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Wednesday, May. 22, 2024

Pigkskin Pick’Em: State Finals

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

The end of the 2017 high school football season is upon us, with seven championship games to be played in three days in Canton.

Last week, I was 1-1 predicting games. In Division VI I correctly picked Marion Local to defeat Liberty Benton, but was wrong when I picked St. Paul to defeat Minster in the Division VII state semifinals. My overall postseason record is 23-3 (88.4 percent).

My final record could wind up looking excellent or average because in my mind, four of the title games could go either way. Here are my final predictions for the 2017 season (predicted winner in bold):

Thursday, November 30
Division II – Akron Hoban (13-1) vs. Cincinnati Winton Woods (13-1): Hoban is trying to win the school’s third consecutive state championship, which is incredibly difficult to do. This appears to be an evenly matched game. I’m giving Hoban a slight edge, due to title game experience.

Friday, December 1
Division VII – Cuyahoga Heights (12-1) vs. Minster (10-4): This is another tough one to pick. After a 3-4 start, Minster is on a roll, while Cuyahoga Heights is no slouch. After a runner-up finish last year, I’m picking Minster.

Division V – Wheelersburg (14-0) vs. Pemberville Eastwood (14-0): Another tossup, but I’m picking Wheelersburg.

Division I – Pickerington Central (13-1) vs. Mentor (13-1): This has the potential to be a very good game, with each school in search of its first state football title. I’m going with Pickerington Central, but I won’t be surprised if Mentor wins.

Saturday, December 2
Division VI – Marion Local (14-0) vs. Kirtland (14-0): These two teams have tangled before, but I’m predicting Marion Local’s smothering defense will lead the Flyers to yet another state title.

Division IV – Clarksville Clinton-Massie (13-1) vs. Steubenville (14-0): Tough draw for Clinton-Massie. I like the Big Red win this one, perhaps by a couple of touchdowns.

Div. III – Dresden Tri-Valley (13-1) vs. Trotwood-Madison (14-0): Tri-Valley has been the Cinderella story of the playoffs, with wins over Marion-Franklin, Bellefontaine, Columbus Bishop Hartley and Akron SVSM. Unfortunately for the Scotties, they have to take on a team that some believe to be the best in Ohio, regardless of division.

POSTED: 11/30/17 at 12:04 am. FILED UNDER: Sports