Duke Reese.jpg

Mansfield Senior freshman quarterback Duke Reese breaks into the clear against Southview at Arlin Field.

MANSFIELD — Mansfield Senior got its wish.

The 15th-seeded Tygers visit No. 2 Ashland on Friday for a rematch of a Week 4 showdown at Community Stadium. The Arrows won the regular season meeting 13-6.

Senior High earned its spot in the second round with a gutty, 7-3 win over Sylvania Southview in last week’s playoff opener.

“We don’t want to look past (Week 6 opponent) Mount Vernon or Southview, but we would welcome the challenge if we are fortunate enough to play them again,” Senior High coach Chioke Bradley said when the expanded playoff brackets were released earlier this month.

Here’s a look at the six Friday games involving area teams:

No. 15 Mansfield Senior (3-4) at No. 2 Ashland (5-1): The defensive-minded Tygers have held four of their last five opponents to 13 points or less and surrendered just a first-quarter field goal and last week’s 7-3 win over Sylvania Southview. Pitt recruit Aveon Grose sealed the win with an interception late in the fourth quarter, Senior High’s second pick of the day. Myles Bradley had the other and caught a 59 yard touchdown pass from Amar Davis in the first quarter. Grose had 15 tackles as the Tygers limited Southview to 137 total yards. Mansfield Senior managed only 200 yards of offense. Ashland is coming off a stunning 35-14 loss at West Holmes in Week 6. The Arrows led 14-0 at the half, only to surrender five second-half touchdown passes. The Arrows beat the Tygers 13-6 in Week 4. Running back Ethan Hartley rushed for 142 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the first meeting while quarterback Declan Rohr threw for 170 yards on 14 of 21 passing.

No. 13 Plymouth (4-3) at No. 4 Dalton (4-2): The Big Red picked up the first playoff victory in school history in resounding fashion, pounding David Anderson 46-12 last week. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Big Red. Senior quarterback and linebacker Luke Hamman had a big night on both sides of the ball, intercepting a pass tossing a 38-yard touchdown to rangy sophomore wideout Caiden Allen. Noah Trimmer combined with Trace McVey on a safety and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown while Josh Stevens, Shae Sparks and Evan Branham each scored a rushing touchdown. Dalton had a bye last week after falling to highly-regarded and undefeated Norwayne 21-7 in Week 6. Ethan Stutz completed 7 of 14 passes for 74 yards and rushed for 46 yards while Jaiden Malone caught three passes for 29 yards and rushed for a touchdown.

No. 15 Cuyahoga Heights (2-4) at No. 2 Lucas (4-2): The same two teams met in last year’s Region 25 championship game, with Lucas recovering a fumble deep in its own territory in the closing moments to preserve a 21-13 win. New-look Cuyahoga Heights — coach Al Martin lost 19 of last year’s starters to graduation — advanced with a 35-20 win over Mapleton last week. Cuyahoga Heights. Running back Ryan Krajewski rumbled for 121 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Luke Torgerson completed 7 of 8 passes for 159 yards and a TD. The Cubs have lost two straight for the first time since 2016 after winning their first four games of the season. Running back Grant Barrett rushed for 74 yards on 19 carries while quarterback Andrew Smollen tossed a 14 yard touchdown to Ethan Sauder.

No. 19 Buckeye Central (2-5) at No. 3 Leetonia (5-1): The Bucks snapped a 35-game losing streak in Week 4, then won a playoff game for the first time since 2011 in last week’s 32-29 victory at Wellsville. Kolin Rowlinson rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns, while Mason Brown rumbled 112 yards and a TD. Quarterback Brady Kerschner fired a pair of TD passes to Eli Smith. After opening the season with five straight wins, Leetonia got roughed up in a 41-8 loss to Hanoverton United. Running backs Jacob McCool and Dylan Durick combined for 148 rushing yards while quarterback Dylan Lennon tossed a 14 yard touchdown pass to Mike Miller for the Bears’ only score.

No. 13 Cardington (4-3) at No. 4 Danville (4-2): The Pirates opened the playoffs with a resounding 68-43 home win over Lancaster Fisher Catholic — the first playoff victory and the first playoff appearance in program history. Quarterback Nate Hickman led the charge, completing 17 passes for 263 yards. Hickman has completed 100 of 212 passes on the season for 1,588 yards and 16 touchdowns. Trey Brininger caught seven passes for 92 yards in the win over Fisher Catholic while Ashton Plowman had five grabs for 88 yards. Danville is in the playoffs for the 19th time in program history and first since reaching the state semifinals in 2017. The Blue Devils are coming off a heart-breaking 7-6 loss to rival East Knox in the final week of the regular season. Fullback Levi Lyons scored Danville’s lone touchdown on fourth down just 13 seconds before halftime. The Blue Devils beat Cardington 30-22 back in Week 2 of the regular season

No. 15 Toronto (4-3) at No. 2 East Knox (5-1): The Red Knights advanced with a 26-12 win over Tuscarawas Central Catholic. Garrett Dozier rushed for 183 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Toronto piled up 418 yards of total offense, including 301 yards on the ground. The Bulldogs knocked off rival Danville 7-6 in the annual Devil-Dog Game in Week 6. Weston Melick blocked Danville’s PAT try after the Bulldogs scored their only touchdown of the evening late in the second quarter. Melick scored East Knox’s lone touchdown on fourth down in the third quarter and booted what proved to be the game-winning PAT, then helped preserve the victory with a second-half fumble recovery.

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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