CINCINNATI – All roads lead to Canton.
With just eight teams remaining in each of the seven divisions of the Ohio high school football playoffs, next weekend’s regional finals feature six area teams.
In Division I, Colerain (12-0) versus Elder (8-4) will be played at Mason at 7 p.m. Friday.
This will be the ninth postseason meeting between the two programs, excluding Colerain’s 1995 forfeit, and the first playoff game between the West Side powers since 2015. Colerain, the state’s top-ranked Division I team, has won three consecutive playoff games against Elder (2015, 2012 and 2010).
Colerain defeated Milford 48-14 in a regional semifinal at St. Xavier Nov. 9.
“They are really good,” Elder coach Doug Ramsey said. “They have had a running clock in about every game. They have great team speed.”
Elder defeated Lakota East 34-6 in the regional semifinal at Mason Nov. 9.
In that game, Elder senior quarterback Michael Bittner – the Greater Catholic League South Division Player of the Year – was injured early in the game. Junior quarterback Matthew Luebbe rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 98 yards and a touchdown.
“We are hopeful Michael will be ready to go,” Ramsey said.
Colerain coach Tom Bolden said the Panthers will undoubtedly be a strong challenge.
“They’re really good,” Bolden said. “Obviously their defense the second half of the season has been playing lights out. I think that has really helped them offensively because they have always been so good.”
In Division II, Winton Woods (11-1) versus Anderson (9-3) will be played at Lakota West at 7 p.m. Friday.
Winton Woods defeated Little Miami 38-12 last week. Anderson rallied to defeat Troy 38-35.
“I loved our resiliency,” Anderson coach Evan Dreyer said. “Our defense played extremely well in the second half. It was a great high school football game.”
Centerville will host the Wyoming (12-0) versus London (11-1) Division IV regional final next Saturday night.
Wyoming defeated visiting London 10-7 in the first round of the 2017 playoffs.
Wyoming became the seventh Ohio high school football program to reach 700 wins in the Cowboys’ 20-17 overtime win over Indian Hill at Lakota West this past weekend.
The Division V regional final with Middletown Madison (12-0) and Wheelersburg (11-1) will be at Hilliard Darby at 7 p.m. Saturday, according to Cox Media reporter Rick Cassano.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association officially announced the statewide schedule Sunday afternoon.
The state semifinals will be Nov. 23-24 at neutral sites. The state finals will be at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton Nov. 29-Dec. 1.