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Friday, Sep. 29, 2023

Pigskin Pick’Em: state semifinals

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s Pigskin Pick’Em will be a brief feature because just four area teams are left in the playoffs, and they’ll square off against each other in the state semifinals on Saturday. The breakdown goes like this – two from the MAC, one from the NWC and one independent team. 

Last week I went 4-1 with regional championship game picks, which took my postseason record to 40-7 (85 percent) and my overall record to 216-54 (80 percent). 

On to this week’s two games. Next week, I’ll wrap things up by picking all seven state championship games. 

Division VI

Marion Local (14-0) vs. Columbus Grove (12-2) at Lima 

One word describes Marion Local: dominating, and even that may be an understatement. Since Week No. 6, the Flyers have outscored their opponents 356-10 and that includes seven shutouts. Even before that, Marion Local was looking like a championship caliber team. 

Columbus Grove has had a nice playoff run. The Bulldogs have won nine straight and have scored 124 points in four playoff games, proving the offense rounded into form as the season went along. Having said that, it would go down as one of the biggest upsets in recent memory if Columbus Grove posted a ‘W.’ That’s not a knock on the Bulldogs, it’s just the reality of Marion Local playing at a completely different level.

The pick: Marion Local

Division VII 

New Bremen (11-3) vs. Lima Central Catholic (10-4) at Wapakoneta 

No other division features two teams with a combined seven losses. However, a closer look shows New Bremen’s losses came to Marion Local, Coldwater and Delphos St. John’s. The losses to Marion Local and Coldwater came when both teams were ranked No. 1. The loss to Delphos St. John’s was a true upset. At one point, Lima Central Catholic was 2-3 but the Thunderbirds have won eight of nine since then, with the only loss coming in the regular season finale, 35-34, to Fort Loramie. 

Last week, a little voice in my head told me to pick against New Bremen and I listened to it. I won’t be doing that again. While this has the potential to be good game, I’m not making the same mistake twice.

The pick: New Bremen

POSTED: 11/24/22 at 11:20 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports