PDT Sports Writer
Thanks to a pair of impressive victories to open up the 2013 OHSAA football playoffs, both Valley and Wheelersburg learned Sunday where they will be going in their next steps towards a state championship.
The No. 1 Indians, fresh off a 52-13 home win over No. 8 Fort Frye in Friday’s Division VI, Region 21 Quarterfinals, will head to a familiar site in Nelsonville-York’s Boston Field to take on No. 4 Newark Catholic in Friday’s semifinal action. The Green Wave advanced after a 29-0 shutout win over No. 5 Bellaire.
Last season, Valley had its season ended in Nelsonville via a 26-14 loss to Baltimore Liberty Union in the regional finals. Meanwhile, Newark Catholic finished as the Division VI State Runner-Up and are led by senior quarterback and Illinois verbal commit Chayce Crouch.
The Indians will have a 90-mile journey to Boston Field while the Green Wave have a 55-mile drive.
The other regional semifinal pits second-seeded Columbus Bishop Ready and No. 6 Woodsfield Monroe Central at Zanesville High School’s Sulsberger Stadium. The Silver Knights disposed of No. 7 Oak Hill 48-6 while the Seminoles pulled off a 15-9 upset of No. 3 Centerburg.
Ready will take close to 60 miles to reach its destination while Monroe Central will need close to 85 miles to do the same.
On Saturday, the third-seeded Pirates will travel to Columbus Hamilton Township’s Alumni Stadium to face No. 2 Martins Ferry in a Division V, Region 17 Semifinal. Wheelersburg advanced with a 40-21 win over No. 6 Fairland while the Purple Riders survived an upset bid by No. 7 Westfall with a last-minute touchdown for the 30-28 victory.
This is the Pirates’ first regional semifinal appearance since 2010 and they will be looking to reach the finals for the first time since the 2004. Wheelersburg has a similar 90-mile voyage as its SOC II brethren while Martins Ferry will be on the road for 132 miles.
In the other regional semifinal, the previously-mentioned No. 5 Lions will look for their second-consecutive regional final and a potential 2012 regional quarterfinal rematch with the Pirates as they travel to Bloom-Carroll’s Carl Fell Stadium to play top-seeded Columbus Bishop Hartley. Liberty Union shut out No. 4 St. Clairsville 31-0 while the Hawks dispatched No. 8 Zane Trace 64-7 in the other quarterfinal.
The Lions have a nine-mile drive from Baltimore to Carroll while their opponents have a nearly 18-mile trek.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.