Competition Gets Stiffer for MAC Football Squads In Second Week of Playoffs

Staff Writer

For the most part, the frist week of the playoffs offered little drama when it came to Midwest Athletic Conference teams advancing.

Anna’s strong season ended at the hands of Middletown Madison 14-10, but the four winning MAC teams all won by 16 or more points — including Marion Local’s 27-0 romp over fellow conference foe Fort Recovery.

The next round promises to require a little more sweat and anxiety. Coldwater, which won 42-7 over Tipp City Bethel, now faces the top-seeded team in Division VI, Region 24 — Lima Central Catholic, which boasts a 10-1 record. The game will be played at Wapakoneta in front of what should be a big crowd to see two powerhouse programs that haven’t met any time in recent years. With Coldwater’s drop down to Division VI, they’ll meet in Auglaize County on Friday night.

Marion Local, fresh off that impressive win over Fort Recovery, now turns its focus to the Spencerville Bearcats. The Bearcats have won nine straight games since opening up 0-2 with losses to LCC and a puzzling 14-13 loss to a Parkway team that went 1-9 this fall. Spencerville’s rushing offense averages 35.5 points per game, but the Bearcats will be going up against a Marion Local defense that held All-Ohio running back Will Homan and Fort Recovery scoreless and has given up double-digit points in just two games this season. The defending state champion Flyers are 11-0 and carry a 23-game winning streak into the contest.

Minster scored 27 points in the second quarter to answer any questions about their playoff contest against Fort Loramie. Isaac Schmiesing and Jared Huelsman gashed the Redskin defense on the ground while Cody Frericks caught two key touchdown passes in the 40-24 victory that gave the Wildcats eight wins in a season for the sixth time in the last seven years. Minster now faces top-seeded Crestview, which is 10-1 and only has a loss to the aforementioned Spencerville Bearcats in Week 6. Minster and Crestview, nemesises in the baseball tournament in recent years, have never met on the gridiron.

Delphos St. John’s rebound season will continue. The Blue Jays, who hadn’t had a winning record since 2013 heading into the year, are now 7-4 after blowing out Riverside 48-21. The competition level takes  a big step up this week against a Sidney Lehman squad that is 10-1 and defeated Lima Perry 46-6 last week to open the playoffs. Lehman hasn’t lost since Week 1, when they fell to Fort Recovery 27-21 in overtime. Since, they’ve used an explosive offense that has scored 45 or more points in nine straight games — including a 77-14 win over Waynesfield-Goshen, a 63-0 win over Hardin Northern and a 62-8 win over Ridgemont. The Cavaliers can put up points fast, a challenge for a St. John’s team that was in the bottom half of the MAC in scoring defense at 21.1 points per game. The good news? The Blue Jays had the second-highest scoring offense in the conference at 28.5 points per game, a balanced attack that was the fifth-ranked passing and fifth-ranked rushing offense in the conference during the regular season.

Playoff Schedule

All Games Are Scheduled for Friday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Division VII
Region 25

1 Dalton (11-0) vs. 4 Windham (9-2) at North Canton Hoover Memorial Stadium
2 Cuyahoga Heights (9-1) vs. 3 East Canton (9-2) at Medina Ken Dukes Stadium
 Region 26
1 Norwalk St. Paul (11-0) vs. 5 Tiffin Calvert (8-3) at Fremont Ross Don Paul Stadium
2 McComb (9-2) vs. 3 Pandora-Gilboa (9-2) at Napoleon Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium
 Region 27
1 Danville (10-1) vs. 5 Glouster Trimble (9-2) at Newark Paul “Hoss” Starr Stadium at White Field
7 Portsmouth Sciotoville Community (9-2) vs. Hannibal River (7-4) at The Plains Athens R. Basil Rutter Field
 Region 28
1 Convoy Crestview (10-1) vs. 4 Minster (7-4) at Lima Spartan Stadium
2 Sidney Lehman Catholic (10-1) vs. 3 Delphos St. John’s (7-4) at Harrod Allen East Goodwin Field

Division VI
Region 21

1 Rootstown (11-0) vs. 4 Creston Norwayne (10-1) at Green Memorial Stadium
2 Mogadore (9-1) vs. 3 Kirtland (11-0) at Solon Stewart Stadium
 Region 22
1 Findlay Liberty-Benton (10-1) vs. 4 Hicksville (9-2) at Defiance Fred Brown Athletic Complex
7 Carey (8-3) vs. 6 Jeromesville Hillsdale (8-3) at Marengo Highland Fishburn Field at Covrett Stadium
 Region 23
1 Nelsonville-York (11-0) vs. 4 Beverly Fort Frye (10-1) at New Lexington Jim Rockwell Stadium
2 Chillicothe Southeastern (11-0) vs. 3 Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant (10-1) at Lucasville Valley Indians Stadium
 Region 24
1 Lima Central Catholic (10-1) vs. 4 Coldwater (8-3) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field
2 Maria Stein Marion Local (11-0) vs. 3 Spencerville (9-2) at Piqua Alexander Stadium

Division V
Region 17
1 Canfield South Range (11-0) vs. 4 Akron Manchester (9-2) at Louisville Leopard Stadium
7 Wickliffe (8-3) vs. 3 Sullivan Black River (10-1) at North Ridgeville Ranger Stadium
 Region 18
1 Pemberville Eastwood (11-0) vs. 5 Tontogany Otsego (9-2) at Millbury Lake Community Stadium
2 Marion Pleasant (9-1) vs. 3 Archbold (9-2) at Findlay Donnell Stadium
 Region 19
1 Wheelersburg (11-0) vs. 5 Gahanna Cols. Academy (9-2) at Chillicothe Herrnstein Field
2 Portsmouth West (10-1) vs. 3 Johnstown-Monroe (9-2) at Chillicothe Zane Trace Athletic Facility
Region 20
8 Cin. Reading (8-3) vs. 5 West Jefferson (10-0) at Xenia Doug Adams Stadium
2 Middletown Madison (9-2) vs. 3 Cin. Hills Christian Academy (8-2) at Liberty Twp. Lakota East High School

Division IV
Region 14
2 Shelby (11-0) vs. 3 St. Marys Memorial (10-1) at Marion Harding Ohio Health Field at Harding Stadium

Division II
Region 8
1 Cin. La Salle (9-2) vs. 4 Sidney (10-1) at Miamisburg Holland Field