Well the second big weekend in Ohio High School Football is only a few hours away. We thought we would wait until the end of the week to look at the games for Friday night and make some bold picks along the way.
The final four has two #1 seeds still playing and both will face off against each other in a big game at Dayton's Welcome Stadium at 7:30 p.m. The other game pit's a #2 and #3 seed at Parma Byers Field at 7:30 p.m. also.
Avon Lake came into the playoffs with a perfect record and looking for a state title. Having beat Ashland, Maumee and Defiance to reach the State Semifinals, they are looking to beat #3 seed Chardon from Region 5. When looking at Chardon many things jump out at you.
8/22H Shaw (0-10) [2:5] W 55-20
8/29H Kenston (4-6) [2:5] W 24-14
9/5A Lakeside (7-3) [1:1] W 34-24
9/12A Mentor (10-0) [1:1] L 7-78
9/19H Geneva (2-8) [2:5] W 41-6
9/26A North (5-5) [1:1] W 42-13
10/3H Beaver Local (10-0) [3:11] L 7-35
10/10H Riverside (2-8) [1:1] W 35-6
10/17A Madison (7-3) [2:5] W 28-14
10/24H South (4-6) [2:5] W 34-6
They played five teams with 500 records and lost two of them. While one was DI power Mentor ( 10 - 0 ), the other was DIII Beaver Local ( 10 - 0 ). They have been playing great football during the playoffs with wins over Maple Heights 37-22, Macedonia Nordonia 37-7 and Copley 21-10 to reach this game. They look prime and ready but will have a giant test with Avon Lake.
Avon Lake is having the perfect season, and have great hopes of playing another week in the DII Championship. They are facing a tough team who is playing its best football on the season in Chardon. When you look at the teams they played you get a feeling that they have not played the best teams in the state. They played a total of four teams with a record of over 500, the problem is one team is at 500, while two are at 6-4 and the other at 7-3, this could mean that Chardon has prepared during the regular season for the big task of a State Championship while Avon Lake got some computer points from playing two DI teams.
8/22A Revere (3-7) [2:5] W 49-0
8/29H Shaw (0-10) [2:5] W 50-6
9/5H Elyria (3-7) [1:2] W 41-7
9/12H Olmsted Falls (6-4) [2:5] W 35-10
9/19A North Olmsted (5-5) [1:1] W 13-6
9/26H Fairview (2-8) [3:9] W 48-14
10/3A Bay (2-8) [3:9] W 56-0
10/10H Westlake (6-4) [2:5] W 59-0
10/17A Steele (7-3) [2:6] W 20-3
10/24A Rocky River (4-6) [3:9] W 55-21
During the playoffs the #2 seed has advanced by beating Ashland 14-3, Maumee 41-7 and Defiance 27-6. OPS had Avon Lake as the #1 team in DII in the final LaptopWorld.com poll and even though I feel the Chardon is playing some of the best football in the state, I will take Avon Lake as the winner in a close game.
The OPS Top 10 final state poll had Columbus Brookhaven as the #2 team and Edgewood as the #6 team. While Edgewood was a late team coming into the poll, they have made big time believers in myself and our entire staff. But will they have enough for Brookhaven? Lets take a look and make a pick.
Brookhaven has advanced by beating Uniontown Lake 21-14, Whitehall-Yearling 33-27 and Independence 14-7 to reach this game. In looking at who they played this season you see four teams with 500 or better records. Until the playoffs they haven't had a tough game since week three of the season when they beat Walnut Ridge 15-14. Look at who they played during the regular season.
8/22A Chillicothe (5-5) [2:8] W 22-10
8/29A Westland (4-6) [1:3] W 21-14
9/5H Walnut Ridge (8-2) [2:7] W 15-14
9/12H Centennial (2-8) [3:10] W 41-25
9/19A Linden McKinley (1-8) [3:10] W 55-0
9/26A Beechcroft (8-2) [3:10] W 34-14
10/3H East (1-9) [2:7] W 48-0
10/10A Northland (4-6) [2:7] W 63-6
10/17H Whetstone (5-5) [1:3] W 28-14
10/24A Mifflin (4-6) [2:7] W 42-15
While the playoffs have been hard, this team has held its own and will have another big test with Trenton Edgewood.
Edgewood, when looking at who they beat in the playoffs you see the regular season was no fluke. Vandalia Butler was a great team even with a 6-4 record and in winning 35-32 they poised themselves to be in this position. The other teams they beat Dayton Carrol 28-10 and Kings Mills Kings 33-6 have this team poised and ready for the next level and a championship run. When looking at who Edgewood has beat you see a defense that hasn't allowed a lot of points this season. You also see that they played and beat 6 teams with records of 500 or better.
8/29A Ross (7-3) [3:12] W 14-0
9/5H Springboro (5-5) [2:8] W 40-6
9/12A Miamisburg (6-4) [1:4] W 30-6
9/19H Carroll (7-3) [2:8] W 34-23
9/26A West Carrollton (4-6) [2:8] W 34-6
10/3A Lemon-Monroe (0-10) [5:20] W 48-0
10/10H Bishop Fenwick (7-3) [5:20] W 49-20
10/17A Franklin (1-9) [3:12] W 46-17
10/24H Talawanda (3-7) [2:8] W 57-7
This should be a great game and one I would pay to see. My pick is a hard one but my gut is telling me that Edgewood, the team I or the OPS staff didn't give much respect during the season will prove us all wrong and advance. Pick: Trenton Edgewood.
Will Avon Lake and Edgewood play next weekend in the finals? We all find out on Friday night.