COLUMBUS, Ohio –
The OHSAA football state championships return to Ohio
Stadium this week with seven title games in the ‘Shoe. From
the 715 teams that began the season, now 14 have the
opportunity to play one more game, which will be for a state
State Championships Schedule
Home team listed first. Pairings are shown with overall
Div. III - Thursday, 7:30 p.m. - Akron Archbishop Hoban
(13-1) vs. Toledo Central Catholic (12-2)
Div. V - Friday, 10 a.m. - Coldwater (14-0) vs. Canton
Central Catholic (10-3)
Div. VII - Friday, 3 p.m. - Fort Recovery (12-2) vs.
Div. II - Friday, 8 p.m. - Cincinnati La Salle (12-2) vs.
Massillon Perry (12-2)
Div. VI - Saturday, 10 a.m. - Maria Stein Marion Local
(13-1) vs. Kirtland (13-1)
Div. I - Saturday, 3 p.m. - Lakewood St. Edward (13-1) vs.
Huber Heights Wayne (14-0)
Div. IV - Saturday, 8 p.m. - Steubenville (13-0) vs.
Columbus Bishop Hartley (10-3)
Fans are encouraged to buy playoff tickets in advance at the
participating schools, which keep a percentage of the revenue.
For the state championship games, tickets are $10 presale at the
schools. Fans who cannot get to one of the schools can buy
tickets online through Ticketmaster at
Tickets will also be available at Gate 5 of Ohio Stadium (north
rotunda area) for either $15 (club level) or $12 (reserved).
All-session ticket books are still available online at the same
http://go.osu.edu/OHSAAFB. All-session ticket books in the
club level, which are the chair-back seats on the west side of
the stadium, are $105 each (good for all seven games) and also
permit indoor access in the Huntington Club before, during and
after each game. All-session reserved ticket books on the east
side of the stadium, which don’t include indoor access, are $84
State Championships Notes
Two Schools Making First Title Game Appearance
Two schools are making their first trip to the state
championship game, including Massillon Perry in Div. II and
Fort Recovery in Div. VII. Fort Recovery, which formed
its first high school football team in 1992, had only one
winning season before making the playoffs last year. The
Indians entered the 2015 playoffs with only one postseason
Adding Another Trophy
Four of the 2015 state finalists rank among the state’s most
storied programs in terms of reaching the state
championships. Coldwater (11th appearance), Maria Stein
Marion Local (10th), Mogadore (8th) and Steubenville (7th)
all rank in the Top 10 in the state in reaching the state
championship game. See page 7.
Hugging the Ohio-Indiana state line, Mercer County has a
total population of 40,784 (as of 2013). But this small
county boasts three teams that have advanced to this week’s
state championship games: Coldwater (Div. V), Maria Stein
Marion Local (Div. VI) and Fort Recovery (Div. VII). The
three communities are all less than 15 miles apart and the
three schools are all members of the Midwest Athletic
Conference (see next note).
But that’s not the only interesting geography note this
week. Massillon Perry (Div. II) and Canton Central Catholic
(Div. V) sit just 1.9 miles from each other. The schools
have different street addresses, but their football stadiums
both sit along 13th Street.
MAC Builds on Success
Last year, the highly successful Midwest Athletic Conference
became the first league to have three of its members win
football state championships in the same season (Coldwater
in Div. V, Minster in Div. VI and Maria Stein Marion Local
in Div. VII). This year, Coldwater returns in Div. V, Marion
Local is now is Div. VI and newcomer Fort Recovery is in the
Div. VII championship game. The MAC currently owns 114
various OHSAA state team championships.
The MAC had won two state championships in the same season
five times, but never three titles.) The MAC is now 33-7 in
state semifinal games against non-MAC schools. The MAC is
49-13 against non-MAC schools in OHSAA regional championship
games. The MAC is 60-2 in first round playoff games against
non-MAC schools since the playoffs expanded to eight
qualifiers per region in 1999. (The two losses include a
Versailles loss to Lima Central Catholic in 2005 and a
Delphos St. John’s loss to Arlington in 2014.)
Marion Local Sets Consecutive Playoff Wins Record
Not only has Maria Stein Marion Local reached the state
championship game for the fifth-straight year, the four-time
defending state champion Flyers have set a new OHSAA record
for consecutive playoff victories with 24. And not far
behind is fellow-MAC member and three-time defending state
champion Coldwater with 19-straight playoff wins.
Stein Marion Local 2011‐12‐13‐14-15
Cleveland St. Ignatius 1991‐92‐93‐94‐95‐96
Youngstown Ursuline 2008‐09‐10‐12
Newark Catholic 84‐85‐86‐87‐88
Delphos St. John’s 1997‐98‐99‐2000
Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller 1975‐76‐77‐79‐80‐81
* denotes streak is still active
Division II Finalists Continue to Be the New Kids on the
When the OHSAA expanded the football playoffs to seven
divisions in 2013 and made Division I smaller (including
only the largest 72 schools in the state), one of the
resulting effects was that many schools that used to be
“small” Div. I schools were now in Div. II. Since then, many
Div. II schools have made their schools’ deepest playoff
runs. That began with Loveland in 2013 and continued with
Cincinnati La Salle last year. Both schools not only won
their first-ever playoff games those seasons, but went on to
win the Div. II state title. That fact was evidenced again
this year as the Div. II state semifinalists were all making
their first or second appearance in the “final four.” See
page 9 for a look at Massillon Perry and La Salle.
Rematch City in Div. I and V
Lakewood St. Edward and Huber Heights Wayne are meeting for
the third time in the state championship game. St. Edward
has won the previous two meetings, including 31-21 last year
and 35-28 in 2010. In Div. V, Coldwater and Canton Central
Catholic are meeting again, as well. Coldwater won 62-21
last year. In the other five state championship games, this
is the first meeting in the playoffs between those schools.
Defending State Champions, Two New Coaches
There are five defending state champions returning to
Columbus this year, including St. Edward (Div. I),
Cincinnati La Salle (Div. II), Toledo Central Catholic (Div.
III), Coldwater (Div. V) and Maria Stein Marion Local (Div.
VI, won Div. VII title last year). St. Edward and La Salle
are under the direction of new head coaches this season.
Inside the Matchups by Seed and AP Rank
One state championship game features the No. 1 and No. 2
ranked teams in the final Associated Press state poll. That
is in Div. I, where it’s a rematch from last season as
top-ranked Lakewood St. Edward faces No. 2 Huber Heights
Wayne. One other championship games features a pair of Top 5
ranked teams. That is in Div. VI, where No. 1 Maria Stein
Marion Local faces No. 4 Kirtland. Only one other top-ranked
team has made it to the final weekend. That is in Div. V
with Coldwater. Marion Local is a four-time defending state
champion (Div. VI or VII), while Coldwater is the three-time
defending state champion in DIv. V.
Of the 14 state finalists games, only one features two teams
that were both the No. 1 seed in their region. That occurs
in Div. IV when Middletown Bishop Fenwick faces Columbus
Bishop Hartley. Overall, the 28 teams remaining in the
playoffs include 14 No. 1 seeds, five No. 2 seeds, seven No.
3 seeds and two No. 5 seeds.
Proving, or Disproving, the Pollsters
Of the 28 teams that reached the state semifinals, 18 of
them were ranked in the Top 10 of the final Associated Press
state poll. In Div. I, all four teams were ranked in the AP
Top 5, while in Divisions II, III and IV, two of the state
semifinalists in each of those divisions was not ranked in
the final Top 10. One state semifinal matchup featured two
teams that were not ranked at the end of the season, that
was in Div. II where Hudson faces Massillon Perry. Two state
semifinal matchups feature teams that were ranked first and
second in the final poll. One was in Div. V where No. 1
Coldwater faced No. 2 Wheelersburg, while the other was in
Div. VII where No. 1 Danville faced No. 2 Mogadore.
This year, all 71 teams that appeared in the Top 10 of the
final AP poll qualified for the playoffs (there was a tie
for the No. 10 spot in Div. VI), with 69 of those teams
earning a first-round home game. Last year, all 70 teams
that appeared in the Top 10 of the final AP poll qualified
for the playoffs, with 65 earning a first-round home game.
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 in Division VII.
Speaking of Making History...
Newark Catholic made the playoffs for a state record 34th
time this year. The Green Wave had been tied with Cincinnati
Archbishop Moeller with 33 appearances, but Moeller didn’t
make the playoffs this season.
OHSAA PLAYOFF APPEARANCES (updated for 2015 qualifiers)
1. Newark Catholic, 34
2. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller, 33
3. Ironton, 32
4. Mogadore, 29
5. Steubenville, 28
Coldwater owns the longest active streak of qualifying for
the playoffs at 19-straight years. In fact, the Cavaliers
have been to the state championship game the last six years.
Newark Catholic owns the record with eight straight title
game appearances from 1980-87 followed by Cleveland St.
Ignatius with six in a row from 1991-96. Until 2012,
Columbus St. Francis DeSales had owned the longest active
streak at 18-straight years, but the Stallions missed the
playoffs that season. After Coldwater, the second-longest
active streak is held by Mogadore at 17 straight playoff
years. The all-time longest streak of consecutive years
making the playoffs is 22 years by Cleveland St. Ignatius
from 1988 through 2009.
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