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Noting the OHSAA Football State Finalists

November 26, 2017
News Release – Ohio High School Athletic Association
Commissioner Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D.
For Immediate Release – Nov. 26, 2017
Contact – Tim Stried, Director of Communications, [email protected]
Noting the OHSAA Football State Finalists  
State championship weekend kicks off Thursday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association posted the weekly football notes packet Sunday in preparation for the state championship games, which kick off Thursday at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
   See pages 2, 3 and 11-17 for team-specific information
Media Advisory – Football All-Ohio Teams
The Division VI and VII football All-Ohio teams were announced Sunday by a statewide media panel. The teams were selected by members of the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association, most of whom were voters for the former Associated Press All-Ohio teams. The Associated Press no longer coordinates postseason honors for high school sports.
On Monday, the Division IV and V All-Ohio teams will be announced, followed by the Division II and III teams on Tuesday. The Division I All-Ohio team and the Ohio Mr. Football Award will be announced Wednesday.
2017 OHSAA Football State Championships Pairings and Schedule
Home team listed first.
Pairings are shown with final AP state rank and current records. All games played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton. All games televised live by Spectrum Sports (Channel 311 statewide, 510 in former Insight areas) and broadcast live by OHSAA Radio Network 
Thursday, Nov. 30
Div. II – No. 5 Akron Archbishop Hoban (13-1) vs. No. 2 Cincinnati Winton Woods (13-1), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 1
Div. VII – No. 5 Cuyahoga Heights (12-1) vs. Minster (10-4), 10 a.m.
Div. V – No. 3 Wheelersburg (14-0) vs. No. 1 Pemberville Eastwood (14-0), 3 p.m.
Div. I – No. 8 Pickerington Central (13-1) vs. No. 6 Mentor (13-1), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 2
Div. VI – No. 1 Maria Stein Marion Local (14-0) vs. No. 2 Kirtland (14-0), 10 a.m.
Div. IV – No. 7 Clarksville Clinton-Massie (13-1) vs. No. 1 Steubenville (14-0), 3 p.m.
Div. III – Dresden Tri-Valley (13-1) vs. No. 1 Trotwood-Madison (14-0), 8 p.m.
State Championships Media Credentials and Coaches Teleconference
Media must apply by noon on Tuesday, Nov. 28, for credentials using the OHSAA’s official credential application form posted at: http://www.ohsaa.org/news/credentials. There will be a media teleconference Monday featuring the head coaches of the 14 state finalists. Contact Tim Stried for details.
State Championships Ticket Information
Single-game tickets will be on sale this week at the participating schools for $11 each. Tickets will also be available at the gate for $15 each. Single-game tickets can also be purchased online at: www.ProFootballHOF.com/Tickets
State Championships Fan Parking Information
Parking at the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium will be closed to public parking. Fans are urged to park at the Stark County Fairgrounds and take advantage of the Stadium Shuttle, with continuous service for all seven state championship games beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and then from 8 AM to an hour after the final game of the day Friday and Saturday. Parking is $5.00 per car.  stadium shuttle is free. The Stark County Fairgrounds are located at 700 Wertz Ave. NW, Canton, Ohio. See directions below.
Directions to Fairgrounds:
When travelling North on I-77:  Continue north on I-77 and exit at Exit 105 (W. Tuscarawas Street). Turn left (West) onto W. Tuscarawas Street and travel to the fifth traffic signal, Wertz Avenue NW.  Turn right (North) onto Wertz Avenue thru two traffic signals to 7th Street NW Fairgrounds entrance on your left. 
When travelling South on I-77:  Continue south on I-77 and exit at Exit 106 (13th Street NW).  Turn right (West) onto 13th Street and travel to second traffic signal, Wertz Avenue NW.  Turn left (South) onto Wertz Avenue NW and travel thru one traffic signal to 7th Street NW Fairgrounds entrance on your right. 
Football Playoffs Information
Welcome to the State Championships
719 Ohio high schools began the football season in August. 224 qualified for the playoffs in late October. Now 14 have advanced to this week’s state championship games. All seven state championship games will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Championship Games Return to Canton
After hosting the OHSAA state championship games in Columbus throughout the 1980s, natural grass was installed in Ohio Stadium in Columbus in the spring of 1990 and OSU asked the OHSAA to move its football state championship games to another location. The OHSAA found a home in Stark County, with Canton Fawcett Stadium and Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium sharing the state championship games for 24 years until 2014 when the finals returned to the ‘Shoe.
Team Capsules
Please see pages 11-17 in the full notes packet for team capsules on each of the 14 state finalists.
Back in the Spotlight
Six of the 14 state finalists are making a return trip from the 2016 state championship games that were held at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
- Akron Archbishop Hoban is the two-time defending Div. III state champ, but is playing in Div. II this year.
- Trotwood-Madison was the 2016 Div. III runner-up to Akr. Archbishop Hoban.
- Steubenville was the 2015 & 2016 Div. IV runner-up to Cols. Bishop Hartley both years.
- Maria Stein Marion Local is the defending Div. VI state champ.
- Cuyahoga Heights was the 2016 Div. VI runner-up to Maria Stein Marion Local, but is playing in Div. VII this year.
- Minster was the 2016 Div. VII runner-up to Warren John F. Kennedy.
State Finalists by Regional Seed
The Division V final between Pemberville Eastwood and Wheelersburg is the only state championship game to feature two teams that were a No. 1 seed in their respective regions. The following regional seeds have advanced to the state finals:
No. 1 seed – 5 (Hoban, Trotwood, Steubenville, Wheelersburg, Eastwood)
No. 2 seed – 3 (Winton Woods, Marion Local, Cuyahoga Hts.)
No. 3 seed – 3 (Pickerington Central, Mentor, Kirtland)
No. 4 seed – 2 (Clinton-Massie, Minster)
No. 5 seed – 1 (Tri-Valley)
No. 6 seed – 0
No. 7 seed – 0
No. 8 seed – 0
State Championship Game Experience
Maria Stein Marion Local (Div. VI) is making its 12th trip to the state championship game, which is the most among all 2017 finalists and in the Top 5 all-time in Ohio. The Flyers have nine titles and two runner-up finishes. Steubenville (Div. IV) is making its ninth appearance (three titles, five runner-up). The other state finalists include Mentor (three appearances, all runners-up), Pickerington Central (two, both runners-up), Cincinnati Winton Woods (one, title), Akron Archbishop Hoban (two, both titles), Trotwood-Madison (six, one title and five runners-up), Dresden Tri-Valley (first appearance), Clarksville Clinton-Massie (two, both titles), Wheelersburg (one, title), Pemberville Eastwood (first appearance), Kirtland (five, three titles, two runners-up), Cuyahoga Heights (one, runner-up) and Minster (three, two titles, one runner-up).
Tri-Valley’s Cinderella Story
Dresden Tri-Valley will be making its first state championship game appearance in school history when they meet undefeated AP #1 Trotwood-Madison Saturday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. For perspective, the Scotties’ last two playoff wins came over opponents (Cols. Bishop Hartley & Akron SVSM) with a combined 13 state championship game appearances and 10 state titles. The Scotties are the only team remaining in any division that did not start the playoffs with a home game in Week 11. They are one of only two teams to make the state finals that were not ranked in the final AP poll. The Scotties will look to become the first team in their conference (Muskingum Valley League) to win a state football title since Crooksville won the Class A state championship over Ashtabula St. John at the Akron Rubber Bowl in 1977.
In Div. V, top-ranked Pemberville Eastwood is also making its first trip to the state championship game.
MAC is Back in Divisions VI and VII
A member of the Midwest Athletic Conference has made the Division VII state championship in every year of the smallest-school division’s existence (2013). MAC teams are 3-1 in Div. VII state title games, with wins coming from Maria Stein Marion Local (2013 & ’14) and Fort Recovery (2015). The MAC’s only loss came at the hands of Warren John F. Kennedy over Minster in last year’s title game. In Div. VI, a MAC team has been in the state championship game eight of the last nine years (all but 2013), with six titles during that span. When the OHSAA expanded to six divisions in 1994 through 2012, a MAC team played in 19 of 23 Div. VI state championship games, winning 15 championships.
Also of note, MAC member Coldwater played in the previous eight Div. V state championship games, winning four titles. Coldwater moved to Div. VI this year and lost to Marion Local in a regional championship game.
Strength of Schedule
Akron Archbishop Hoban (Div. II) and Maria Stein Marion Local (Div. VI) both defeated five playoff teams during their regular-season campaigns, tied for the most of any state finalist in all divisions:
- Hoban: Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (31-13 in Week 2), Akron SVSM (21-7 in Week 5), Parma Padua Franciscan (49-10 in Week 7), Chardon NDCL (42-0 in Week 9), Cle. Benedictine (35-17 in Week 10)
- Marion Local: Day. Chaminade Julienne (35-7 in Week 1), Coldwater (13-7 in Week 3), Minster (21-7 in Week 4), Anna (32-7 in Week 6), Fort Recovery (21-10 in Week 8)
Noting the Undefeated
Six teams will look to cap off a perfect 15-0 season this weekend in Canton, as Trotwood-Madison (Div. III), Steubenville (Div. IV), Pemberville Eastwood (Div. V), Wheelersburg (Div. V), Maria Stein Marion Local (Div. VI) and Kirtland (Div. VI) all remain unbeaten. The Div. V & Div. VI state championship games are the only matchups between two undefeated teams.
Proving the Pollsters
Four of the seven teams that won Associated Press poll championships at the end of October have advanced to the state finals, as Trotwood-Madison (Div. III), Steubenville (Div. IV), Pemberville Eastwood (Div. V) and Maria Stein Marion Local (Div. VI) will all look to cap off perfect seasons with a state championship. Two teams not ranked in the final AP poll have advanced to the state finals – Dresden Tri-Valley (Div. III) and Minster (Div. VII).
Last year, the only team to be ranked No. 1 in the final poll and go on to win a state championship was Maria Stein Marion Local (Division VI).
Twenty-one of the 28 state semifinalists were ranked in the final poll. Thirty-five of the 70 teams that appeared in the final Associated Press poll reached the regional finals. The final AP polls appear on page 5 of this packet.
AP No. 1 vs. AP No. 2
The Division VI state championship game between Maria Stein Marion Local (AP #1) and Kirtland (AP #2) is the only state championship game to feature the top two teams ranked in the final AP poll at the end of October. Other notable title game top-five AP matchups are:
- Div. V: AP #1 Pemberville Eastwood (14-0) vs. AP #3 Wheelersburg (14-0)
- Div. II: AP #2 Cin. Winton Woods (13-1) vs. AP #5 Akr. Archbishop Hoban (13-1)
All 70 teams that appeared in the final AP poll earned a playoff berth. Those 70 teams went 59-11 in the first round of the playoffs. Of those 59 wins, 57 were home games for the ranked team, while two ranked teams won on the road in the first round - Girard (Division IV) and West Jefferson (Division V).
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