High school football reaches regional quarterfinals

The high school football road continues to get more competitive as teams that survived the first round move on to regional quarterfinals Friday night.

Lima Senior (9-2) at Troy (10-1)

Seventh-seeded Lima Senior added to its breakout regular season by posting its first playoff win since 2015 over Xenia and the Spartans are hoping to build on that momentum when they travel to second-seeded Troy on Friday night.

In its first round victory, Lima Senior played a tight game against Xenia before pulling away to record the 42-32 win. Spartan signal caller Ja’naius Hill was 23 of 42 for 420 yards and two touchdowns and he also ran for a score as they racked up 541 total offensive yards.

Coming into the second round, Troy has won six straight games and is averaging just under 40 points a contest.

In Troy’s first playoff game, the Trojans, spearheaded by a strong defensive effort, stymied Stebbins 26-7 in which Troy limited Stebbins to less than 40 yards in the first three quarters and held them to 27 rushing yards on 22 carries.

Offensively, Dakota Manson Troy in rushing with 53 yards on 11 carries, and he also had two catches for 38 yards.

Troy’s defense has dominated opponents throughout the regular season as the Trojans have limited opponents to 53 total points. The Trojans recorded four shutouts this year.

Troy’s defense is limiting teams to 228.3 yards a contest.

Lima Senior has never lost to Troy in its six previous meetings dating back to 1960 with the last victory coming in 1996, a 13-10 regional championship win.

Crestview (7-4) vs. Lima Central Catholic (7-3)

Seventh-seeded LCC will face a familiar foe in the second round Friday night when the Thunderbirds tackle 15th-seeded Crestview, their soon-to-be Northwest Conference foes. The Thunderbirds eliminated the Knights from the playoffs in 2020 with a 41-14 victory and then the next season they ousted the Knights from the postseason 13-7.

The T-Birds opened the postseason with a convincing 42-20 win against Ayersville, extending LCC’s win streak to five. In the team’s last three games, they have outscored the opposition 140-41.

As the No. 15 seed, Crestview bumped off Tiffin Calvert 41-14 in the first round of the playoffs.

In that contest, Crestview’s Braxton Leech rushed for 172 yards on 23 carries. Knight quarterback Bryson Penix finished with 35 yards, and was 12-of-23 passing for 144 yards and a touchdown. Penix threw for the most yardage in the Northwest Conference this year with 1,772 yards, including 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

With the 172 yards, Leech broke the 1,000 yard barrier and had 16 touchdowns during the regular season.

The Knights defense held Calvert to 244 yards, including 70 on the ground.

During the regular season, Crestview averaged 29.2 points a contest and limited the opposition to 25.2 points a contest.

Sullivan Black River (8-3) at Columbus Grove (9-2)

Last season, Columbus Grove defeated Black River in the playoffs and the Bulldogs look to continue that trend when they face them again at home Friday night.

Top seed Columbus Grove, coming off the emotional win against Bluffton to win the NWC, showed no signs of a letdown against Lakota, 42-17, in the first round of the playoffs.

Bulldog running back Trent Barraza spearheaded the ground game as he picked up 104 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries while Josh Gannon and quarterback Landon Best added rushing scores as well. Through the air, Best was 10 of 15 for 180 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Defensively, the Bulldogs limited Lakota to 293 total yards.

Ninth-seeded Black River opened the postseason with a 24-6 win against Western Reserve, making it two straight wins for the Pirates.

During the regular season, Black River’s Jayce Hopek led the team in rushing with 539 yards on 109 carries. Quarterback Eric Groesser passed for 656 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

Hopek rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown against Case Western and as a team Black River amassed 223 total yards.

The Pirates defense limited Case Western to 173 total yards.

St. Marys (7-4) at Sandusky Perkins (10-0)

It has been an impressive turnaround for St. Marys this year. After opening the year 0-4, the eighth-seeded Roughriders have reeled off seven straight wins with the final one being a 42-14 first round playoff victory against Wauseon.

But this week should prove to be more of a challenge when they travel to tackle No. 1 seed Sandusky Perkins in the regional quarterfinals.

Against Wauseon, the Riders had 391 rushing yards with Connor Mabry leading the way with 177 yards and 2 touchdowns on 23 carries. Dominik Osborne added 127 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries.

Defensively, St. Marys held Wauseon to 183 total offensive yards.

Perkins enters the contest averaging a little more than 50 points a game while yielding around 10 points a contest. The Pirates have scored 30 or more points in each of their games this season and the defense has recorded two shutouts.

In the first round, Pirates quarterback Logan Lesch, a perennial performer, passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns against Vermillion as the Pirates rolled up 434 total yards in the first half. Lesch had touchdown tosses of 77, 82 and 1 yard.

Running back Isaac Bunts had 121 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.