The expansion of another division helped enable five Greater Western Ohio Conference high school football teams to make the Division I playoffs. But it’s only Wayne that’ll carry the GWOC banner into this weekend’s second round.
Divisions II, III, IV and VI all play second-round, regional semifinal games at 7:30 p.m. today. Divisions I, V and VII play at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Divisions II-VII winners move on to next week’s regional finals. The D-I winners advance to the regional semifinals.
Wayne (10-1) was the only GWOC D-I team to break out from the opening round. The Warriors hammered visiting Hilliard Darby 37-7. Their reward is a Region 2 semifinal against Dublin Coffman (8-3) on Saturday at Fairmont’s Roush Stadium.
Centerville, Springboro, Miamisburg and Northmont all were bounced from the playoffs in first-round games.
D-III, Region 10 is loaded with a couple of marquee matchups today. Tippecanoe (11-0) plays Thurgood Marshall (7-3) at Northmont and Trotwood-Madison (8-2) is matched with Springfield Shawnee (10-1) at Piqua.
All four teams are stocked with experienced seniors. Trotwood has played in three straight D-II state title games, Shawnee played in a 2011 title game and Thurgood made it to a state semifinal last season.
A couple of familiar area powers will hook up in D-IV today at Centerville. Alter (10-1) has won eight straight. Valley View (10-1) is the only remaining Southwestern Buckeye League rep.
The programs have 31 playoff wins apiece and own a combined five state titles.
“In my mind, it’s going to be like a heavyweight title fight,” Valley View coach Kris Ketron said of the Region 14 semifinal.
Alter coach Ed Domsitz likened it to “a great showcase kind of game.”
D-VII, Region 26 also is packed with four area teams. Covington and Marion Local are both 11-0 and will play at Piqua on Saturday. That’s just one of two statewide games to feature 11-0 teams.
Also in Region 26, yet another unbeaten, Triad (11-0) will play Lehman Catholic (10-1) at Wapakoneta on Saturday.
Other area programs advancing to the second round are Coldwater (D-V), Miami East, Mechanicsburg and West Liverty-Salem (all D-VI).
The Ohio High School Athletic Association will announce third-round neutral sites on Sunday afternoon.