PDT Sports Writer
A familiar site for SOC football teams will be the venue of Saturday night’s Division V, Region 17 Championship as No. 3 Wheelersburg and No. 1 Columbus Bishop Hartley will play at Nelsonville-York’s Boston Field.
The Pirates advanced thanks to a 45-0 win over No. 2 Martins Ferry while the Hawks dispatched Baltimore Liberty Union 14-7. The fifth-seeded Lions were last year’s Division V, Region 19 champions and did it by defeating Wheelersburg, Oak Hill and Valley in succession for the state semifinal berth.
Boston Field has not been too kind for SOC schools in recent memory. Since West’s 18-12 win over the host Buckeyes in the 2011 Division V, Region 19 Quarterfinals, conference schools have lost their last three playoff games. The top-seeded and SOC II champion Indians were eliminated last Friday at Boston Field by No. 4 Newark Catholic 35-21 in a Division VI, Region 21 Semifinal.
The last trip for the Pirates to Nelsonville for a playoff came in the 2010 Division V, Region 19 Semifinals. Wheelersburg fell 36-13 to Fredericktown, which went on to win the region that season.
Bishop Hartley won the Division IV, Region 14 crown a year but fell to eventual state champion Clarksville Clinton-Massie in the state semifinals. A win in Saturday’s championship would be the third regional championship for the Hawks in four seasons. They won the Division IV state championship in 2010.
Not only would a win for Wheelersburg be the school’s first since 1998, it would also bump the Pirates’ all-time playoff record above the .500 mark. They come in with a 23-23 record after their two playoff wins this postseason.
Tickets will be available during school hours Tuesday through Friday at both Wheelersburg High and Middle Schools as well as from 8-10 a.m. Saturday at the high school. Deemer’s Supermarket will also be selling tickets during regular business hours. All presale tickets are $7 and $9 at the gate the day of the game.
The Southeast District will also have a pair of teams playing for regional championships. In Division III, Region 9, top-seeded Athens and No. 2 Columbus Marion-Franklin will play Friday night at Logan’s Chieftain Stadium. In Division VII, Region 25, No. 1 Trimble and No. 2 Shadyside will collide Saturday at Zanesville’s Sulsberger Stadium.
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.