The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022

Pigskin Pick’Em: state championship games

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

It seems like the season went by in the blink of an eye, but here we are – OHSAA championship week.

As expected, some familiar names will be competing for state championships at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, but some newcomers hope to leave their mark.

I was 4-0 picking semifinal games last week, which takes my postseason record to 42-12. This week I’m picking all seven state championship games in the order they’ll be played.

Division II State Championship – Thursday, 7 p.m.

Cincinnati Winton Woods (12-3) vs. No. 8 Akron Archbishop Hoban (11-3)

Hoban is the defending state champion and probably should be considered the favorite in this one.

Both teams have played impressive schedules and both have lost to some heavy hitters. This game feels like it should be a good one, perhaps one that ends up with a touchdown margin or less.

I do believe Hoban is more battle tested but this really is a game that could go either way.

The pick: Akron Hoban

Division IV State Championship – Friday, 10:30 a.m.

No. 4 Clarksville Clinton-Massie (13-1) vs. Youngstown Ursuline (11-3)

I’ll just come out and say it. I’d like to see Clinton-Massie win this one. Of course I’d rather see Van Wert playing for a second consecutive state title but since the Cougars aren’t there, I’m rooting for the Falcons and their old-school wishbone offense.

Having said that, Clinton-Massie has had to scrap by in their last two playoff games while Ursuline has pretty much rolled by each playoff opponent. The closest game has been a four point win over Glenville and the Fighting Irish rallied to beat Port Clinton by 17 last week.

It’s kind of tough to get a read on this game but in the end, I’m giving a slight advantage to Ursuline.

The pick: Youngstown Ursuline

Division III State Championship – Friday, 3 p.m.

No. 2 Hamilton Badin (14-0) vs. No. 1 Chardon (15-0)

This game could be the best one of all this weekend and that’s saying a lot as there are some great matchups on tap.

Chardon is the defending state champion but both teams have had their way in the playoffs. One of Hamilton-Badin’s opponents was St. Marys Memorial and the Rams rolled to a 45-10 win.

Initially I was leaning toward Hamilton-Badin as the pick but now I’ve reversed course on that.

The pick: Chardon

Division I State Championship – Friday, 7:30 p.m.

No. 5 Springfield (13-1) vs. No. 3 Lakewood St. Edward (13-1)

I’ll keep this brief. Lakewood St. Edward has won four state championships. It’ll be five after this game.

The pick: Lakewood St. Edward

Division VII State Championship – Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

No. 3 Newark Catholic (14-1) vs. No. 1 Maria Stein Marion Local (15-0)

This game features two of the winningest small school programs in OHSAA history. A victory would give Marion Local its 12th state championship, would be a new state record. Newark Catholic has eight state titles, with the bulk of those coming in the 80s.

I think the Flyers will get the record in their usual workmanlike fashion.

The pick: Marion Local

Division VI State Championship – Saturday, 3 p.m.

No. 6 Coldwater (13-2) vs. No. 8 Carey (14-1)

No doubt Carey has a fine team, but Coldwater is considered the favorite to win this one. The MAC should be 2-0 heading into the day’s final championship game.

The pick: Coldwater

Division V State Championship – Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

No. 8 Versailles (14-1) vs. No. 1 Kirtland (14-0)

This one is intriguing with MAC-battle tested Versailles and Kirtland, a three time defending state champion, a team that has won 55 consecutive games.

It’s hard to pick against MAC teams in title games but no one has really challenged Kirtland so far this year. I’m not saying they’ll coast to an easy win here but I have a tough time seeing them lose this game.

The pick: Kirtland

POSTED: 12/02/21 at 4:45 am. FILED UNDER: Sports