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Ohio Playoffs: State Semi-Finals


OdbCle
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Division I
 
Lakewood St. Edward (13-1) vs. Gahanna-Lincoln (13-1): Most are not giving GL much of a chance in this game.  But while Ed's is clearly the favorite, the Golden Lions defense gives them a punchers chance. From a talent perspective they are more equipped that UA was last year, and UA gave Ed's one of their closest games. That may have been the case because of the deliberate and disciplined approach UA brought to the table with the clock-eating run game, but still, it's a lesson that you can't take any team for granted at this point in the year. Only good teams make it this far, and GL has been the class of Columbus. They have two D1 bookends on defense with Kamari Burns and Elijah King, and the All-Central District D1 offensive player of the year in RB Diore Hubbard.  They will need monster games from those three in particular to combat the dominating offensive line and run-stopping defense that Ed's brings to the table. The maturation of Casey Bullock in the pass game has also added an additional element to the Eagle offense.  He has been incredibly accurate and efficient in this playoff run, allowing homerun-hitting receiver Kyan Mason to effectively stretch the field and exploit opposing secondaries. The biggest question mark for Ed's right now is the kicking game. Punter Ben Lavelle was forced to assume kicking duties this year after the former kicker left to play travel soccer, and his accuracy has been all over the place. He's missed something like 4/5 FG attempts in recent weeks, and also an XP. It hasn't cost them yet, but it could in a close game. 
 
Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (13-1) vs. Springfield (12-1): This final-four rematch has been a year in the making which saw Springfield eek out a 22-21 win back in 2021. While Springfield graduated their dual-threat dynamo Te'Sean Smoot, they picked up one of the state's best pocket-passers via transfer in Bryce Schondelmyer. He has been slinging it around all year to the state's best WR combo in Anthony Brown and Daylen Bradley to the tune of over 4,000 yards. Defensively, Springfield has two difference-makers in LB Javion Norman and DB Aaron Scott. Scott is one of the top corner prospects in the class of 2024 and will be tasked with covering Moeller's speedy Tennel Bryant. Norman and front seven of Springfield will have to find a way to slow Jordan Marshall. Marshall did not play the second half of the LW game last week, and it was rumored he had a concussion. The backup Weeder still went for over 100 against LW's vaunted defense. No matter who suits up, Moeller's offensive line will still be opening up holes. If that is the case and they can grind out yards on the ground while keeping the explosive Springfield offense off the field (much how Ed's did in last years championship game), Moeller will win this game. 
 
Division II
 
Akron Archbishop Hoban (13-1) vs. Massillon Washington (12-1): This game should be every bit as good as the Moeller-Springfield one. These two D2 powers were on a collision course last year until Massillon inexplicably lost in the region final to Green. Some are seeing this as the de-facto championship game. Hoban and RB Lamar Sperling have been unstoppable so far in these playoffs, running over, around and through every opponent. Massillon will have to find a way to contain Sperling to give themselves a shot. If the Tigers can work the passing game like they did against Ed's to compliment the running of Hartson, then things can really open up. Ardell Banks is a nightmare matchup for any defense with his size and speed at the WR position. College coaches have taken notice of him this season and the one-time Toledo commit is now back on the market and looking at Kentucky, Pitt, Cincy and others. 
 
Toledo Central Catholic (13-1) vs. Kings Mills Kings (13-1): I was very much looking forward to a TCC-Winton Woods matchup, but Kings had something to say about it. Kind of like the Ed's/GL game, most seem to think this should be a walk in the park for a very talented TCC team. Personally, I'm not going to sleep on any team that beat a loaded WW squad. That being said, I'm also not going to predict an upset here. The Fighting Irish impressed me last week as they were able to limit a very explosive Avon team. They did allow a comeback after leading 28-7 after the 3rd, and need to remain focused against Kings for 4 quarters. If they do, they win. 
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7 hours ago, OdbCle said:
Division I
 
Lakewood St. Edward (13-1) vs. Gahanna-Lincoln (13-1): Most are not giving GL much of a chance in this game.  But while Ed's is clearly the favorite, the Golden Lions defense gives them a punchers chance. From a talent perspective they are more equipped that UA was last year, and UA gave Ed's one of their closest games. That may have been the case because of the deliberate and disciplined approach UA brought to the table with the clock-eating run game, but still, it's a lesson that you can't take any team for granted at this point in the year. Only good teams make it this far, and GL has been the class of Columbus. They have two D1 bookends on defense with Kamari Burns and Elijah King, and the All-Central District D1 offensive player of the year in RB Diore Hubbard.  They will need monster games from those three in particular to combat the dominating offensive line and run-stopping defense that Ed's brings to the table. The maturation of Casey Bullock in the pass game has also added an additional element to the Eagle offense.  He has been incredibly accurate and efficient in this playoff run, allowing homerun-hitting receiver Kyan Mason to effectively stretch the field and exploit opposing secondaries. The biggest question mark for Ed's right now is the kicking game. Punter Ben Lavelle was forced to assume kicking duties this year after the former kicker left to play travel soccer, and his accuracy has been all over the place. He's missed something like 4/5 FG attempts in recent weeks, and also an XP. It hasn't cost them yet, but it could in a close game. 
 
Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller (13-1) vs. Springfield (12-1): This final-four rematch has been a year in the making which saw Springfield eek out a 22-21 win back in 2021. While Springfield graduated their dual-threat dynamo Te'Sean Smoot, they picked up one of the state's best pocket-passers via transfer in Bryce Schondelmyer. He has been slinging it around all year to the state's best WR combo in Anthony Brown and Daylen Bradley to the tune of over 4,000 yards. Defensively, Springfield has two difference-makers in LB Javion Norman and DB Aaron Scott. Scott is one of the top corner prospects in the class of 2024 and will be tasked with covering Moeller's speedy Tennel Bryant. Norman and front seven of Springfield will have to find a way to slow Jordan Marshall. Marshall did not play the second half of the LW game last week, and it was rumored he had a concussion. The backup Weeder still went for over 100 against LW's vaunted defense. No matter who suits up, Moeller's offensive line will still be opening up holes. If that is the case and they can grind out yards on the ground while keeping the explosive Springfield offense off the field (much how Ed's did in last years championship game), Moeller will win this game. 
 
Division II
 
Akron Archbishop Hoban (13-1) vs. Massillon Washington (12-1): This game should be every bit as good as the Moeller-Springfield one. These two D2 powers were on a collision course last year until Massillon inexplicably lost in the region final to Green. Some are seeing this as the de-facto championship game. Hoban and RB Lamar Sperling have been unstoppable so far in these playoffs, running over, around and through every opponent. Massillon will have to find a way to contain Sperling to give themselves a shot. If the Tigers can work the passing game like they did against Ed's to compliment the running of Hartson, then things can really open up. Ardell Banks is a nightmare matchup for any defense with his size and speed at the WR position. College coaches have taken notice of him this season and the one-time Toledo commit is now back on the market and looking at Kentucky, Pitt, Cincy and others. 
 
Toledo Central Catholic (13-1) vs. Kings Mills Kings (13-1): I was very much looking forward to a TCC-Winton Woods matchup, but Kings had something to say about it. Kind of like the Ed's/GL game, most seem to think this should be a walk in the park for a very talented TCC team. Personally, I'm not going to sleep on any team that beat a loaded WW squad. That being said, I'm also not going to predict an upset here. The Fighting Irish impressed me last week as they were able to limit a very explosive Avon team. They did allow a comeback after leading 28-7 after the 3rd, and need to remain focused against Kings for 4 quarters. If they do, they win. 

Odbcle is one of, if not thee, most consistently spot on posters! Nobody always gets it right, but I rarely, if ever, find myself disagreeing with your assessments 

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1 hour ago, Coletrain06 said:

Odbcle is one of, if not thee, most consistently spot on posters! Nobody always gets it right, but I rarely, if ever, find myself disagreeing with your assessments 

Agree100%.  Same for you and others' write ups.  I look here for info before anywhere else any Ohio matchups.  

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16 minutes ago, World Citizen said:

Agree100%.  Same for you and others' write ups.  I look here for info before anywhere else any Ohio matchups.  

I wish I had more time. But taking on alot more responsibilities at work has left me with much less of my own free time... and while HSFB is a hobby, it's not at the top of the list of things I like to do with free time 🤷‍♂️ 

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17 minutes ago, Coletrain06 said:

I wish I had more time. But taking on alot more responsibilities at work has left me with much less of my own free time... and while HSFB is a hobby, it's not at the top of the list of things I like to do with free time 🤷‍♂️ 

👍

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Also another note, in D4, Taft HS, led by former Colerain RB/Offensive Coordinator Tyler Williams just lost a tight Regional Final 7-0 to undefeated Wyoming(14-0). That's their 2nd loss to Wyoming this year and only their 3rd overall. Tyler Williams doing great things for the Taft Program.....

But in terms of Wyoming......Wow. 10 shutouts this year! The other four game's Points Allowed were: 7, 14, 7, & 7. Must be a great defense! They play Steubenville this week. Should be a good one!

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1 minute ago, Coletrain06 said:

Also another note, in D4, Taft HS, led by former Colerain RB/Offensive Coordinator Tyler Williams just lost a tight Regional Final 7-0 to undefeated Wyoming(14-0). That's their 2nd loss to Wyoming this year and only their 3rd overall. Tyler Williams doing great things for the Taft Program.....

But in terms of Wyoming......Wow. 10 shutouts this year! The other four game's Points Allowed were: 7, 14, 7, & 7. Must be a great defense! They play Steubenville this week. Should be a good one!

The winner plays Glenville so good luck there but would love to see that match up.

Glenville with D1 talent all over their roster but weak on kicking & discipline

they bring back almost whole team next year BTW

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16 hours ago, Coletrain06 said:

Odbcle is one of, if not thee, most consistently spot on posters! Nobody always gets it right, but I rarely, if ever, find myself disagreeing with your assessments 

I had to pick up your slack! 😉

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12 hours ago, hardhit1 said:

The winner plays Glenville so good luck there but would love to see that match up.

Glenville with D1 talent all over their roster but weak on kicking & discipline

they bring back almost whole team next year BTW

No other D4 team SHOULD be able to challenge Glenville, but for the reasons you mentioned, someone inevitably does. This year though, the talent gap may finally be enough for the Tarblooders to get their first trophy. 

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6 minutes ago, hardhit1 said:

Springfield turned it over twice which hurt them

Eds did not do anything with their TO's but they receive the ball in second half so a 6 minute drive & score would be big. Penalties hurting them so far. 

Holds have been killer. Took one off the board. The GL D-line is legit. Have to clean it up second half. 

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22 minutes ago, hardhit1 said:

Eds did not do anything with their TO's but they receive the ball in second half so a 6 minute drive & score would be big. Penalties hurting them so far. 

Just as requested, a 14-play drive and FG to make it a 3-score game.

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