The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022

Pigskin Pick’Em: regional championships

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Eight area teams will compete for regional championships this week — two from the Western Buckeye League, one from the Northwest Conference, four from the Midwest Athletic Conference and one independent. 

For what it’s worth, six of the eight remaining area teams were ranked in the final Associated Press poll of the season – Van Wert, Versailles, Coldwater, Lima Central Catholic, Marion Local and St. Henry. Of course, that has no bearing on how the teams will actually do this weekend.

Last week my record was 7-2, with misses on Ottawa-Glandorf/Otsego and Lima Central Catholic/Edon. My overall postseason record is now 35-9 or 79.5 percent. 

Here are the picks for eight area the regional championship games. 

Division IV Region 14

Van Wert (12-1) vs. Port Clinton (12-1)

As mentioned in Wednesday’s preview, Port Clinton has the biggest offensive line Van Wert has seen all season. However, the Cougars undoubtedly have the advantage in the speed department and that’s the name of the game now. 

Port Clinton will try to slow the tempo of the game but in the end, I can’t see them keeping pace with the Cougars, slower tempo or not. For that reason, I’m picking Van Wert to win a second straight Region 14 championship. 

The pick: Van Wert 

Division V Region 18 

Elyria Catholic (11-2) vs. Ottawa-Glandorf (10-3)

A blocked field goal as time expired propelled Ottawa-Glandorf to a 24-22 win over Otsego and a spot in the regional finals. 

Some may say that makes the Titans a team of destiny and I wouldn’t necessarily argue against that. However, Elyria Catholic is probably a better team than most people realize. The Panthers have played ‘up’ against bigger schools for much of the year and have seven wins against Division II or III schools. 

As much as I want to see the Titans win, I think Elyria Catholic will be too much for Ottawa-Glandorf. 

The pick: Elyria Catholic 

Division V Region 20 

Preble Shawnee (13-0) vs. Versailles (12-1)

Versailles was ranked No. 8 in the final Associated Press poll while Shawnee was ranked ninth, so on paper, it appears the two teams are pretty evenly matched. 

However, I’ve learned it’s not a good idea to pick against MAC schools in the playoffs and as good as Shawnee may be, I have a hard time seeing Versailles losing this game. 

The pick: Versailles 

Division VI Region 24

Allen East (10-3) vs. Coldwater (11-2)

It’s been a great playoff run for the Northwest Conference’s only remaining playoff team but unfortunately, the Mustangs will face defending Division VI state champion Coldwater, who knows a thing or two about winning playoff games. 

I really believe Allen East is playing at a high level but as mentioned before, it’s tough to pick against a MAC team in the playoffs. At least for another week, the possibility remains the conference could have three state champions in three different divisions.

The pick: Coldwater 

Division VII Region 26

Hopewell-London (12-1) vs. Lima Central Catholic (11-2)

After holding on for dear life against Crestview in the opening round of the playoffs, the Thunderbirds have posted back-to-back blowout wins and seem to be on a real roll. 

Hopewell-London is no slouch and finished No. 2 in the final AP poll of the season. I’m kind of stuck on this one, especially after picking against Lima Central Catholic the last couple of weeks. Momentum is everything in the playoffs and while both teams have performed well the last couple of weeks, I’m giving a slight edge to the Thunderbirds.

The pick: Lima Central Catholic

Division VII Region 28

Marion Local (13-0) vs. St. Henry (10-3)

The MAC is guaranteed to have a team in the Division VII state semifinals.

These two teams met in Week No. 4 of the regular season and Marion Local won 20-7. I can see a somewhat similar result this time with the Flyers again coming out on top. 

The pick: Marion Local 

POSTED: 11/18/21 at 4:17 am. FILED UNDER: Sports