The 2015 high school football regular season has come to an end, and after all the wins and losses have been calculated, four area teams have earned the right to play on into the postseason, and attempt to take home a state championship. Wheelersburg, Valley, East, and Ironton have all advanced into the 2015 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Football Playoffs.
The four teams will represent three different divisions and regions within the OHSAA Football Playoffs, with their ultimate goal of reaching the state finals held at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on December 3-5.
Each division sends 32 teams into the playoffs, that are then divided up into four regions of eight teams. The only exception to this is Division I, which is made up of the most populous schools in the state.
Two of the four teams will be representing Division V, the Wheelersburg Pirates, and the Ironton Fighting Tigers. To be considered a Division V school by the OHSAA, it must have a male enrollment anywhere from 150-200 in the high school.
The two Division V representatives will face off against each other Friday night, November 6th. The game will be held at Ed Miller Stadium in Wheelersburg, Ohio, and will have a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Additional rounds of the OHSAA Football Playoffs will be held at neutral sites.
The Pirates (10-0) are the number one seed team for Region 17, and will host the Fighting Tigers (6-4), the region’s number eight seed.
Earlier this year, Wheelersburg defeated Ironton 14-6 in a Week 1 matchup.
The Fighting Tigers are making their 32nd OHSAA Football Playoff appearance, the third highest number of appearances in the history of the playoffs, and has an impressive 45 victories in the playoffs, tied for 11th place. Wheelersburg is tied for sixth place on the all-time playoff appearance list, making their 27th appearance.
Ironton started off the season losing its first four games, but then turned their season around and won their remaining six games. As a result of their mid-season turnaround, the Fighting Tigers squeaked into the playoff picture, surpassing Coshocton as the number eight seed.
Last year, no number eight seeds were victorious in their games against number one seeds. However, in 2013, three of the number eight seeds were able to upset a number one seed, and one of those three went on to advance to the state semifinal.
In Division VI, the Valley Indians will host the Chesapeake Panthers Saturday evening, November 7th at 7 p.m. Division VI schools have a male enrollment of 107-149 in their high schools.
The Indians (8-1) were named as the number two seed for Region 21, while the Panthers (8-2) were awarded the number seven seed in the region.
Valley ran through most of their opponents this season, falling only to the Wheelersburg Pirates late in the season. The Indians would rebound from the loss, defeating the Minford Falcons 41-14 the following week, securing second place in the Southern Ohio Conference (SOC) Division II standings.
The Panthers will travel to Lucasville in an attempt to upset the Indians. Chesapeake finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference, just behind Ironton. This season, the Panthers have racked up wins over area teams such as Oak Hill, Symmes Valley, and Portsmouth, while suffering losses to Ironton, and Rock Hill.
The East Tartans of Sciotoville will represent Division VII on Friday night as they travel to Caldwell, Ohio to take on the Caldwell Redskins. Division VII schools have a male enrollment of 106 or less in their high schools. The Tartans (6-4) were named the number seven seed in Region 25, while the Redskins (9-1) took the number two seed in the region.
While East had a few setbacks with conference rivals this year, the Tartans were able to make the playoffs thanks to several key wins, including a Week 10 win over the Notre Dame Titans.
Caldwell earned a share of the Pioneer Valley Conference title this season with an undefeated conference schedule. The Redskins played one area team in the regular season, defeating the Waverly Tigers 46-13 in a Week 5 matchup.
Friday – Ironton @ Wheelersburg, 7:30 p.m.
East @ Caldwell, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday – Chesapeake @ Valley, 7 p.m.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931 or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82