CINCINNATI - Here’s a big thumbs-up to the 16-team bracket for the Division I, Region 2 playoffs. The new format created the kind of buzz and excitement that we haven’t seen from first-round games in ages.
And the plots thicken for Round Two. Moeller is in a position to eliminate the last of their GCL South brethren, setting up a potential regional championship matchup with Colerain for a second straight year.
(All Games Saturday, Nov. 16 @ 7 p.m.)
DIVISION I, REGION 2
#2 Moeller (10-1) vs. #7 Elder (8-2) @ Nippert Stadium – Big Moe is playing like the reigning state champions. What makes that so impressive is the number of players who have stepped up on offense and filled roles vacated by some real heavyweights. The Crusaders offense is powered by quarterback Gus Ragland, who has been nothing short of outstanding. The senior has accounted for 26 of his 37 touchdowns over the last six weeks. Elder had no answers for Ragland in their first meeting in Week 7 as Moeller won 35-14. The Panthers are healthier now on offense and running backs Chris Schroer and Ja’Vhri Portis will be able to take pressure off sophomore quarterback Peyton Ramsey. He is rock solid in the passing game when the run has set it up for him. Ramsey has rushed the ball well so Moeller must contain him in the pocket.
#6 Colerain (11-0) vs #14 Pickerington Central (8-2) @ Welcome Stadium, Dayton - Colerain is so good in so many phases of the game. The Cardinals average 387.6 yards per game with 49 touchdowns rushing. Defensively, they have forced 32 turnovers and returned seven miscues for scores. Pickerington Central needs to get ahead early and dictate the pace of the game. In order for that the happen, the Tigers must put Colerain in third-and-passing situations. By shutting down the Cardinals ground game ,PC can put their opponent into situations they aren’t accustomed to being in. Pickerington Central had six receivers catch passes of 13 yards or more in last week’s win over Lakota West. An outstanding Colerain secondary will look to shut them down and make the Tigers’ one-dimensional with the run game.
#5 Wayne (10-1) vs #13 Dublin Coffman (8-3) @ Roush Stadium, Fairmont HS – Before meeting Hilliard Darby last week, Wayne had won three of its previous four games by seven points or less. The Warriors, who were living on the edge, came out and played like a true contender for the regional title. A complete effort on both sides of the ball is a lethal combination for Wayne. But Dublin Coffman is hot right now. The Shamrocks have won seven in a row and they showed Centerville no mercy last week, jumping out to a 35-0 second-quarter lead in arguably their best half of football of the year. With two teams peaking, this affair won’t be decided until late in the fourth quarter.
#1 Hilliard Davidson (11-0) vs #8 Pickerington North (10-1) @ Gahanna Lincoln HS
DIVISION V, Region 18
#2 CHCA (11-0) vs #3 Badin (9-2) @ Dwire Field @ Atrium Stadium, Mason, HS – The CHCA defense has been special. The Eagles have given up only seven points over the last four weeks. Five of their last eight wins have been via shutouts. They gave up a season-high 14 points to Lockland and 10 to Summit Country Day -- the only two squads to reach double figures on CHCA. Badin is battle tested, going 5-2 vs. the GCL Coe-eds. The Rams pride themselves on getting pressure in the opponent’s backfield. They have 27 sacks on the year. That relentless push has also forced 27 takeaways. The Eagles are very protective of the football and possessions. A major reason the Eagles are undefeated is because they have only turned the ball over seven times. The Rams will need a couple of big strikes on offense if they want to come out ahead. Expect that to happen out of the rushing attack as six different Badin backs have runs of 40 yards or more this season.
#1 West Jefferson (10-1) vs #4 North Union (10-1)