The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021

Pigskin Pick’Em: OHSAA state semifinals

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

It’s OHSAA state semifinal weekend and it’s no surprise that three MAC teams are still in the running to qualify for next week’s championship games.

In addition to the MAC teams, Ottawa-Glandorf is representing the Western Buckeye League but has a daunting challenge ahead.

Last week I went just 3-3, easily my worst mark during the regular season or the playoffs. It dropped my overall postseason record to 38-12. Here’s hoping for a better record this week.

Here are the picks for four state semifinal games involving area teams. Next week I’ll make predictions for all seven state championship games, regardless of which teams are playing.

Division V

Ottawa-Glandorf (10-1) vs. Kirtland (13-0)

What a playoff run it’s been for the Titans. They knocked off the top two seeds in Region 18 and allowed six points or less in three of their four playoff games.

Now, Ottawa-Glandorf has the toughest task of all. The Kirtland Hornets have won the last three state championships and have been in the semifinals for the last 11 seasons. Oh, and the Hornets have won 54 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the entire country.

While I’d like to see the Titans win, history appears to be on the side of Kirtland. Yes, upsets happen and this would be a huge one, but I don’t see it happening.

The pick: Kirtland

Canal Winchester Harvest Prep (10-2) vs. Versailles (13-1)

Fun fact: Versailles has given up just 29 points in its last six games, including 14 in the playoff opener against Cincinnati Summit Country Day.

While Harvest Prep has played a formidable schedule, I can’t help but think Versailles is battle tested a bit with a MAC schedule. This has the potential to be a close and entertaining game and a couple of touchdowns might be enough to win it.

I briefly considered going with the Warriors but I’m going to stick with the Tigers in this one, which should set up a championship game against Kirtland.

The pick: Versailles

Division VI

Coldwater (12-2) vs. West Jefferson (13-1)

Defending state champion Coldwater is on a roll and with all due respect toward West Jefferson, I think the Cavaliers win this one.

Coldwater is 84-19 all time in the playoffs and will put that experience to good use. West Jeffrerson is no slouch in the playoffs either, with an overall record of 32-21 in the postseason.

I’m going with the Cavaliers to make another appearance in the Division VI title game.

The pick: Coldwater

Division VII

Marion Local (14-0) vs. Hopewell-Loudon (13-1)

Marion Local’s overall playoff record is even more impressive than Coldwater’s. The Flyers have played in 100 postseason games all-time and have won 88 of them, but enough with the history lesson.

This is a game that pits the No. 1 team in the final Associated Press poll (Marion Local) against the No. 2 team (Hopewell-Loudon).

The Flyers have gotten things done with defense all season long, especially in the playoffs, where they’ve given up just 14 total points in four games. This may not be a flashy or high-scoring game but I like Marion Local to grind out a win and advance to the championship game.

The pick: Marion Local

POSTED: 11/25/21 at 10:45 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports