ONTARIO — The Warriors will most certainly have their hands full, but coach Chris Miller is looking forward to the challenge.
No. 9 Ontario will visit No. 8 Kenton on Saturday for a Division IV, Region 14 second-round game. The Warriors advanced with a resounding 62-0 win over Vermilion in last week’s playoff opener, the first postseason victory since 2001.
“We’ve got a tall task next week,” Miller said after last week’s win. “I just like our attitude right now. I’m proud of our kids and our coaches.”
Here’s a look at Saturday’s playoff games around north central Ohio:
No. 16 Galion (4-3) at No. 1 Bellevue (6-0): The Tigers are coming off an overwhelming performance in last week’s Division IV, Region 14 playoff opener, a 55-14 win over Lutheran West. Quarterback Wilson Frankhouse completed 11 of 15 passes for 243 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for a TD in the win. Hanif Donaldson had four catches for 99 yards and a score and ran for a touchdown, while Jackson Staton had a pair of TD grabs among his four catches. Bellevue had a bye last week after knocking off defending Division IV state champ Clyde 16-7 in Week 6. Keegan Ray may be the best dual threat quarterback in the region. He has completed 58 of 109 passes for 954 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 750 yards and 10 scores on 182 carries. Linebacker Mason Bova leads the team with 43 tackles
No. 9 Ontario (5-2) at No 8 Kenton (3-3): The Warriors unloaded on Vermilion in the opening round of the Division IV, Region 14 playoffs, rumbling to a 62-0 win. Quarterback Ethan Snyder threw five touchdown passes, three to Griffin Shaver. Isaiah Ginn rushed for a pair of touchdowns and was virtually unblock able from his defensive end spot, blocking a punt that led to a second-quarter touchdown. Kenton stumbles into the postseason after back-to-back losses to Wapakoneta and Ottawa-Glandorf. Quarterback Blaine Huston accounted for all four of Kenton’s touchdowns in the 34-27 loss to O-G, throwing for three and rushing for one. He completed 31 of 44 passes for 285 yards.
No. 15 Rossford (4-3) at No. 2 Shelby (6-0): The Bulldogs dispatched Triway 44-34 in the opening round of the Division IV, Region 14 playoffs as quarterback Alex Williams threw for 345 yards and rushed for another 174. Wideout Jamari Croom caught eight passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns. The Whippets had an opening-round bye after putting the finishing touches on an undefeated regular season with a 45-21 win over River Valley. Running back Owen Fisher has rushed for 1,036 yards and 16 touchdowns despite battling a lower body injury the second half of the season. Quarterback Marshall Shepherd has completed 69 of 110 passes (62.7 percent) for 1,105 yards and 13 touchdowns. Blaine Bowman leads a talented receiving corps with 24 catches for 379 yards and six touchdowns, while Andre Hill has 21 grabs for 316 yards and a pair of TDs. Senior defensive end and sack artist Marek Albert is expected back this week after missing almost the entire regular season with a collarbone injury.
No. 10 Indian Lake (4-3) at No. 7 Wynford (4-2): The Lakers have won two in a row and four of five after opening the season with back-to-back losses. Indian Lake knocked off Willard 37-12 in its Division V, Region 18 playoff opener. Quarterback Caleb Wurster triggers an offense that’s averaged 30.4 points a game in the last five games. His top target is Kaleb Hurley, while running back Elijah Slagle is a handful. Lane Mefford rushed for a pair of touchdowns and caught a 51 yard touchdown pass from Wurster in the playoff victory over Willard. The Royals are coming off a disheartening 31-23 loss to Carey in Week 6. Quarterback Dustin Brady is one of the most prolific passers in north central Ohio, completing 97 of 146 passes for 1,646 yards and 22 touchdowns. Receiver Lucas Hackworth has 31 catches for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns. Linebacker Cody Taylor ranks among Northern 10 Athletic Conference leaders with 73 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss.
No. 12 Hillsdale (4-3) at No. 5 Pymatuning Valley (6-0): The Falcons reached the second round of the postseason for the fourth straight year thanks to a resounding 51-0 win over Campbell Memorial. Ty Williams rushed for 144 yards, including a school-record 92 yard touchdown dash in the second quarter. Quarterback Caden Mutchler has completed 119 of 190 passes for 1,184 yards and 14 touchdowns while Justin Zeigler has 46 catches for 585 yards and eight TDs. Williams anchors the defense from his linebacker spot and has 88 tackles. He is the program’s career tackles leader. Pymatuning Valley has given up just 14 points all season and has four shutouts. The Lakers have won back-to-back Northeast Athletic Conference titles, the first time in program history. Andrew Root did a little bit of everything in a 38-7 win over Fairport Harding in Week 6, returning the opening kickoff 42 yards to set up a touchdown and hauling in a 73 yard touchdown catch from quarterback Tyler Bean on the first play of the second quarter.
No. 9 Crestview (6-1) at No. 8 Carey (6-1): The Cougars won their fifth straight game with a 49-0 victory over Evergreen in a Division VI, Region 22 playoff opener last week. Quarterback Ross Kuhn rushed for a pair of first-half touchdowns, as did running back Chase Shifflet, who led the way with 62 rushing yards on 13 carries. Carey advanced with a 63-0 win over Montpelier, its sixth straight win after a season-opening 16-7 loss to Colonel Crawford. In four home games this season, the Blue Devils have outscored their opponents 245-0. Quarterback Derek Lonsway completed all six of his passing attempts against Montpelier for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a score. Meanwhile, the defense limited Montpelier to 70 yards of total offense.
No. 15 Seneca East (4-3) at No. 2 Colonel Crawford (6-0): The Tigers bring a modest two-game winning streak into Saturday’s Division VI, Region 22 second-round game after a 32-28 win over Delta last week in Attica. Quarterback Gavin Hargis accounted for 296 yards of total offense, including 125 yards on the ground. The Eagles, led by veteran coach Ryan Teglovic, earned a first-round bye after pounding Bucyrus 70-0 in Week 6. Running back Tristan Cross led the Northern 10 Athletic Conference in rushing with 801 yards and 11 touchdowns on 95 carries. Quarterback Brock Ritzhaupt has competed 57 of 103 passes for 924 yards and nine TDs. Linebacker Carson Feichtner leads the team with 64 tackles while defensive end Chase Walker leads the N10 with 20 tackles for loss.
No. 18 Loudonville (2-5) at No. 2 Centerburg (6-0): The Redbirds snapped a three-game losing streak with last week’s 35-14 upset of Northmor in the opening round of the Division VI, Region 23 playoffs. Freshman running back Sam Williams-Dixon rumbled for 223 yards and and three touchdowns on 32 carries and caught four passes for 54 yards and a TD. Fellow freshman Kyle Maltarich returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. The Trojans had a first-round bye and dispatching Fredericktown 48-9 in Week 6. Running back Donnell Marshall rushed for 127 yards and three touchdown on 11 carries and caught an 8 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Gregory, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 93 yards and two scores.