A year ago, Delphos St. John’s and Leipsic collided in a Division VI regional final football game at Findlay that turned into a barn-burner.
In that game, the Blue Jays used a steady passing attack to slip by a tough Vikings team 28-20 and into the state semifinals, where they met eventual Division VI state champion Marion Local.
On Friday, Leipsic gets another crack at St. John’s when the two meet in the opening round of the high school football playoffs.
The OHSAA released the regional quarterfinal pairings on Sunday afternoon. Divisions II, IV and IV play at 7:30 p.m. Friday while Divisions I, III and V play at 7 p.m. Saturday. The top four teams in each region got a home game in the first round, in ensuing weeks games are moved to neutral sites. According to the OHSAA website, some times and sites may change for this weekend's first-round games, times and sites will be finalized by Tuesday.
No. 3 seeded Leipsic (8-2) welcomes in No. 6 seed St. John’s (6-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Division VI, Regional 22 quarterfinals. St. John’s has won six state titles all-time and has an all-time tournament record of 47-8.
Also in Division VI, Waynesfield-Goshen (4-6) will travel to top-seeded Ada (9-1) on Friday in the Region 24 quarterfinals. Lewisburg Tri-County North (7-3) will play at second-seeded Minster (8-2), Bradford (8-2) travels to reigning state champion Marion Local (8-2) and Fort Loramie is at St. Henry (7-3).
Elida is back in the postseason after a state semifinal run a year ago. In the Division III, Region 10 quarterfinals, Elida (8-2) will travel to second-seeded Bellevue (9-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday. A year ago, Elida traveled to Bellevue and won 54-20 in the first round of the playoffs.
In Division IV, Region 14 second-seeded Ottawa-Glandorf (10-0) earned a home game to start the postseason. The Western Buckeye League champion Titans will welcome in Lorain Clearview (7-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
In Division V, the area sends two teams that were unbeaten in the regular season into the playoffs. Northwest Conference champion Lima Central Catholic earned the top-seed in Region 18 with a 10-0 mark. The T-Birds will play host to Collins Western Reserve (8-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Meanwhile, Coldwater (10-0) grabbed the top seed in Region 20 and will welcome in Casstown Miami East (7-3). Coldwater finished state runner-up a year ago, falling to Kirtland 28-7 in the championship game.
By making the playoffs this season, Coldwater now holds the longest active streak of making the postseason at 17 straight years. Columbus St. Francis DeSales had held the streak at 18 years but the Stallions did not make this season’s playoffs.
For the complete list of pairings for the OHSAA football playoffs, see page C4. Admission to playoff games is $7 presale, $9 per person at the gate.