No. 1 Seneca East vs. No. 4 Columbus Grove
WHERE & WHEN: Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.
DIVISION / REGION: Division VI, Region 22.
RECORDS: Columbus Grove 8-3, Seneca East 10-1.
COACHES: Columbus Grove — Andy Schafer (8th year, 35-40); Seneca East — Ed Phillips (10th year, 65-38).
PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: Seneca East 7th; Columbus Grove 13th.
LAST APPEARANCE: Seneca East 2017; Columbus Grove 2014.
PLAYOFF RECORD: Seneca East 1-6; Columbus Grove 18-11.
NEXT OPPONENT: (7) Fairview (8-3) or (3) Jeromesville Hillsdale (9-2).
NOTES: This will be the first time that Seneca East and Columbus Grove have met on the football field. … Seneca East led eighth-seeded Loudonville just 13-9 heading into the fourth quarter of last week’s regional quarterfinals before scoring 20 unanswered points for a 33-9 win. It was the first playoff win in school history for the Tigers. … Seneca East’s Blaine Swartzmiller powered for 258 yards on 32 carries last Friday against the Redbirds. … The Tigers and Bulldogs have one common opponent — Carey. Columbus Grove took care of the Blue Devils 21-7 last week while Seneca East, which has made four straight playoff appearances, outlasted Carey 34-27 in Week 7. … Quarterback Blake Reynolds hit receiver Caleb Barrientes for a touchdown pass with 11:54 to play to seal Columbus Grove’s win against Carey. Grove amassed 245 yards of offense in last week’s win as Reynolds was 8 of 16 passing for 129 yards. … For the season, Reynolds missed a couple games with an injury but completed 85 of 161 passes for 1,302 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. “¦ Grove tailback Garrett Nemire is nearing the 1,000-yard mark as he has rushed 161 times for 943 yards and 13 touchdowns. Brady Hauenstein, who got most of the work last week, has 427 yards on 58 carries and six TDs, while Reynolds rushed 46 times for 312 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and 10 TDs. “¦ Trevor Taylor (25 catches, 414 yards, 2 TDs), Gabe Clement (14 catches, 366 yards, 4 TDs) and Barrientes (20 catches, 290 yards, 4 TDs) are Reynolds’ main targets. The Bulldogs rushed for 2,043 yards this season. “¦ Barrientes led the NWC with seven interceptions. “¦ Grove forced 20 turnovers and has a plus-12 turnover margin. … The Bulldogs allowed a league-low 17.3 points per game during the regular season. … Swartzmiller, a bruising 6-foot-3, 225-pound running back who is also a defensive lineman, has rushed for 2,067 yards on 253 carries with 25 touchdowns. He is also 21 of 41 passing for 246 yards and two scores and has caught 12 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. … Quarterback Chase Foos has connected on 94 of 145 passes for 1,491 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. … D.J. Ruffing leads the Seneca East receiving corps with 29 catches for 329 yards. … The Tigers have three players to watch on defense. Kane Lynch, a 6-3, 205-pound junior linebacker, has a team-best 91 tackles, including 14 for losses. Defensive lineman Tyler Turek (78 tackles, 26 for loss) and linebacker Skyler Walker (81 tackles, 22 for loss) have also had big seasons.
EXTRA POINT: The last year Columbus Grove made the playoffs in 2014, the Bulldogs reached the state semifinals.
No. 8 Leipsic vs. No. 5 McComb
WHERE & WHEN: Findlay’s Donnell Stadium, Saturday, 7 p.m.
DIVISION / REGION: Division VII, Region 26.
RECORDS: Leipsic 10-1, McComb 10-1.
COACHES: Leipsic — Joe Kirkendall (3rd year, 24-9); McComb — Kris Alge (21st year, 192-57).
PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: Leipsic 11th; McComb 22nd.
LAST APPEARANCE: Leipsic 2017; McComb 2017.
PLAYOFF RECORD: Leipsic 6-10; McComb 27-21.
NEXT OPPONENT: (2) Edgerton (11-0) or (7) Pandora-Gilboa (11-0).
NOTES: Old Blanchard Valley Conference rivals renew ties once again in the postseason. McComb has a 2-1 edge over Leipsic in playoff games. Leipsic’s only win came in 2011 with a 34-26 double overtime win over the Panthers. McComb blanked Leipsic 21-0 last year in a first-round game and beat the Vikings 35-12 in the 2015 regional semifinals. … Leipsic is making its 10th consecutive postseason appearance while McComb has made nine in a row. … Leipsic broke open a 14-14 game at halftime in last week’s 40-14 romp over top-seeded Mohawk. The Vikings were one of two No. 8 seeds to knock off a No. 1-seeded team in their opening-round game. The other came when No. 8 Rocky River topped No. 1 Clyde 27-17 in Division III. … Leipsic quarterback Dylan Schroeder, a four-year starter, has completed 106 of 160 passes for 1,927 yards, 24 touchdowns and two interceptions. “¦ Gavin Lomeli rushed 189 times for 1,117 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Vikings led the Blanchard Valley Conference in rushing yards (2,799) and total yards (4,513) and averaged 38.7 points per game. Tyler Hiegel led Leipsic with 33 receptions for 525 yards and 11 TDs. Cole Rieman returned from an injury last week to catch seven passes for 114 yards against Mohawk. “¦ During the regular season, Hiegel had a team-best three interceptions and the Vikings picked off 14 passes overall. “¦ Linebacker Caleb Lammers has 89 tackles, including 18 for loss. Linebacker Cole Williamson has 68 tackles, including seven for loss. … McComb enters the game scoring 44.5 points per contest on offense while the defense is surrendering just 12.0 points per game while i ntercepting a BVC-best 15 passes. … McComb senior Tanner Schroeder completed 4 of 5 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 195 yards and four TDs, kicked a field goal and converted all six PAT kicks in last week’s 45-21 win over Patrick Henry. He does everything but drive the bus to games as he has scored 25 touchdowns, is 64 of 67 on PAT tries, 7 of 9 on field goals and led the BVC with a 43.5-yard average as a punter. He’s also connected on 51 of 86 passes for 854 yards and 9 TDs, and rushed for 1,169 yards on just 105 carries. … McComb’s Brice Markel is the BVC Defensive Player of the Year and Andrew Smith was voted the BVC Defensive Lineman of the Year. The two combined for 166 total tackles including 62 tackles for losses during the regular season.
EXTRA POINT: The Panthers handed the Vikes their only loss of the season back on Sept. 28. McComb dominated up front in a 38-7 Blanchard Valley Conference win. Kheaghan Loe rushed 14 times for 207 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers ran for 381 yards.
No. 2 Edgerton vs. No. 6 Pandora-Gilboa
WHERE & WHEN: Defiance’s Fred Brown Stadium, Saturday, 7 p.m.
DIVISION / REGION: Division VII, Region 26.
RECORDS: Edgerton 11-0, Pandora-Gilboa 11-0.
COACHES: Edgerton — Ben Wilhelm (8th year, 47-35); Pandora-Gilboa — Matt Hershey (2nd year, 20-3).
PLAYOFF APPEARANCES: Edgerton 5th; Pandora-Gilboa 10th.
LAST APPEARANCE: Edgerton 2017; Pandora-Gilboa 2017.
PLAYOFF RECORD: Edgerton 1-5; Pandora-Gilboa 8-10.
NEXT OPPONENT: (5) McComb (10-1) or (8) Leipsic (10-1)
NOTES: It’s been a historic season for both Pandora-Gilboa and Edgerton as the Rockets and Bulldogs meet for the first time in football Saturday night in Defiance. … Edgerton won its first Green Meadows Conference championship since 1983. The Bulldogs’ closest game was a 38-8 win against Tinora in Week 7. They also recorded the school’s first playoff victory last week by whipping Norwalk St. Paul 36-0. Edgerton rushed for 258 yards and four touchdowns in the first half against the Flyers. … Pandora-Gilboa won its first Blanchard Valley Conference football title since 1999 and finished 10-0 for the first time in school history. The school’s last unbeaten season came in 1961. … The Rockets were just as impressive in Week 11 as they throttled Tiffin Calvert, breaking open a 14-7 game in the second half, for a 33-7 win. … It should be a classic matchup between Edgerton’s powerful offense which enters the game averaging more than 51.0 points per game and a Pandora-Gilboa defense that allows just 6.3 points and 131.7 yards per game. … Linebacker Austin Niese and defensive end Zeb George led P-G’s defense with 82 tackles each during the regular season, while Riley Larcom and Walker Macke intercepted four and three passes respectively. … Pandora-Gilboa’s Jared Breece was the BVC’s Offensive Player of the Year. He rewrote the P-G record book by hitting 131 of 202 passes for 2,271 yards and 32 TDs. Peyton Traxler added 924 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns and Travis Maag caught 29 passes for 614 yards and 15 touchdowns. … There are just nine seniors on the Edgerton roster. … Hunter Prince has done much of the damage on the ground, rushing for 1,991 yards on 187 carries, a 10.6 per carry average, with 29 touchdowns. Greg Roth has added 776 yards with 11 TDs … Senior quarterback Clayton Flegal runs the show. He has rushed for 661 yards and 12 touchdowns and is 35 of 53 passing for 783 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. … Logan Showalter (322 yards, 11 TDs) and Braydon Cape (267 yards, 5 TDs) both have 11 catches this season. … Brody Degryse (471/2), Tylor Hartman (441/2) and Logan Showalter (421/2) are the Bulldogs’ top tacklers. Cape and Flegal netted four and three interceptions this season.
EXTRA POINT: As far as extra points go, Edgerton hasn’t attempted a PAT kick or field goal this season.