December 1, 2011
Prep Preview: State Championships
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It's that time of the year again; the OHSAA state football championships are here and will kickoff on Friday morning at 11 AM. The two-day event will take place at both Massillon Washington High School and Canton Fawcett Stadium throughout Friday and Saturday and six new state champions will be crowned. Below, we provide a brief preview of each of the six games and give you the scoop on what to watch for in each contest.
Division I Cleveland St. Ignatius vs. Pickerington Central
For Ohio State fans, this game will have the most appeal of any of the six games throughout the weekend. Both teams have future Buckeyes in St. Ignatius tight end Blake Thomas, Pickerington Central wide receiver Roger Lewis, and Central offensive lineman Jacoby Boren.
Though Central has the most individual talent in this match-up, that hasn't stopped St. Ignatius from having success in the past. The Wildcats have defeated several more talented teams during their playoff run this season and seem to have a hunger and focus that few teams in the state can match.
Central comes into this game red hot, on an 11-game winning streak after dropping its first two games of the season. The Tigers avenged a week two loss by defeating Cincinnati St. Xavier 14-7 last week. The Tigers' defense has been lights out during the playoff run and they have the athletes on the outside to make big plays on offense. Kickoff is set for 7 PM on Saturday night.
Prediction: Pickerington Central 21 St. Ignatius 17
Division II Avon vs. Trotwood-Madison
This is the match-up that most people have been waiting for around Ohio as these teams were the favorites in D2 heading into the playoffs. For Trotwood, the Rams are coming off two very interesting games in which they have only played one good half of football in each game. Still, head coach Mo Douglass and his crew has made it back to Massillon where they lost a year ago in the finals to Maple Heights.
Trotwood is as loaded with individual talent as any D2 team in recent memory with a handful of players holding Division I scholarship offers. Senior defensive back Bam Bradley has an Ohio State offer as does junior corner Cameron Burrows. Junior linebacker Mike McCray and junior defensive back Reon Dawson are also receiving interest from the Buckeyes.
Avon's talent should not be sold short either, the Eagles boast one of Ohio's best football players and top junior prospects in running back/defensive back Ross Douglas. The game is set to kickoff at 7 PM on Friday night.
Prediction: Trotwood-Madison 41 Avon 27
Division III Youngstown Cardinal Mooney vs. Springfield Shawnee
Though not the most star-studded of the six finals this weekend, this should be one of the better match-ups. Shawnee comes in with a perfect 14-0 record and has taken out some outstanding programs along the way.
Mooney is one of the top programs in Ohio, regardless of division, and is looking to add yet another football championship to its trophy case. For Ohio State fans, this game is worth watching if for nothing else than to get a look at Mooney's two outstanding juniors, safety Marcus McWilson and linebacker [/db]Courtney Love[/db]. This game will kickoff at 3 PM on Friday afternoon.
Prediction: Cardinal Mooney 35 Springfield Shawnee 21
Division IV Kenton vs. Creston Norwayne
The Maty Mauk show continues to roll on as the Kenton Wildcats enter the game 14-0. Kenton was among the early favorites to win the D4 crown this year and has not disappointed. Mauk just landed the always coveted Mr. Football award and will go down as the most prolific passer in the history of Ohio High School football.
Mauk isn't the only Division I prospect on Kenton's roster, however, as senior tight end/safety Brice Fackler has had an outstanding season and is committed to Kent State. Mauk and Fackler would love nothing more than to cap off their high school careers with a state title.
Norwayne has been a bit of a surprise during the postseason taking down three outstanding teams in a row in Orrville, Girard, and Johnstown-Monroe. Kenton will be the best team that Norwayne has faced so far but they have certainly been challenged in their road to the final. This game will kickoff at 3 PM on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Kenton 52 Norwayne 38
Division V Kirtland vs. Coldwater
Ursuline missing the postseason due to a brutal schedule left what many thought would be a wide open field in the Division V state tournament. That didn't necessarily turn out to be the case as Coldwater has once again made it to Canton and will face a Kirtland team that has routinely given Ursuline its best shot in the playoffs.
Kirtland has been flat out rolling all season long and enters this game undefeated at 14-0. On top of that, the Hornets have been punishing their opponents in the playoffs with the closest contest so far being a 35-7 win over Crestview in the Regional Finals.
This isn't Coldwater's best team in recent memory but the Cavs are certainly good enough to get the job done on Saturday. Despite losing three games so far, the Cavs play in one of the toughest small-school leagues in the nation and are well prepared to play in these types of games. This game will kickoff at 11 AM on Friday morning.
Prediction: Kirtland 35 Coldwater 28
Division VI Buckeye Central vs. Marion Local
Marion Local was considered among the favorites to win D6 before the season started and the Flyers have lived up to the hype by going 12-2 in a league loaded with small-school powers. Marion Local comes into this game sky high after knocking off defending champion Delphos St. John's 21-14 in the semi-finals last week.
Buckeye Central rolled through the regional playoffs, outscoring its opponents 123-7 over a three-game span. The Bucks did run into some trouble last week in the semi-finals, however, winning a 22-21 thriller over previously undefeated Western Reserve. For football purists, this is a must-see game. Kickoff is slated for 11 AM on Saturday morning.
Prediction: Marion Local 28 Buckeye Central 27
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