The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

Pigskin Pick’Em: regional semifinals

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor 

The opening two rounds of the high school football playoffs are in the books and as expected, there were a few upsets along with a number of games that produced some lopsided results. Now, games are expected to become much closer and much more competitive. 

Last week I went 13-4 (76.4 percent), certainly nothing to write home about. My postseason record is now 33-7 (82.5 percent).

Nine regional semifinal games involving area teams are on this week’s Pigskin Pick’Em slate.

Division III Region 12

Hamilton-Badin (11-0) vs. St. Marys Memorial (10-2)

Since defeating Van Wert in Week No. 5, the Roughriders have been on a roll but they’ll face a stiff test against the Rams. Hamilton-Badin finished as the No. 2 team in the state in the final Associated Press poll and the Rams haven’t allowed a single point in two playoff games.

As much as I’d like to see the Roughriders win, the nod goes to Badin.

The pick: Badin 

Division IV Region 14

Clyde (10-2) vs. Van Wert (11-1)

As you know it’s a matchup of the last two Division IV state champions. 

Last week, Van Wert pulled away from Wauseon 53-20 while Clyde survived a 42-35 double overtime nail biter over Shelby. I expect this to be a competitive game and it’s one I’m still concerned about. I’m fairly familiar with the Fliers and I can they’re for real and can pose some real challenges. 

Having said that, as the week goes along I’ve become more comfortable with Van Wert’s chances. 

The pick: Van Wert 

Division V Region 18

Otsego (11-0) vs. Ottawa-Glandorf (9-3)

Another tough matchup for a Western Buckeye League team but then again, most games usually are tough once you reach the regional semifinal level. 

Otsego is the No. 3 team in the state and is considered the favorite but I won’t be at all surprised if this is close. Ottawa-Glandorf’s defense has given up just 13 points since a Week No. 13 loss to Van Wert. 

I want to pick the Titans in an upset but I think the Knights will pull out the win.

The pick: Otsego

Division V Region 20 

Versailles (11-1) vs. Taft (9-2)

The only loss by Versailles this season: 19-17 to Marion Local. After losing two straight to open the season, Taft has won nine straight but I’m going with the Tigers. 

The pick: Versailles

Division VI Region 24 

Mechanicsburg (12-0) vs. Coldwater (10-2)

These two teams met in the playoffs last year and the Cavaliers enjoyed a 35-14 win, then went on to win the state championship.

I don’t necessarily think it’ll be a three touchdown game this time but I do Coldwater wins this one. Regardless, the winner will be considered the favorite to win next week’s regional championship. 

The pick: Coldwater 

Allen East (9-3) vs. Anna (6-6)

Maybe I’m over complicating it but this is kind of a tough one to pick.

It’s hard to pick against MAC teams in the playoffs and it doesn’t seem like prudent to go with a No. 11 seed with a .500 record. I literally feel like I should just toss a coin here but instead I’ll out on a bit of a limb and say Allen East pulls off what some may consider a mild upset.

The pick: Allen East 

Division VII Region 26

Edon (11-1) vs. Lima Central Catholic (10-2)

I’ll just get right to it – Edon’s makeshift schedule has prepared the Bombers for this game. They had to scramble more than once this season to find an opponent on short notice but they teams they scheduled were good, solid opponents. 

I’m going with the Bombers over the Thunderbirds. 

The pick: Edon

Division VII Region 28

Marion Local (12-0) vs. Riverside (9-3)

With all due respect to Riverside, there’s no sense in dragging this out. Marion Local wins and probably by a fairly hefty margin. 

The pick: Marion Local 

Tri-Village (11-1) vs. St. Henry (9-3)

This is an intriguing one. As I mentioned earlier, it’s usually not a good idea to pick against a MAC school in the playoffs but Tri-Village certainly has a formidable program. The Patriots knocked off New Bremen last Saturday, can they make it two straight against the MAC? 

I’m going to say no, St. Henry wins a fairly close one and sets up an all-MAC regional final.

The pick: St. Henry

POSTED: 11/11/21 at 4:59 am. FILED UNDER: Sports