MANSFIELD — Angelo Grose and the rest of Mansfield Senior’s ultra-talented senior class have been waiting for opportunity for the past two years.
The Tygers will get their chance at redemption in the opening round of the playoffs.
Second-seeded Senior High (9-1) will host No. 7 Bay (7-3) in a Division III, Region 10 quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Arlin Field.
Two years ago Senior High traveled to Bay’s Memorial Stadium as a No. 7 seed and let a winnable game slip through its fingers. The Tygers turned the ball over twice and had a bad exchange on a fourth-down punt that resulted in a short field for the Rockets in what turned into a 28-18 Bay win.
“What I remember most about that game is we came out and moved the ball right down the field and took the lead on them,” said Grose, a starting receiver and defensive back on that frigid early-November night. “Then we got the ball back and were moving it again. Then, boom, we turned it over and they scored and completely changed the game.”
The Tygers were led that night by Jornell Manns, a University of Minnesota recruit. Manns rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
The 2019 Tygers are led by another major college recruit. Grose, who caught a touchdown pass from Sid Caudill late in the fourth quarter of the 2017 loss, is headed to Michigan State. Classmates Clay Caudill (Toledo) and Anthony Hawkins (Bowling Green) also have verbally committed to Division I college programs.
“We kind of feel like we have some unfinished business,” Grose said. “We’ll have to play well, but we feel like this is a chance at redemption.”
Senior High was one of six area teams to get the call Sunday when the Ohio High School Athletic Association released its first-round playoff pairings.
In Region 14 of Division IV, third-seeded Galion (8-2) will host No. 6 Ottawa-Glandorf (7-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Unckrish Stadium. No. 4 Shelby (7-3) will host No. 5 No. 5 Edison (7-3) at W.W. Skiles Field.
In Division VI, Region 22, No. 5 Hillsdale (7-3) will be at No. 4 Northmor (9-1), while No. 6 Crestview (7-3) will be at No. 3 East Knox (10-0). The Cougars, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, secured their spot with a 34-0 win over Firelands Conference rival Plymouth on Friday.
“We think that is going to be enough to get us in,” first-year coach Steve Haverdill said afterward, “but we were in a similar situation a couple of years ago and we thought we were in but we ended up missing (the No. 8 seed) by .05.”
In Division VII, Region 25, No. 2 seed Lucas (8-2) will host No. 7 McDonald (6-4) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Bob Wine Field. The Cubs are in the playoffs for an area-best sixth consecutive year.