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The Miami Valley Conference sent five of its eight teams to the playoffs. None of them are seeded higher than #6.
Division VI, Region 24 finds MVC small schools Lockland and Cincinnati Country amongst the cast of characters in this tournament. There are some programs on the rise in this octet who are building quite the foundation in the century.
There is not going to be an easy out in this field. Here is a glimpse of what lies ahead:
#8 Lockland (7-3) at #1 Marion Local (8-2) – Lockland is making their fifth straight playoff appearance and seventh overall. The Panthers’ signature win is over Region 20 playoff team Summit Country Day. The other six teams they beat were a combined 11-59 on the season. Lockland’s strength is their running game. Quarterback Tyrell Gilbert, running backs Se’von Jackson, Mike Beasley and Demetrius Harper have combined to run for almost 2,100 yards and 26 touchdowns. Jackson has emerged as the go-to guy the past two weeks. Depth will be a factor as Marion Local has the potential to wear down the Panthers. Controlling second half tempo with their offense is a must if Lockland want to remain close in this affair.
This will be Marion Local’s seventh straight post-season appearance, including the 11th in the last 12 years and 13th overall. The Flyers have won four state titles and had a runner-up finish all in this century. Marion Local is led by two players that have had breakout campaigns in senior running back Jake Heitkamp and sophomore quarterback Adam Bertke. Two weeks ago Division VI, Delphos St. John’s (7-3) proved that the Flyers can be beaten. Scoring will not be a problem for the Flyers, but making them play from behind is a pressure they don’t want to encounter.
#7 Cincinnati Country Day (7-3) at #2 Fort Loramie (9-1) – Right now Fort Loramie is playing like a team that is on a mission to win this region. The Redskins are winners of nine in a row. They are a relative newcomer to the post-season scene as this is their third straight, but only three appearances in school history all under head coach Matt Burgbacher. He is now 27-7 in his short three year career. Fort Loramie has blown everyone out since Week 1. The Redskins’ defense has posted five shutouts, held three more squads to eight or fewer points during their win streak. The offense has been just as dominant averaging 50.4 points per tilt during that same span. Running back Cory Brandewie leads the offense. The games most intriguing matchup will be the pass catching duo of quarterback Seth Guillozet and receiver Jake Cordonnier against the Cincinnati Country Day theft-thrifty secondary.
The Indians take the 100 mile bus ride up north. They better not get to complacent or else they ride back will seem like an eternity. Cincinnati Country Day only beat one team all season with a winning record. This is the school’s first trip to the playoffs since 2004 and 11th overall. The defense has been very good in all but two games. They have intercepted 20 pass and forced 29 turnovers on the year. JR Menifee leads the squad with eight picks. Fort Loramie will have to account for Reed Davis and Arjun Minhas on both sides of the ball. On offense, quarterback Jake Dietz and running backs Jordan Patterson and Zach Higginbotham are going to have to churn out tough second and third effort yards if CCD wants to hang around with the bigger Redskins. Patterson has 1,096 yards rushing, 1,579 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns on the season.
#3 Springfield Catholic Central (7-3) vs. #6 Minster (7-3) - Brian Kelly has thrown for over 3,000 yards with 40 touchdown passes on the season for Catholic Central. The Irish are on a mission in their 12th post-season. Minster is celebrating back-to back playoff appearance for the first time since 1991 and 1992. This is their 11th trip to the post-season.
#4 Tri County North (8-2) vs. #5 Ada (8-3) - The third-ranked team in the state gets a #3 seed in the Region. Ada is out to prove they are the best team in Ohio. The Bulldogs are making their sixth straight post-season appearance and seventh overall. Tri-County North is riding high on a five-game winning streak culminating with a huge upset victory over Coldwater last Friday. This is the Panthers’ first playoff journey since 2006 and fourth overall.
*All games played on Saturday, Nov. 5th at 7:00 p.m.
Greg is a co-founder of TSF and is now entering his ninth season as a Featured Analyst for the website. The Xavier University grad also serves as the Content Manager for the website and is widely considered one of the top high school football experts in the region. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.