday: For the
third straight season these Ohio powerhouses will hook up in the playoffs. Two
years ago Mooney beat Big Red 35-20 in the regional final en route to being
state runner-up. Last year, Steubenville returned the favor with a 28-16 win in
the regional semifinals en route to finishing state runner-up. The winner of
this match-up, which occurs in the D-III state semifinals, will again play in
the state final.

3. Antwan Gilbert will not set the state rushing record: OK,
so it was a stretch. Gilbert, a junior running back from
Trotwood-Madison, entered Friday’s D-II, Region 8 final against Winton Woods
needing 901 yards in potentially the final three games to break the
single-season state record of 3,439 yards set by Bedford St. Peter Chanel’s
Tony Franklin in 2001. Averaging 300 yards the final three games may seem
absurd, but lately that’s what Gilbert has been. Since a Week 5 loss to
Springfield that dropped the Rams to 2-3, Gilbert has rushed for 1,675 yards
and eclipsed 240 yards in five of the ensuing seven games – all wins. The
threat ended Friday. Winton Woods held Gilbert to 48 yards on 12 carries in a
28-7 win over the Rams at Mason High School. Gilbert ends the season with 2,586
yards and 32 TDs.

4. The Ohio Cardinal Conference wins in defeat: Chalk the
OCC up as one affiliation that gained tons of credibility in 2009. In addition
to D-IV regional finalist Orrville, which plays Saturday and tamed state title
contender Genoa Area 36-35 last week, OCC champion Ashland made the conference
proud Friday despite falling 45-42 to Mentor Lake Catholic in the D-II, Region
5 final at Green Memorial Stadium. In a game that featured nine lead changes
Ashland came up just short to a very reputable Cougar team. Last week Ashland
rallied from a 14-0 deficit with eight minutes to go to beat Warren Howland
19-14 in the regional semifinals.

5. DeSales has Watterson’s Number – For Now: For the second
straight season, Columbus DeSales beat archrival Watterson in the regular
season and then again in the playoffs. The latest lost for the Eagles came
24-10 in the D-II, Region 7 final at Dublin Coffman. Ouch.

6. Toledo Boycotts Maple Heights: For the third straight
week, Cleveland-area power Maple Heights ended a Toledo City League schools’
season in the D-II playoffs. In the regional quarterfinals the Mustangs beat
Toledo Rogers  36-36. Last week in
the regional semifinals they beat Toledo Central Catholic 27-13. Friday Maple
Heights ousted Toledo St. Francis 34-21 in the Region 6 final at Fremont’s
Harmon Stadium.

7. Youngstown Ursuline is on a mission: Apparently someone
told defending D-V state champion Ursuline it had been written off, because the
Irish are playing with vengeance. Granted a three-loss regular season isn’t
what anyone expected out of Ursuline, but looking back on those defeats now –
to Ohio state semifinalists Mentor Lake Catholic (D-II) and Mooney (D-III) and
Pennsylvania stalwart Pittsburgh Central Catholic – the joke is on the
doubters! Wow, this team is humming. Friday the Irish put 47 points on a
Cuyahoga Falls team that allowed 43 points during the regular season.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *