December 18, 2014

Elyria
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Prep football: Elyria Catholic just makes playoffs; Midview, Avon Lake to meet

In the game that would ultimately determine his team’s postseason fate, Jayson Graham had no hand in its action or outcome. Instead, he had to sit and watch and wait.
And hope.
Graham and several of his Elyria Catholic teammates sat in the stands watching Sandusky St. Mary’s play Edison on Saturday night. The Panthers’ postseason hopes were saved when Edison pulled off a 28-14 victory, denying Huron the eighth and final playoff spot in Division IV, Region 14.
“It was a rare game where I had to sit back and cheer,” said Graham. “It isn’t the ideal way of getting in (the postseason), but we’ll take it.”
The postseason haves and have-nots were made official Sunday with the final computer rankings announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Elyria Catholic just barely made its way into the playoffs as the eighth seed and will face top-seeded Pemberville Eastwood (9-1) on Saturday night. Elyria Catholic joined Avon Lake and Midview, who advanced in Division II, Region 6.
Olmsted Falls, meanwhile, was unable to crack the playoffs, joining Keystone, North Ridgeville and Wellington, who all entered their final week of the regular season mathematically still alive.
The only team that entered its finale with its playoff fate a certainty was Avon Lake, which owned the top seed in Division II. The Shoremen (10-0) will host No. 8 Midview (8-2) on Friday night at Avon Lake Memorial Stadium.
“They’ve earned the opportunity to be there,” said Avon Lake coach Dave Dlugosz, whose Shoremen will be making their 13th appearance in the playoffs and ninth in the last 10 years. “Right now, there are only 32 teams in our division. You’re one of those 32. Now you have to focus just one game at a time, but you can also realize that you’re only four games from the state championship.”
Midview overcame a host of injuries to key personnel, but registered its biggest win of the year Friday, knocking off longtime rival North Ridgeville, 20-14. The Middies received some key secondary points along the way, as Buckeye shut out Brookside and Genoa knocked off Otsego, thereby keeping Bowling Green, Midview’s top competitor in Region 6, out of the playoffs.
“Everything pretty much worked out right for us,” said Midview coach Bill Albright, whose program will make its fifth postseason appearance, all since 1998. “The postseason is a great atmosphere and you should enjoy it. It’s a new season and you’re one of those top teams. It’s something to be proud of.”
The Middies had a strong inkling they were in by late Friday night. Elyria Catholic, by contrast, had no certainty until Saturday.
When Ottawa-Glendforf held off Lima Shawnee on Friday, some believed the Panthers’ postseason hopes were dashed.
Elyria Catholic coach Ben Malbasa was less sure.
“I thought they were looking at the wrong numbers,” said Malbasa. “Late that night, I did the math and I didn’t realize just how close it would be. It was almost like the 2000 election. It was pretty scary.”
Graham described sitting awake into the early hours of Sunday morning, waiting for sleep.
“It was nerve-racking,” said Graham. “Me and a few of the guys were up until 1 or 2 in the morning online trying to figure out if we made it. None of us could sleep. We were too nervous.”
Olmsted Falls was following an equally dramatic storyline through Saturday night. Twenty team members traveled with coaches hoping to watch Holy Name defeat Padua on Saturday.
But with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Padua kicked a 40-yard field goal into the wind to take the lead 16-14 and went on to a 23-14 victory.
“We needed everything to go right on Friday and just about everything did,” said Olmsted Falls coach Jim Ryan. “We just needed one more thing to happen and it didn’t.”
Midview and Elyria Catholic reached the postseason by margins that were among the slimmest in the state among eighth and ninth seeds. The Panthers’ total average was 18.0000, just .2500 better than Huron’s. Midview had a total of 17.8000, just .2000 better than Bowling Green. Only Rossford’s .0500 margin over Indian Lake in Region 10 was thinner.
“The postseason is a chance to spend another week doing what you love to do,” said Malbasa. “You get to play some of the best teams in the state. We get to find out just how good we are. That’s a unique opportunity.”
Contact Pete Alpern at 329-7137 or palpern@chroniclet.com.

THE GAMES

WHAT: Division II, Region 6
WHO:
Midview (8-2) at Avon Lake (10-0)
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

WHAT: Division IV, Region 14
WHO: Elyria Catholic (8-2) at Pemberville Eastwood (9-1)
WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m.

QUARTERFINAL PAIRINGS, WITH SEEDINGS

(sites, times to be set by 10 a.m. Tuesday)
DIVISION I
All Games at 7 p.m. Saturday
REGION 1

8. Painesville Riverside (7-3) at 1. Mentor (7-2)
5. North Royalton (9-1) at 4. Solon (8-2)
7. Glenville (8-2) at 2. St. Ignatius (8-2)
6. Youngstown Boardman (7-3) at 3. Euclid (9-1)
REGION 2
8. Canton GlenOak (6-4) at 1. Brunswick (10-0)
5. Wadsworth (9-1) at 4. Toledo Whitmer (8-2)
7. Toledo St. John’s (6-4) at 2. North Canton Hoover (8-2)
6. Perrysburg (8-2) at 3. Nordonia (9-1)
REGION 3
8. Upper Arlington (8-2) at 1. Hilliard Darby (9-1)
5. Groveport-Madison (7-3) at 4. Columbus Brookhaven (9-1)
7. Lancaster (7-3) at 2. Pickerington Central (10-0)
6. Gahanna Lincoln (7-3) at 3. Dublin Coffman (10-0)
REGION 4
8. Cincinnati Elder (7-3) at 1. Cincinnati St. Xavier (10-0)
5. Cincinnati Princeton (8-2) at 4. Centerville (8-2)
7. Clayton Northmont (7-3) at 2. Cincinnati Colerain (10-0)
6. Cincinnati Moeller (6-3) at 3. Cincinnati Sycamore (9-1)
DIVISION II
All Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday
REGION 5

8. Madison (7-3) at 1. Warren Howland (10-0)
5. Mayfield (7-3) at 4. Parma Padua (7-3)
7. Akron Firestone (7-3) at 2. Tallmadge (9-1)
6. Cleveland South (8-2) at 3. Parma Normandy (8-2)
REGION 6
8. Midview (8-2) at 1. Avon Lake (10-0)
5. Powell Olentangy Liberty (8-2) at 4. Ashland (9-1)
7. Lexington (8-2) at 2. Sylvania Southview (9-1)
6. Piqua (7-3) at 3. Toledo Central Catholic (8-2)
REGION 7
8. Zanesville (8-2) at 1. Columbus DeSales (10-0)
5. Columbus Marion-Franklin (9-1) at 4. Canfield (9-1)
7. Uniontown Lake (7-3) at 2. Louisville (8-2)
6. Dresden Tri-Valley (9-1) at 3. Logan (9-1)
REGION 8
8. Winton Woods (7-3) at 1. Cincinnati Turpin (10-0)
5. Trotwood-Madison (7-3) at 4. Trenton Edgewood (8-1)
7. Kings Mills Kings (8-2) at 2. Cincinnati Anderson (8-2)
6. Dayton Carroll (9-1) at 3. Cincinnati Withrow (9-1)
DIVISION III
All games start at 7:30 p.m. Friday
REGION 9

8. Mogadore Field (9-1) at 1. Walsh Jesuit (8-1)
5. Cortland Lakeview (8-2) at 4. Aurora (9-1)
7. Hubbard (7-3) at 2. Rocky River (10-0)
6. Ravenna (8-2) at Mentor Lake Catholic (6-4)
REGION 10
8. Rossford (6-4) at 1. Sunbury Big Walnut (9-1)
5. Shelby (8-2) at 4. Bellefontaine (9-1)
7. Urbana (9-1) at 2. Napoleon (9-1)
6. Clyde (9-1) at 3. Tipp City Tippecanoe (10-0)
REGION 11
8. Poland Seminary (7-3) at 1. Canal Fulton Northwest (10-0)
5. Canton South (6-4) at 4. Dover (7-3)
7. Granville (7-3) at 2. Newark Licking Valley (9-1)
6. New Concord John Glenn (8-2) at 3. Beloit West Branch (8-2)
REGION 12
8. Eaton (6-4) at 1 Cincinnati Indian Hill (8-2)
5. Circleville (7-3) at 4. Washington Court House (8-2)
7. Germantown Valley View (5-5) at 2. Canal Winchester (9-1)
6. Monroe (8-2) at 3. Goshen (9-1)
DIVISION IV
All Games at 7 p.m. Saturday
REGION 13

8. Coshocton (7-3) at 1. Youngstown Mooney (10-0)
5. Perry (9-1) at 4. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (8-2)
7. Cuy. Valley Christian Acad. (9-1) at 2. Steubenville (10-0)
6. Tuscarawas Valley (8-2) at 3. Canton Central Catholic (9-1)
REGION 14
8. Elyria Catholic (8-2) at 1. Pemberville Eastwood (9-1)
5. Genoa Area (9-1) at 4. Sparta Highland (9-1)
7. Ottawa-Glandorf (8-2) at 2. Fostoria (8-2)
6. Oak Harbor (8-2) at 3. Marion Pleasant (9-1)
REGION 15
8. Ironton Rock Hill (7-3) at 1. St. Clairsville (10-0)
5. Portsmouth (8-2) at 4. Pataskala Licking Heights (9-1)
7. New Lexington (8-2) at 2. Williamsport Westfall (10-0)
6. Belmont Union Local (9-1) at 3. Waverly (9-1)
REGION 16
8. Dayton Oakwood (7-3) at 1. Kettering Alter (10-0)
5. Coldwater (9-1) at 4. Plain City Jonathan Alder (8-2)
7. Brookville (7-3) at 2. West Milton Milton-Union (9-1)
6. Cincinnati Wyoming (8-2) at 3. Clinton-Massie (9-1)
DIVISION V
All Games at 7:30 p.m. Friday
REGION 17

8. Kirtland (8-2) at 1. North Lima South Range (10-0)
5. Vienna Mathews (10-0) at 4. Gilmour Academy (8-1)
7. Bedford Chanel (6-4) at 2. Youngstown Ursuline (8-2
6. West Salem Northwestern (9-1) at 3. Waynedale (8-2)
REGION 18
8. Liberty Center (7-3) at 1. Patrick Henry (9-1)
5. Bucyrus Wynford (10-0) at 4 Lima Central Catholic (9-1)
7. Archbold (7-3) at 2. Findlay Liberty-Benton (10-0)
6. Defiance Tinora (8-2) at 3. Sherwood Fairview (9-1)
REGION 19
8. Belpre (7-3) at 1. Columbus Ready (9-1)
5. Minford (8-2) at 4. Johnstown-Monroe (8-2)
7. Fredericktown (8-2) at 2. Lore City Buckeye Trail (10-0)
6. West Lafayette Ridgewood (9-1) at 3. Wheelersburg (7-3)
REGION 20
8. Milford Center Fairbanks (9-1) at 1. West Jefferson (10-0)
5. Waynesville (7-3) at 4. West Liberty-Salem (9-1)
7. Casstown Miami East (8-2) at 2. Marion Local (10-0)
6. Cincinnati Hills Christian Acad. (8-2) at 3. Deer Park (8-2)
DIVISION VI
All Games at 7 p.m. Saturday
REGION 21

8. Leetonia (7-3) at 1. Bascom Hopewell-Loudon (10-0)
5. Columbiana (7-3) at 4. Mogadore (9-1)
7. Monroeville (6-4) at 2. Norwalk St. Paul (9-1)
6. McDonald (8-2) at 3. Warren JFK (8-2)
REGION 22
8. Toledo Christian (8-2) at 1. McComb (9-1)
5. West Unity Hilltop (8-2) at 4. Arlington (8-2)
7. Defiance Ayersville (7-3) at 2. Carey (8-2)
6. Antwerp (7-3) at 3. Ada (6-4)
REGION 23
8. Sugar Grove Berne Union (6-4) at 1. Newark Cath. (8-2)
5. Malvern (8-2) at 4. Danville (7-3)
7. Steubenville Catholic Central (8-2) at 2. Shadyside (9-1)
6. Beallsville (10-0) at 3. Hannibal River (9-1)
REGION 24
8. Portsmouth Notre Dame (6-4) at 1. Covington (10-0)
5. Sidney Lehman Catholic (7-3) at 4. Lockland (7-3)
7. Waynesville-Goshen (8-2) at 2. Springfield Cath. Cen. (10-0)
6. Mechanicsburg (6-4) at 3. Sciotoville Community (10-0)