The 2019 OHSAA football regional alignments were announced back on June 13 and this weekend the winners of those regions will be crowned. Of this weekend’s 28 regional final games, 10 matchups feature the No. 1 vs. No. 2 seeded teams in their region, while three No. 8 seeds have advanced to the third round.
There are 14 undefeated teams still alive in the playoffs, although there are no matchups this week between undefeated teams.
Of the 56 teams that have advanced to the regional finals, there are 17 No. 1 seeds, 14 No. 2 seeds, seven No. 3 seeds, six No. 4 seeds, two No. 5 seeds, four No. 6 seeds, three No. 7 seeds (Trotwood-Madison, Bloom Carroll and Germantown Valley View) and three No. 8 seeds (Clyde, Carey and New Bremen).
Only one regional final features two teams that both won on the road in the first round. That is in Division IV Region 14 when sixth-seeded Ottawa-Glandorf takes on eighth-seeded Clyde.
There are three schools in the regional finals that are making their first appearance in the playoffs this decade, including New Bremen (last appearance was 2004), Howard East Knox (last appearance was 2005) and Groveport Madison (last appearance was 2007).
Home team listed first. Pairings include seed and record.
All kickoffs at 7:00 PM unless otherwise noted.
Division I – Games at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22
1 Mentor (12-0) vs. 2 Lakewood St. Edward (11-1) at Parma Byers Field at Robert M. Boulton Stadium
1 Springfield (11-1) vs. 3 Dublin Coffman (10-2) at London Bowlus Field
4 Groveport-Madison (10-2) vs. 2 Pickerington Central (11-1) at Columbus St. Francis DeSales Alumni Stadium
4 Cincinnati Elder (10-2) vs. 3 Cincinnati Colerain (11-1) at Mason Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium
Division II – Games at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22
1 Massillon Washington (12-0) vs. 3 Akron Archbishop Hoban (11-1) at the University of Akron InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field
1 Avon (12-0) vs. 2 Avon Lake (11-1) at North Ridgeville Ranger Stadium
1 Toledo Central Catholic (12-0) vs. 6 Lewis Center Olentangy (7-5) at Tiffin Columbian Frost-Kalnow Stadium
1 Cincinnati La Salle (10-2) vs. 3 Harrison (11-1) at West Chester Lakota West Firebird Stadium
Division III – Games at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22
4 Aurora (12-0) vs. 6 Chardon (10-2) at Solon Stewart Field
5 Sandusky (9-3) vs. 2 Mansfield Senior (11-1) at Clyde Stadium
1 Columbus Bishop Hartley (11-1) vs. 2 Plain City Jonathan Alder (12-0) at Hilliard Darby Stadium
4 Hamilton Badin (9-3) vs. 7 Trotwood-Madison (9-3) at Miamisburg Holland Field
Division IV – Games at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23
1 Perry (12-0) vs. 2 Poland Seminary (10-2) at Austintown-Fitch Greenwood Chevrolet Falcon Stadium
8 Clyde (8-4) vs. 6 Ottawa-Glandorf (9-3) at Findlay Donnell Stadium
1 Newark Licking Valley (12-0) vs. 7 Carroll Bloom-Carroll (10-2) at Columbus St. Francis DeSales Alumni Stadium
1 Cincinnati Wyoming (12-0) vs. 7 Germantown Valley View (10-2) at Cincinnati Princeton Mancuso Viking Stadium
Division V – Games at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23
1 Kirtland (12-0) vs. 2 Akron Manchester (9-3) at Bedford Bearcat Stadium
1 Oak Harbor (12-0) vs. 2 Orrville (11-1) at Elyria Mercy Field at Ely Stadium
1 Ironton (11-1) vs. 2 West Lafayette Ridgewood (12-0) at Nelsonville-York Boston Field
4 West Liberty-Salem (11-1) vs. 2 West Jefferson (11-1) at Sidney Memorial Stadium
Division VI – Games at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22
1 New Middletown Springfield (12-0) vs. 2 Mogadore (11-1) at Canfield South Range Ralph and Doris Witmer Field
8 Carey (7-5) vs. 3 Howard East Knox (12-0) at Marion Harding Ohio Health Field at Harding Stadium
5 Anna (11-1) vs. 3 Archbold (11-1) at Lima Senior Spartan Stadium
4 Covington (10-2) vs. 6 Mechanicsburg (10-2) at Piqua Alexander Stadium
Division VII – Games at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23
1 Cuyahoga Heights (10-1) vs. 2 Lucas (10-2) at Canal Fulton Northwest Don Schalmo Field at Dr. Martin Smilek Stadium
1 Leipsic (11-1) vs. 3 Hamler Patrick Henry (9-3) at Defiance Fred Brown Athletic Complex
1 Canal Winchester Harvest Prep (11-1) vs. 2 Newark Catholic (9-3) at Westerville Central Warhawk Field
8 New Bremen (9-3) vs. 2 Maria Stein Marion Local (10-2) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field
Playoffs Format and State Finals Schedule
During the first four rounds of the playoffs, Division I, II, III and VI games are on Fridays. Division IV, V and VII playoff games are on Saturdays. All games will kick off at 7 p.m.
The state championship games remain in Canton this year at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. One division will be selected to play its state championship game on Thursday, Dec. 5 (7 p.m. kickoff). There will be three state championship games on Friday, Dec. 6, followed by three championship games on Saturday, Dec. 7. Game times on Friday and Saturday are 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The divisional assignments will be announced after the state semifinal games.
Fans are encouraged to buy their playoff tickets in advance online at www.OHSAA.org/tickets, as the participating schools keep a portion of presale ticket revenue. For regional playoff games, tickets are $9 at the gate. All-session ticket books for the state championship games are on sale. The top tier ticket option includes indoor access in the stadium club during and between games. A premium parking pass is also available for sale. Access to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is included with some ticket packages.
About the Regionals and State Semifinals
The regional playoffs follow bracket format, beginning with the regional quarterfinals.
Regional Quarterfinals (Nov. 8 and 9): During the first round, the higher seed will host the playoff game at its home stadium or the stadium of its choosing. The No. 8 seed will play at the No. 1 seed, the No. 7 seed at No. 2, etc.
Regional Semifinals (Nov. 15 and16), Regional Finals (Nov. 22 and 23) and State Semifinals (Nov. 29 and 30): 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 spaces available, 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.
Proving the Pollsters
There are two regional finals that feature the No. 1 vs. No. 2 ranked teams in the final Associated Press state polls. Those occur in Division I, Region 1 when No. 1-ranked Mentor takes on No. 2 Lakewood St. Edward, while in Division III, No. 1 Columbus Bishop Hartley faces No. 2 Plain City Jonathan Alder. Also of note, in Division II Region 5, No. 1 Massillon Washington goes up against third-ranked Akron Archbishop Hoban in a rematch of last year’s Division II state championship game. Also, in Division V Region 19. No. 2 West Lafayette Ridgewood battles with fifth-ranked Ironton.
All 70 teams that were ranked in the final Associated Press state poll qualified for the playoffs. 58 of those teams advanced to the second round and now 36 have advanced to the regional finals.
The Region 6 final between Avon and Avon Lake is the closest geographic proximity for any two schools playing in the regional finals in any division (4.5 miles apart). In total, there are six regional final matchups of schools within 10 miles of each other.
Region 6: 1 Avon (12-0) vs. 2 Avon Lake (11-1) - 4.5 miles apart
Region 3: 4 Groveport-Madison (10-2) vs. 2 Pickerington Central (11-1) - 6.95 miles apart
Region 28: 8 New Bremen (9-3) vs. 2 Maria Stein Marion Local (10-2) - 7.3 miles apart
Region 4: 4 Cin. Elder (10-2) vs. 3 Cin. Colerain (11-1) - 8.37 miles apart
Region 26: 1 Leipsic (11-1) vs. 3 Hamler Patrick Henry (9-3) - 8.75 miles apart
Region 8: 1 Cin La Salle (10-2) vs. 3 Harrison (11-1) - 10.8 miles apart
Regular Season Rematches
There are five regional finals that feature rematches of regular-season contests:
REGION 1: Mentor def. St. Ed 29-28 in Week 1
REGION 3: Groveport-Madison def. Pickerington Central 19-14 in Week 4
REGION 6: Avon def. Avon Lake 13-12 in Week 1
REGION 10: Mansfield Senior def. Sandusky 21-14 in Week 5
REGION 20: West Liberty-Salem def. West Jefferson 42-39 in Week 10
First-Time Playoff Winners Bow Out
In the first round of the playoffs, five schools won the first playoff game in their school’s history, including Streetsboro (Div. III), Wintersville Indian Creek (Div. IV), Cuyahoga Falls CVCA (Div. IV), Cincinnati Taft (Div. V) and Lima Perry (Div. VII). Those five schools were defeated in the second round.
Noting the Undefeated and .500
There are 14 total undefeated teams left in the playoffs, but none are playing against each other in the regional finals. Last week in the second round, three matchups pitted undefeated teams against each other.
Six teams with 5-5 records qualified for the playoffs this year and two of them have advanced to the regional finals, including Lewis Center Olentangy in Division I and Carey in Division VI.
Only 28 teams in Ohio went undefeated this season. Of note, two undefeated schools, Gibsonburg and Northwood, did not qualify for the playoffs. Of the 26 undefeated schools that did qualify, all of them except two hosted a first-round playoff game. There was one first-round game that featured two undefeated teams. That occurred in Div. VI, Region 21, when Glouster Trimble hosted and defeated Salineville Southern Local.
In 2018, of the 24 teams that went undefeated during the regular-season, 20 of them won their first-round playoff games, including three on the road (Garfield Heights in Div. II, McDonald in Div. VI and Pandora-Gilboa in Div. VII). In the playoff era (since 1972), the fewest number of undefeated teams was 2015 when only 22 teams went undefeated.
Last year a state record 11 schools with 5-5 records qualified for the playoffs. Only one of those 5-5 teams - Warren John F. Kennedy in Division VII - won their regional quarterfinal game. JFK reached the regional finals.
Noting 2018 State Finalists
Division I – Both Lakewood St. Edward (state champion) and Cincinnati Colerain (state runner-up) are playing in the regional finals.
Division II – Akron Archbishop Hoban (champion) and Massillon Washington (runner-up) play each other in the region 5 final.
Division III – Chagrin Falls Kenston (champion) lost to New Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs and Kettering Archbishop Alter (runner-up) lost to Hamilton Badin in the regional semifinals.
Division IV – Cincinnati Wyoming (champion) plays in the Region 16 final, and Girard (runner-up) lost to Perry in the first round.
Division V – Orrville (champion) plays Oak Harbor in the Region 18 final, and Johnstown-Monroe (runner-up) did not qualify for the playoffs.
Division VI – Kirtland (champion) plays in the Region 17 final, and Maria Stein Marion Local (runner-up) plays New Bremen in the Region 28 final. Kirtland moved up from Division VI to Division V, and Marion Local moved down from Division VI to Division VII.
Division VII – McComb (champion) lost to Edgerton in the first round of the playoffs, and Glouster Trimble (runner-up) lost to New Middletown Springfield in the second round of the playoffs. Glouster Trimble moved from Division VII to Division VI.