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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

OHSAA football fun facts and figures

VW independent sports/submitted information

COLUMBUS — 719 Ohio high schools began the football season in August. 224 qualified for the playoffs in late October. Now 14 have advanced to this week’s state championship games. All seven state championship games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Championship Games Return to Canton

After hosting the OHSAA state championship games in Columbus throughout the 1980s, natural grass was installed in Ohio Stadium in Columbus in the spring of 1990 and OSU asked the OHSAA to move its football state championship games to another location. The OHSAA found a home in Stark County, with Canton Fawcett Stadium and Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium sharing the state championship games for 24 years until 2014 when the finals returned to the ‘Shoe.

Back in the Spotlight

Six of the 14 state finalists are making a return trip from the 2016 state championship games that were held at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
– Akron Hoban is the two-time defending Division III state champ, but is playing in Division II this year.
– Trotwood-Madison was the 2016 Division III runner-up to Akron Hoban.
– Steubenville was the 2015 & 2016 Division IV runner-up to Columbus Bishop Hartley both years.
– Maria Stein Marion Local is the defending Division VI state champ.
– Cuyahoga Heights was the 2016 Division VI runner-up to Marion Local, but is playing in Division VII this year.
– Minster was the 2016 Division VII runner-up to Warren JFK.

State Finalists by Regional Seed

The Division V final between Pemberville Eastwood and Wheelersburg is the only state championship game to feature two teams that were a No. 1 seed in their respective regions. The following regional seeds have advanced to the state finals:
No. 1 seed – 5 (Hoban, Trotwood, Steubenville, Wheelersburg, Eastwood)
No. 2 seed – 3 (Winton Woods, Marion Local, Cuyahoga Hts.)
No. 3 seed – 3 (Pickerington Central, Mentor, Kirtland)
No. 4 seed – 2 (Clinton-Massie, Minster)
No. 5 seed – 1 (Tri-Valley)
No. 6 seed – 0
No. 7 seed – 0
No. 8 seed – 0State Championship Game Experience

Maria Stein Marion Local (Division VI) is making its 12th trip to the state championship game, which is the most among all 2017 finalists and in the Top 5 all-time in Ohio. The Flyers have nine titles and two runner-up finishes. Steubenville (Division IV) is making its ninth appearance (three titles, five runner-up). The other state finalists include Mentor (three appearances, all runners-up), Pickerington Central (two, both runners-up), Cincinnati Winton Woods (one, title), Akron Archbishop Hoban (two, both titles), Trotwood-Madison (six, one title and five runners-up), Dresden Tri-Valley (first appearance), Clarksville Clinton-Massie (two, both titles), Wheelersburg (one, title), Pemberville Eastwood (first appearance), Kirtland (five, three titles, two runners-up), Cuyahoga Heights (one, runner-up) and Minster (three, two titles, one runner-up).

Tri-Valley’s Cinderella Story

Dresden Tri-Valley will be making its first state championship game appearance in school history when they meet undefeated AP No. 1 Trotwood-Madison Saturday night in Canton. For perspective, the Scotties’ last two playoff wins came over opponents (Columbus. Bishop Hartley and Akron SVSM) with a combined 13 state championship game appearances and 10 state titles. The Scotties are the only team remaining in any division that did not start the playoffs with a home game in Week 11. They are one of only two teams to make the state finals that were not ranked in the final AP poll. The Scotties will look to become the first team in their conference (Muskingum Valley League) to win a state football title since Crooksville won the Class A state championship over Ashtabula St. John at the Akron Rubber Bowl in 1977.

In Division V, top-ranked Pemberville Eastwood is also making its first trip to the state championship game.

MAC is Back in Divisions VI and VII

A member of the Midwest Athletic Conference has made the Division VII state championship in every year of the smallest-school division’s existence (2013). MAC teams are 3-1 in Division VII state title games, with wins coming from Maria Stein Marion Local (2013 & ’14) and Fort Recovery (2015). The MAC’s only loss came at the hands of Warren John F. Kennedy over Minster in last year’s title game. In Division VI, a MAC team has been in the state championship game eight of the last nine years (all but 2013), with six titles during that span. When the OHSAA expanded to six divisions in 1994 through 2012, a MAC team played in 19 of 23 Division VI state championship games, winning 15 championships.

Also of note, MAC member Coldwater played in the previous eight Division V state championship games, winning four titles. Coldwater moved to Division VI this year and lost to Marion Local in a regional championship game.

Strength of Schedule

Akron Archbishop Hoban (Division II) and Maria Stein Marion Local (Division VI) both defeated five playoff teams during their regular-season campaigns, tied for the most of any state finalist in all divisions:
– Hoban: Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (31-13 in Week 2), Akron SVSM (21-7 in Week 5), Parma Padua Franciscan (49-10 in Week 7), Chardon NDCL (42-0 in Week 9), Cle. Benedictine (35-17 in Week 10)
– Marion Local: Day. Chaminade Julienne (35-7 in Week 1), Coldwater (13-7 in Week 3), Minster (21-7 in Week 4), Anna (32-7 in Week 6), Fort Recovery (21-10 in Week 8)

Noting the Undefeated

Six teams will look to cap off a perfect 15-0 season this weekend in Canton, as Trotwood-Madison (Division III), Steubenville (Division IV), Pemberville Eastwood (Division V), Wheelersburg (Division V), Maria Stein Marion Local (Division VI) and Kirtland (Division VI) all remain unbeaten. The Division V & Division VI state championship games are the only matchups between two undefeated teams.

Proving the Pollsters

Four of the seven teams that won Associated Press poll championships at the end of October have advanced to the state finals, as Trotwood-Madison (Division III), Steubenville (Division IV), Pemberville Eastwood (Division V) and Maria Stein Marion Local (Division VI) will all look to cap off perfect seasons with a state championship. Two teams not ranked in the final AP poll have advanced to the state finals – Dresden Tri-Valley (Division III) and Minster (Division VII).

Last year, the only team to be ranked No. 1 in the final poll and go on to win a state championship was Maria Stein Marion Local (Division VI).
Twenty-one of the 28 state semifinalists were ranked in the final poll. Thirty-five of the 70 teams that appeared in the final Associated Press poll reached the regional finals.

AP No. 1 vs. AP No. 2

The Division VI state championship game between Maria Stein Marion Local (AP #1) and Kirtland (AP #2) is the only state championship game to feature the top two teams ranked in the final AP poll at the end of October. Other notable title game top-five AP matchups are:
– Division V: AP #1 Pemberville Eastwood (14-0) vs. AP #3 Wheelersburg (14-0)
– Division II: AP #2 Cin. Winton Woods (13-1) vs. AP #5 Akr. Archbishop Hoban (13-1)

POSTED: 11/29/17 at 8:25 am. FILED UNDER: Sports