COLUMBUS – The Ohio High School Athletic Association released the pairings for the regional finals (third round) of the football playoffs on Sunday.
During the first four rounds of the playoffs, all games will kick off at 7 p.m. Division I, II, III and VI games are on Fridays. Division IV, V and VII games are on Saturdays.
OHSAA Football Regional Final Pairings
Home team listed first. Pairings include seed and record.
Division I – Games at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
1 Mentor (11-1) vs. 7 Lakewood St. Edward (8-3) at Euclid Community Field
4 Powell Olentangy Liberty (8-4) vs. 2 Dublin Coffman (11-1) at New Albany Veterans Field at Eagle Stadium
1 Hilliard Davidson (11-1) vs. 6 Pickerington Central (10-2) at Gahanna Lincoln Wilbur C. Strait Field
1 Cin. Colerain (12-0) vs. 3 Cin. Elder (8-4) at Mason Dwire Field, Atrium Stadium
Division II – Games at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
1 Akron Archbishop Hoban (12-0) vs. 2 Maple Hts. (12-0) at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium
1 Tol. Central Cath. (12-0) vs. 3 Avon (11-1) at Clyde Robert J. Bishop Jr. Stadium
1 Massillon Washington (12-0) vs. 3 Wadsworth (12-0) at North Canton Hoover Memorial Stadium
1 Cin. Winton Woods (11-1) vs. 7 Cin. Anderson (9-3) at Lakota West Firebird Field
Division III – Games at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
1 Canfield (11-1) vs. 2 Chagrin Falls Kenston (11-1) at Warren G. Harding Mollenkopf Stadium
4 Norwalk (9-3) vs. 6 Sandusky (8-4) at First National Bank Field at Bellevue Athletic Facility
4 Cols. Eastmoor Academy (11-1) vs. 6 Thornville Sheridan (11-1) at Lancaster Fulton Field
1 Kettering Archbishop Alter (11-1) vs. 2 Wapakoneta (11-1) at Piqua Alexander Stadium
Division IV – Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
5 Girard (11-1) vs. 3 Hubbard (11-1) at Niles McKinley Bo Rein Stadium
1 Bellville Clear Fork (12-0) vs. 2 St. Marys Memorial (11-1) at Bellefontaine AcuSport Stadium
1 St. Clairsville (12-0) vs. 7 Newark Licking Valley (9-3) at Zanesville Sulsberger Stadium
1 Cin. Wyoming (12-0) vs. 6 London (11-1) at Centerville Stadium
Division V – Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
1 Orrville (10-2) vs. 2 Akr. Manchester (9-3) at Canal Fulton Northwest Dr. Martin Smilek Stadium, Jim Schalmo Field
1 Genoa Area (12-0) vs. 2 Liberty Center (11-1) at Millbury Lake Community Stadium
1 Johnstown-Monroe (11-1) vs. 3 Byesville Meadowbrook (9-3) at Zanesville Maysville Athletic Complex
1 Wheelersburg (11-1) vs. 2 Middletown Madison (12-0) at Hilliard Darby Stadium
Division VI – Games at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
1 Mogadore (11-1) vs. 2 Kirtland (12-0) at Aurora Veterans Stadium
1 Attica Seneca East (11-1) vs. 7 Sherwood Fairview (9-3) at Findlay Donnell Stadium
4 Shadyside (10-2) vs. 2 Beverly Ft. Frye (11-0) at Byesville Meadowbrook Eugene Capers Field
1 Coldwater (10-2) vs. 3 Maria Stein Marion Local (11-1) at Sidney Memorial Stadium
Division VII – Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
1 Cuyahoga Heights (10-2) vs. 7 Warren John F. Kennedy (7-5) at Macedonia Nordonia Boliantz Stadium
5 McComb (11-1) vs. 2 Edgerton (12-0) at Defiance Fred Brown Athletic Complex
1 Lucas (10-2) vs. 3 Glouster Trimble (11-1) at Hamilton Township Alumni Stadium
1 Fort Loramie (11-1) vs. 2 Convoy Crestview (11-1) at Lima Spartan Stadium
More on Neutral Sites
Neutral sites are selected by the OHSAA. There are many factors that go into determining playoff sites, such as quality of field surface, seating capacity, quality of lighting, size of locker rooms and distance from field, press box size, parking, and a separate locker room for officials. After all those factors are taken into consideration, it must be confirmed that the site is available and willing to host a playoff game on the date needed. The OHSAA cannot mandate that a specific site be available and it is rare to have an available site exactly halfway between the two competing schools. Host sites keep revenue from concession stands and parking and they also receive a predetermined rental fee from the OHSAA, which covers game expenses.
Welcome to Week 13
The 2018 OHSAA football playoffs have reached the regional finals as 56 schools are still playing in week 13. The OHSAA has selected neutral sites for these 28 games and will do so again next week for the state semifinals. Rebracketing also occurs at the state semifinal level as the OHSAA determine how the regional champions will be paired.
Noting the Regional Finals
Of last year’s 14 state finalists, eight have reached this week’s regional finals. Of note, in Division III and IV, neither state finalist from a year ago is still in the playoffs.
Eight of the regional championship games pit the No. 1 vs. No. 2 seeds (Regions 5, 9, 14, 17, 18, 20, 21 and 28 – see pairings on page 9). Division V is the only division where all four No. 1 seeds advanced to the regional final. Three-of-four No. 2 seeds also remain in contention in Div. V.
There are 13 undefeated teams still alive in the playoffs, but only two regional finals include undefeated teams squaring off against each other, and they both take place in Division II, including Region 5 (Akron Archbishop Hoban vs. Maple Hts.) and Region 7 (Massillon Washington vs. Wadsworth).
Of the 10 teams that won their first playoff game in school history in week 11, three have advanced to the third round, including Byesville Meadowbrook (Div. V, Region 19), Attica Seneca East (Div. VI, Region 22) and Edgerton (Div. VII, Region 27).
In Division V and VI, there are regional championship games that feature the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked teams in their division in the final Associated Press poll (see later note). In a Division VI regional final, the two schools with the most number of all-time playoff wins face each other, as Midwest Athletic Conference rivals Maria Stein Marion Local (74) meets Coldwater (73).
Speaking of the MAC, the regional finalists show that this year will be the first year that a MAC school is not playing for the Division VII state title.
Regional Finalists by Seed
No. 1 seed – 22
No. 2 seed – 12
No. 3 seed – 7
No. 4 seed – 4
No. 5 seed – 2 (Girard, McComb)
No. 6 seed – 4 (Pickerington Central, Sandusky, Thornville Sheridan, London)
No. 7 seed – 5 (Lakewood St. Edward, Cin. Anderson, Newark Licking Valley, Sherwood Fairview, Warren JFK)
No. 8 seed – 0
The closest geographical proximity for teams playing in the regional finals is six miles between Powell Olentangy Liberty and Dublin Coffman in Div. I, Region 2 and Girard and Hubbard in Div. IV, Region 13.
Other regional final matchups where the schools playing each other are less than 10 miles apart include Cin. Colerain vs. Cin. Elder (8 miles, Div. I, Region 4) and Coldwater vs. Maria Stein Marion Local (9 miles, Div. VI, Region 24)
We Meet Again
There are six regional final games that are regular season rematches.
REGION 1: Regular season rematch. Mentor beat St. Edward 42-39 in week 1.
REGION 3: Ohio Capital Conference rematch. Pickerington Central beat Hilliard Davidson 17-14 in OT in week 5.
REGION 10: Sandusky Bay Conference rematch. Norwalk beat Sandusky 52-35 in week 7.
REGION 13: Northeast 8 Athletic Conference rematch. Hubbard beat Girard 48-32 in week 2.
REGION 17: Principals Athletic Conference rematch. Akron Manchester beat Orrville 67-31 in week 8.
REGION 24: Midwest Athletic Conference rematch. Coldwater beat Marion Local 26-20 in 2OT in week 10.