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FB STATE FINALS: The pairings for Nov. 30-Dec. 1

November 25, 2012
By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Ohio Preps Authority

From OHSAA.org

COLUMBUS – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the pairings and notes for the 41st annual state football championships. For the 23rd consecutive year, the finals will be played in historic Canton Fawcett Stadium and Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium, both of which have been named “Famous High School Venues” by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

To the pairings (rankings are from the final Associated Press polls; home teams listed first)!

DIVISION I – Saturday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. @ Canton Fawcett Stadium
#5 Toledo Whitmer (14-0) vs. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (11-3)

DIVISION II – Friday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. @ Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
#1 Toledo Central Catholic (13-1) vs. #10 Trotwood-Madison (12-2)

DIVISION III – Saturday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m. @ Canton Fawcett Stadium
#9 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (12-2) vs. #8 Bellevue (13-1)

DIVISION IV – Friday, Nov. 30, 3 p.m. @ Canton Fawcett Stadium
#7 St. Clairsville (14-0) vs. #4 Clarksville Clinton-Massie (14-0)

DIVISION V - Saturday, Dec. 1, 3 p.m. @ Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
#2 Kirtland (14-0) vs. #1 Coldwater (14-0)

DIVISION VI - Friday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. @ Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
#9 Newark Catholic (12-2) vs. #6 Maria Stein Marion Local (12-2)

Notes, game preview capsules, playoff histories of all remaining teams, pairings, general tournament notes, the final AP poll and much more can be found in the Football Weekly Release at www.ohsaa.org/news/sports/2012OHSAAFootballRelease6.pdf.

Brackets, weekly press releases, pairings releases, ticket information, and televised games schedule can be found in the 2012 OHSAA Football Tournament Central at www.ohsaa.org/sports/ft/boys/2012/TournamentCentral.htm.

The OHSAA Radio Network (www.OHSAA.org/news/Radio/radiohome.asp) will carry all six state championships.

Championship game notes:

WHITMER VS. MOELLER: The 2012 state championship game will be the eighth meeting between the two schools. Moeller holds a 7-0 advantage over Whitmer in the head-to-head matchup. The two schools have not played since 1993. The latest the two schools have met in the playoffs prior to 2012 was in the 1979 state football semifinal.

REPRESENTING TOLEDO: Whitmer is looking to bring home the city of Toledo’s first Division I football state championship since 1984. Toledo St. Francis DeSales defeated North Canton Hoover 17-14 to win the title that year.

WELCOME BACK CINCINNATI: Since 2000 the city of Cincinnati has sent a team to the Division I state championship game eight times. Moeller becomes the fourth team in that span to go the finals, the others include Cincinnati Colerain, Cincinnati Elder and Cincinnati St. Xavier.

12TH FINAL IN 2012: Moeller is playing in its 12th state championship game and first since 1997. The Crusaders are tied for second for most championship game appearances. Newark Catholic leads all schools with 14, followed by Moeller, Cleveland St. Ignatius (12), Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (11) and Versailles (9).

LOOKING TO GO UNDEFEATED: Whitmer, 14-0, is one of only five remaining unbeaten teams in the state and is looking to go undefeated for the first time in school history. The 14 wins are also the most in school history for one season, topping the 13 wins from the state semifinal team from a year ago.

LOOKING FOR BACK-TO-BACK TITLES: Trotwood-Madison returns to Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium for the third year in a row and is looking to repeat as state champion in Division II. The Rams defeated Avon 42-28 to win their first state championship in 2011 after finishing as runner-up in 2010.

REPRESENTING TOLEDO PART TWO: Toledo Central Catholic is one of two schools representing Toledo in the 2012 football finals. Whitmer is the other (see Div. I note). The Irish have brought back the most recent title, and one of only three, to the city winning the Division II title in 2005, defeating Canfield 31-29.

TROTWOOD-MADISON’S GREEN: Trotwood-Madison’s Isreal Green ran the ball 35 times for 327 yards and six touchdowns in the 2011 state championship game as a junior. Green set all divisions records for most points (36), most touchdowns and most rushing touchdowns (6), along with the Division II record for rushing yards in a state championship game.

FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING: Central Catholic and Trotwood-Madison are meeting in the state championship game for the first time.

FOR THE FIRST TIME: Bellevue is making an appearance in the state title game in football for the first time. The Redmen had reached the final four two other times in 1996 and 2001, but were unable advance to the championship game.

LONG ROAD BACK: Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary returns to the state championship game in football for its sixth time. The Irish haven’t appeared in a title game since 1988 when they defeated Ironton 14-12 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.

BEATING #1: In its road to the championship game Bellevue defeated AP #1 Napoleon 35-20 in its regional semifinal game. The Redmen went on to defeat AP #4 Dayton Thurgood Marshall 34-33 in the state semifinal.

SUCCESS IN THE FINALS: St. Vincent-St. Mary has had success once it has made it to the state championship game in its history. The Irish are 4-1 in title games, their lone state runner-up trophy coming in a 1979 loss to Ironton 7-6.

FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING: St. Vincent-St. Mary and Bellevue are meeting in the state championship game for the first time. In the 2001 state semifinals, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Bellevue both qualified, but did not meet. Bellevue was in Division III and St. Vincent-St. Mary was in Division IV.

A GAME OF FIRSTS: St. Clairsville and Clarksville Clinton-Massie are both making their first state championship game appearance in 2012. St. Clairsville had previously made the state semifinals two other times, but not since the 1980s, while Clarksville Clinton-Massie made the semifinals last year but was defeated by Kenton 36-6.

TAKING DOWN THE CHAMP: St. Clairsville defeated defending champion Creston Norwayne 40-27 in it state semifinal game. The Red Devils held Norwayne to a season low 27 points, while going for 430 yards through the air on offense. Norwayne was previously undefeated and ranked number-three in the AP poll.

BEATING #1: In its state semifinal game Clarksville Clinton-Massie defeated AP #1 Columbus Bishop Hartley 45-21 to advance to the championship game.

PUTTING UP RECORD POINTS: Pending verification of the point totals, Div. IV state finalist Clarksville Clinton-Massie has scored 776 points this season going into the championship game, which breaks the state record for points in a season set initially by Marion Pleasant in 2001.

NO SLOUCH EITHER: St. Clairsville’s offense has been busy as well, producing 677 points during the 2012 football season. Combined the Red Devils and Falcons have amassed 1,453 points going into the state championship game.

MATCHUP OF UNDEFEATEDS: Both St. Clairsville and Clarksville Clinton-Massie come into the championship game with undefeated records of 14-0.

THE REMATCH: Coldwater and Kirtland will face off for the second straight year in the Division V championship game at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Kirtland defeated Coldwater 28-7 in 2011 to win its first football state championship.

#1 VS. #2: The matchup between Coldwater and Kirtland is the only championship game that features the AP number-one versus number-two. The Division V game is also the only game that features a number one or two team in a championship game.

PERFECT SEASON AT STAKE: Both Coldwater and Kirtland come into the championship game with undefeated records of 14-0.

BACK-TO-BACK APPEARANCES...TITLES?: Kirtland made its first state semifinal and final appearance in 2011 and wound up with its first state championship. The Hornets look to go two-for-two in appearances and titles in the 2012 championship game.

FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW: Coldwater is in the title game for the fourth year in a row and sixth time in the last eight years. The impressive run has produced two state championships and three runner-up trophies. (See page six for a note regarding other schools that have played in four or more consecutive state championship games.)

STEEPED IN TRADITION: Newark Catholic is making its OHSAA record 14th state championship game appearance. The Green Wave have won eight titles, which is tied for second with Youngstown Cardinal Mooney. Newark Catholic is first in games played and wins in the playoffs with 90 and 67, respectively.

RECENT TRADITION: Maria Stein Marion Local is making its seventh state championship game appearance since 2000. The Flyers have won five championships in those seven appearances, the last coming a year ago.

BACK-TO-BACK FOR A THIRD TIME?: Marion Local defeated New Washington Buckeye Central 61-21 in 2011 and will look for back-to-back state championships. The Flyers accomplished the feat for the first time in 2000 and 2001 and the second time in 2006 and 2007.

HEAVY ON THE HARDWARE: Between these two schools they will have now played in 21 state championship games (NC-14, ML-7) and have won 13 titles (NC-8, ML-5) before the 2012 game. They also have 35 state semifinal appearances between them (NC-24, ML-11).

FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP MEETING: Newark Catholic and Marion Local are meeting in the state championship game for the first time. Both schools qualified for the state tournament together in 1981 but played in opposite semifinal games. Marion Local was defeated in its semifinal, while Newark Catholic advanced to the final, falling to Tiffin Calvert 3-0 in the championship game.

General state championship notes:

DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS: Three of the six defending state champions have reached the state finals, including Trotwood-Madison (12-2) in Div. II, Kirtland (14-0) in Div. V and Maria Stein Marion Local (12-2) in Div. VI. (Div. IV defending state champion Creston Norwayne lost to St. Clairsville in the state semifinal, Div. I defending state champion Cleveland St. Ignatius lost in triple overtime to Mentor in the regional finals (see later note), while defending Div. III state champion Youngstown Cardinal Mooney did not qualify for the playoffs.)

NOTING THE UNDEFEATED: There are currently five unbeaten teams heading into the state finals, including undefeated matchups in the Div. IV and Div. V title games. There are no undefeated teams remaining in Div. II and III.

FIRST STATE TITLE APPEARANCE: Four schools are playing in their first football state final. In Div. I Toledo Whitmer makes the championship for the first time in its sixth state final four appearance, Div. III Bellevue is making its first appearance in the three final four appearances and in Div. IV both schools are making their first title game appearance. St. Clairsville in its third trip to the final four and Clarksville Clinton-Massie in its second final four appearance.

TITLE GAME REMATCH: Coldwater (14-0, AP #1) and Kirtland (14-0, AP#2) will face off for the second straight year in the Division V championship game at Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Kirtland defeated Coldwater 28-7 in 2011 to win its first football state championship. The last time a championship game rematch occurred was in 2000 and 2001 in Division VI the teams being Maria Stein Marion Local and Mogadore, with Marion Local winning both games.

A FAMILIAR FEELING: In addition to the three defending state champions that return to the final, three other schools from the 2011 state semifinals have won to advance to a state championship game. They include Toledo Whitmer (14-0) in Div. I, Clarksville Clinton-Massie (14-0) in Div. IV and Coldwater (14-0) in Div. V. In addition to those six schools the state finals are a familiar setting for several other teams even though they were not there last year. They include Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in Div. I (12th state final appearance, first since 1997), Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in Div. III (sixth appearance, first since 1988) and Newark Catholic in Div. VI (14th appearance, last in 2007). Coldwater is the state finals for the eighth time and the fourth year in a row.

FOUR IN A ROW CLUB: Coldwater is now the seventh school in OHSAA history to play in four or more consecutive football state championship games. Newark Catholic owns the record with eight straight title game appearances (1980-87) followed by Cleveland St. Ignatius with six in a row (1991-96). Five schools have advanced to the title game four straight years, including Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (1979-82), Versailles (1993-96), Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (2004-07), Youngstown Ursuline (2007-10) and now Coldwater (2009-12). Considering that the OHSAA expanded the number of playoff qualifiers to 8 teams per region in 1999 and thus creating the potential for a 15 game season, Coldwater becomes the first school to play 60 games in four years. Cardinal Mooney played 58 and Ursuline 59 in their four year runs.

RECORD-SETTING OFFENSE FROM CLINTON-MASSIE: Pending verification of the point totals, Div. IV state finalist Clarksville Clinton-Massie has scored 776 points this season, which breaks the state record for points in a season set initially by Marion Pleasant in 2001.

MAC ATTACK: Coldwater and Maria Stein Marion Local, two Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) schools, have continued the conference’s streak of having at least one team play in a state championship game every year since 2003. MAC teams have gone on to win 11 state championships in those nine years (Delphos St. John’s 3, Maria Stein Marion Local 3, Coldwater 2, St. Henry 2, Versailles 1). Coldwater (14-0) plays Kirtland (14-0) in the Division V state final game, while Maria Stein Marion Local (12-2) will take on Newark Catholic (12-2) in the Division VI state final game.

MAC NOTE #2: For the 10th time since 1999, the Midwest Athletic Conference has two teams playing for State Championships. The MAC has brought home two state titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The next MAC title in any sport will be the 100th in the history of the conference that debuted in 1973.

STARK COUNTY STADIUMS TOP THE LIST: Canton Fawcett Stadium and Massillon Paul Brown Tiger Stadium were named No. 1 and 10, respectively, among the nation’s best high school football stadiums, as voted by ESPN.com in 2009. Both stadiums have been named “Famous High School Venues” by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

THREE SCHOOLS MADE FIRST TRIP TO SEMIFINALS: Three schools made their first appearance in the state semifinals, including Pickerington North in Div. I, Dayton Thurgood Marshall in Div. III and Dover in Div. III. In fact, this year marked only the second time Pickerington North had qualified for the playoffs and it marked the first time the school had won a playoff game since the Pickerington school district split into North and Central in the mid-1990s. Pickerington Central is credited with 13 playoff appearances and was the Div. I runner-up last year. Pickerington North defeated Pickerington Central this year in the regional quarterfinals. Dover, meanwhile, is in the state semifinals for the first time despite making its 16th playoff appearance this year.

HISTORICAL MATCH-UP IN DIVISION VI: The state semifinal match-up in Division VI between Newark Catholic and Mogadore featured the two schools that have made the most state semifinal appearances in OHSAA football history. This year marked the 21st time that Newark Catholic has been to the semifinals, while Mogadore made its 16th appearance in the semifinals. Newark Catholic owns eight state titles, while Mogadore owns three. Newark Catholic made its state-leading 32nd playoff appearance in 2012. The Green Wave also own the state record with 66 playoff wins. Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (31), Ironton (30), Mogadore (26) and Steubenville (25), which all qualified for the playoffs, and round out the top-five of most appearances.

AND JUST AS NOTEWORTHY IN DIVISION VI: When it comes to all-time best playoff winning percentage, Delphos St. John’s owns that record with a .845 winning percentage (49-9), but the Blue Jays were knocked out of the playoffs this year in the regional finals by McComb, which is making its second appearance in the state semifinals and first since 1983. McComb faced defending state champion Maria Stein Marion Local in the state semifinals, which ranks second behind Delphos St. John’s on the best playoff winning percentage list at .839 (47-9).

TRIPLE OVERTIME: In the Div. I, Region 1 regional final game between Mentor and Cleveland St. Ignatius it took three overtimes to decide an outcome. Mentor defeated the defending state champion Wildcats by attempting a two-point conversion rather than kicking an extra point in the third overtime. The decision paid off for the Cardinals and sent them to the state semifinals for the third time with a 57-56 win. The triple overtime game is the 11th in OHSAA playoff history. Four games have gone longer all-time in the playoffs (two into five overtimes and two into four overtimes). A total of five games have gone into at least one overtime period in the 2012 playoffs.

OFFENSIVE OUTBURST: In the Division I, Region 1 regional semifinal, fourth-seed Mentor took down previously undefeated number-one seed Lakewood St. Edward 63-56. The 119 points is tied for second for a playoff game combined scoring record. The record of 123 points came in a 2003 regional final, in which Newark Licking Valley defeated Germantown Valley View 63-60.

ANNUAL CONTENDERS: Entering this season, Columbus St. Francis DeSales held the longest active streak of consecutive years making the playoffs at 18 years, until the Stallions did not qualify for the playoffs in 2012. The new active streak belongs to Div. V state semifinalist Coldwater, which made the playoffs for the 17th consecutive year in 2012 and is in the semifinals for the 10th time (see earlier note). The second-longest streak is held by Mogadore in Div. VI at 14 straight playoff years. They are in the state semifinals for the 16th time. The longest streak all-time of consecutive years making the playoffs is 22 years by Cleveland St. Ignatius. That streak started in 1988 and was broken in 2010 when the Wildcats did not qualify for the playoffs. St. Ignatius returned to the playoffs in 2011 and won the Division I state title.

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