OHSAA releases football regional final pairings


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

Region 1

1 Mentor (11-1) vs. 7 Lakewood St. Edward (8-3) at Euclid Community Field

Region 2

4 Powell Olentangy Liberty (8-4) vs. 2 Dublin Coffman (11-1) at New Albany Veterans Field at Eagle Stadium

Region 3

1 Hilliard Davidson (11-1) vs. 6 Pickerington Central (10-2) at Gahanna Lincoln Wilbur C. Strait Field

Region 4

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

Region 5

1 Akron Archbishop Hoban (12-0) vs. 2 Maple Hts. (12-0) at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium

Region 6

1 Tol. Central Cath. (12-0) vs. 3 Avon (11-1) at Clyde Robert J. Bishop Jr. Stadium

Region 7

1 Massillon Washington (12-0) vs. 3 Wadsworth (12-0) at North Canton Hoover Memorial Stadium

Region 8

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

Region 9

1 Canfield (11-1) vs. 2 Chagrin Falls Kenston (11-1) at Warren G. Harding Mollenkopf Stadium

Region 10

4 Norwalk (9-3) vs. 6 Sandusky (8-4) at First National Bank Field at Bellevue Athletic Facility

Region 11

4 Cols. Eastmoor Academy (11-1) vs. 6 Thornville Sheridan (11-1) at Lancaster Fulton Field

Region 12

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

Region 13

5 Girard (11-1) vs. 3 Hubbard (11-1) at Niles McKinley Bo Rein Stadium

Region 14

1 Bellville Clear Fork (12-0) vs. 2 St. Marys Memorial (11-1) at Bellefontaine AcuSport Stadium

Region 15

1 St. Clairsville (12-0) vs. 7 Newark Licking Valley (9-3) at Zanesville Sulsberger Stadium

Region 16

1 Cin. Wyoming (12-0) vs. 6 London (11-1) at Centerville Stadium

Division V – Games at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17

Region 17

1 Orrville (10-2) vs. 2 Akr. Manchester (9-3) at Canal Fulton Northwest Dr. Martin Smilek Stadium, Jim Schalmo Field

Region 18

1 Genoa Area (12-0) vs. 2 Liberty Center (11-1) at Millbury Lake Community Stadium

Region 19

1 Johnstown-Monroe (11-1) vs. 3 Byesville Meadowbrook (9-3) at Zanesville Maysville Athletic Complex

Region 20

1 Wheelersburg (11-1) vs. 2 Middletown Madison (12-0) at Hilliard Darby Stadium

Division VI – Games at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16

Region 21

1 Mogadore (11-1) vs. 2 Kirtland (12-0) at Aurora Veterans Stadium

Region 22

1 Attica Seneca East (11-1) vs. 7 Sherwood Fairview (9-3) at Findlay Donnell Stadium

Region 23

4 Shadyside (10-2) vs. 2 Beverly Ft. Frye (11-0) at Byesville Meadowbrook Eugene Capers Field

Region 24

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

Region 25

1 Cuyahoga Heights (10-2) vs. 7 Warren John F. Kennedy (7-5) at Macedonia Nordonia Boliantz Stadium

Region 26

5 McComb (11-1) vs. 2 Edgerton (12-0) at Defiance Fred Brown Athletic Complex

Region 27

1 Lucas (10-2) vs. 3 Glouster Trimble (11-1) at Hamilton Township Alumni Stadium

Region 28

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

Familiar Territory

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.

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