Ottawa-Glandorf football coach Ken Schriner has never been to Piqua Alexander Stadium-Purk Field. The Titans have never been 12-0 either.
That perfect record has earned Ottawa-Glandorf a trip to Piqua on Friday where the second-seeded Titans will take on No. 1 ranked Columbus Bishop Hartley (12-0) at 7:30 p.m. in the Division IV, Region 14 finals. Regional final playoff pairings were announced by the OHSAA on Sunday.
A victory Friday would land the Titans in the state semifinals for the first time since 2009. Hartley won the Division IV state title in 2010.
This postseason, both Hartley and O-G have been on a tear. The Titans, with their superb running game and defense, have beaten their two foes by a combined score of 113-12 while the Hawks have beaten their opponents 106-19. This past weekend, O-G handed Genoa its first loss, 41-12 while Hartley beat North Union 43-0.
“This is, from wire-to-wire, Week 1 through Week 12 the No. 1 team in the state of Ohio,” Schriner said about Hartley. “On film, they are everything they’re advertised to be. They’re athletic and physical. They play fast and they do an awful lot of things. They’re primarily a run team but if you load up on the run, they’ve got big-play capabilities.”
One of those big-play targets is a “gigantic” tight end, according to Schriner. Of course, O-G’s giant offensive line and brutal running attack has run over everything in its way to this point.
“I feel like we’re improving and if you’re improving this time of year, good things are happening,” Schriner said. “We’re excited to be in the regional championship. We won the Western Buckeye League championship and now the kids are ready to go play for the regional championship.”
Also at 7:30 p.m. Friday, the Midwest Athletic Conference continues to take the stage in Division VI. In Region 22, Delphos St. John’s (8-4) takes on Blanchard Valley Conference champion McComb (12-0) at Findlay Donnell Stadium.
Meanwhile, in Region 24, MAC foes square off again when defending state champion Marion Local (10-2) takes on St. Henry (9-3) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field.
Then at 7 p.m. Saturday, MAC champion Coldwater (12-0) takes on Covington (12-0) at Dayton Welcome Stadium in the Division V, Region 20 finals.
“(Playing in the MAC) doesn’t guarantee wins, by any means, but throughout our league schedule, you’re playing playoff-caliber teams almost every night,” Delphos St. John’s coach Todd Schulte said. “The kids get used to that style of play. They get used to big-game atmosphere and that physical style of football and you have to prepare for that every week.”
As for his team, Schulte said the Blue Jays seem to be hitting their stride.
“We had a pretty inconsistent regular season,” he said. “Some of the things we thought would come sooner are starting to come along for us. We’re a better team than we were five weeks ago.”