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An early look at the OHSAA football first round games Nov. 2-3

Posted: 3:14 PM, Oct 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-28 21:23:17Z

CINCINNATI -- Mason football coach Brian Castner doesn't take a postseason berth for granted. He knows the amount of work it takes each season to be in that position.

"It's an honor to be one of the final eight," Castner said. "I am very, very proud."

The Comets earned their fourth consecutive home playoff appearance Sunday after the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced the final computer points standings, which included 224 qualifiers among the 717 programs around the state.

Twenty-seven area teams across seven divisions are in the playoffs, which will start Nov. 2 with Divisions I, II, III and VI. Divisions IV, V and VII play on Nov. 3.

All playoff games before the state finals kick off at 7 p.m.

RELATED: Join the Cincinnati area high school sports Facebook group

Mason (8-2), which earned the No. 2 seed in Division I, Region 4 with an overtime win over visiting Fairfield (7-3) on Friday night , will host No. 7 seed Lakota East (7-3) at 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

The Greater Miami Conference has four qualifiers in Region 4, including Mason, Fairfield, Lakota East and No. 1 seed and state No. 1-ranked Colerain (10-0).

The Cardinals, winners of 19 consecutive GMC titles and owners of a 75-game conference win streak, earned the top seed but have to host rival St. Xavier (5-5) for a second time this season.

It will be the 14th time the two storied programs will meet in the postseason.

"It's destiny," Colerain coach Tom Bolden said. "It's high school football in Cincinnati destiny."

RELATED: Colerain and St. Xavier are among the nation's top 10 programs since 2003

Colerain is 19-0 in first round playoff games through the years, although the 1995 game was later forfeited. The Cardinals have nine consecutive postseason appearances.

Colerain's first-round success is tops among any of the 717 Ohio high school football programs in the 46-year history of the playoffs.

The Cardinals, ranked No. 20 nationally by the MaxPreps Freeman Rankings (computer), are led by several standouts including senior quarterback Deante Smith-Moore. He has 850 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns, 773 yards passing and 16 touchdowns.

"He has such a great understanding of the offense," Bolden said. "He's a captain. Ivan (Pace) and JJ (Davis) may be the spark. But, Deante is definitely the heart and soul of the whole team."

The Bombers earned their 10th consecutive postseason appearance -- the greatest number actively of any area large school programs. St. X defeated visiting Louisville St. Xavier on Friday night in order to qualify.

RELATED:  Watch the WCPO high school football playoff show Monday

"It wouldn't be playoff season without St. X versus Colerain," St. X coach Steve Specht said.

Moeller (6-4) won the Greater Catholic League South division outright but must face Elder (6-4) for a second time this season. Moeller defeated Elder 24-21 on Oct. 5 at Nippert Stadium. This will be the fifth postseason meeting between the schools and their first since 2013.

RELATED: Moeller coach Doug Rosfeld discusses winning the GCL title  

The Crusaders tied Newark Catholic for the most playoff appearances (35) in state history. Moeller is 10th all time in playoff wins (49) in the state entering the 2018 postseason. The Crusaders are third all time in the number of state titles as a program (nine).

Milford (8-2) earned its second straight postseason appearance after a long wait prior to 2017. Coach Tom Grippa will face Fairfield, a school he once coached, on Friday night. Milford is led by several players including senior running back Cameron Kells (1,471 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns).

Fairfield is led by standout junior running back JuTahn McClain, who has rushed for 1,676 yards and 25 touchdowns. 

In Division II, Region 8, Winton Woods (9-1) takes a nine-game win streak against Columbus-area opponent Lewis Center Olentangy (5-5).

The Warriors, the 2017 Division II state runner-up, have 11 playoff appearances as a program and are led by junior running back Miyan Williams (1,982 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns) and senior defensive lineman Anthony Booker Jr. (7 1/2 sacks), among others.

Kings (9-1) will host Anderson (7-3) in a rematch of the Eastern Cincinnati Conference game the Knights won 35-14 on Sept. 14. Kings senior running back Nak'emon Williams has 1,422 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns among the Knights' standouts.

Harrison (7-3) will play at Troy (9-1) in another intriguing game. Harrison is led by junior quarterback Connor Kinnett, who has thrown for 2,231 yards and 22 touchdowns and has rushed for 254 yards and six touchdowns.

Little Miami (8-2), making its first playoff appearance since 1992 , will travel to play at Edgewood (8-2) for the second time in three weeks.

In Division III, Region 12, area qualifiers include Mount Healthy (8-2), Fenwick (8-2) and Badin (7-3). Fenwick, the No. 3 seed, will play host to Chaminade Julienne (7-3) on Friday night.

Fenwick defeated Chaminade Julienne 34-19 on Oct. 5. In that game, senior running back Jack Fessler rushed for a season-high 317 yards along with three touchdowns for Fenwick.

Fenwick, making its first playoff appearance since 2015, has 17 postseason appearances in program history. It is one of only three area programs (Princeton and Reading) that made the playoffs during the first year of the state playoffs (1972).

In Division IV, Region 16, No. 1 seed Wyoming (10-0) made its 24th postseason appearance as a program. Wyoming, led by several standouts including junior quarterback Evan Prater, is 34-2 since the start of the 2016 season.

Clinton-Massie (9-1), Taft (8-1) and Indian Hill (8-2) also will host first-round games Nov. 3. Clinton-Massie has qualified for an area-best 17th consecutive season.

In Division V, Region 20, Middletown Madison (10-0), CHCA (7-2) and Madeira (7-3) qualified. Madison went 10-0 for the first time in program history. The Mohawks were a state semifinalist in 2017.

In Division VI, Region 24, Deer Park (7-3) will play at No. 1 Coldwater (8-2) on Friday night.

Deer Park is making its first postseason appearance since 2007. Coldwater tied a state record for the most consecutive postseason appearances (22).

"I have reminded the team of the offseason conditioning at 5 a.m.," Deer Park coach Calvin Johnson said. "The trust, care and commitment we shared and how it relates to our successful season."

In Division VII, Region 28, New Miami (6-4) and Miami Valley Christian Academy (7-2) will open on the road in respective games.

Here is the regional quarterfinal schedule for next weekend (Nov. 2-3):

Division I, Region 4

(All games 7 p.m. Nov. 2)

No. 8 St. Xavier (5-5) at No. 1 Colerain (10-0)

No. 7 Lakota East (7-3) at No. 2 Mason (8-2)

No. 6 Moeller (6-4) at No. 3 Elder (6-4)

No. 5 Fairfield (7-3) at No. 4 Milford (8-2)  

Division II, Region 8

(All games 7 p.m. Nov. 2)

No. 8 Lewis Center Olentangy (5-5) at No. 1 Winton Woods (9-1)

No. 7 Anderson (7-3) at No. 2 Kings (9-1)

No. 6 Harrison (7-3) at No. 3 Troy (9-1)

No. 5 Little Miami (8-2) at No. 4 Edgewood (8-2)  

Division III, Region 12

(All games 7 p.m. Nov. 2)

No. 8 Mount Healthy (5-5) at No. 1 Alter (9-1)

No. 7 Trotwood-Madison (6-4) at No. 2 Wapakoneta (9-1)

No. 6 Chaminade Julienne (7-3) at No. 3 Fenwick (8-2)

No. 5 Badin (7-3) at No. 4 Vandalia Butler (6-4)  

Division IV, Region 16

(All games 7 p.m. Nov. 3)

No. 8 Springfield Northwestern (7-3) at No. 1 Wyoming (10-0)

No. 7 Springfield Shawnee (6-4) at No. 2 Clinton-Massie (9-1)

No. 6 London (6-1) at No. 3 Taft (8-1)

No. 5 Waverly (9-1) at No. 4 Indian Hill (8-2)  

Division V, Region 20

(All games 7 p.m. Nov. 3)

No. 8 Portsmouth West (6-4) at No. 1 Wheelersburg (9-1)

No. 7 Portsmouth (7-3) at No. 2 Middletown Madison (10-0)

No. 6 CHCA (7-2) at No. 3 West Jefferson (8-2)

No. 5 Greeneview (9-1) at No. 4 Madeira (7-3)  

Division VI, Region 24

(All games 7 p.m. Nov. 2)

No. 8 Deer Park (7-3) at No. 1 Coldwater (8-2)

No. 7 Covington (7-3) at No. 2 Lima Central Catholic (8-1)

No. 6 Spencerville (8-2) at No. 3 Marion Local (9-1)

No. 5 St. Henry (8-2) at No. 4 Mechanicsburg (8-2)  

Division VII, Region 28

(All games 7 p.m. Nov. 3)

No. 8 New Miami (6-4) at No. 1 Fort Loramie (9-1)

No. 7 Miami Valley Christian Academy (7-2) at No. 2 Crestview (9-1)

No. 6 De Graff Riverside (6-4) at No. 3 Minster (7-3)

No. 5 Sidney Lehman Catholic (7-3) at No. 4 Ansonia (8-2)