Chioke Bradley and his coaching staff won’t have to search too hard to find game film of Mansfield Senior’s first-round playoff opponent.
The eighth-seeded Tygers (8-2) will open the postseason against top-seeded Tiffin Columbian (10-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a Division II, Region 6 quarterfinal game at Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
Senior High and Columbian met in Week 2 of the regular season at Arlin Field, with the Tornadoes thundering to a 33-22 win. The Tygers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
“We’re definitely excited to be in the playoffs, and we’re definitely excited to get another shot at them,” Mansfield Senior cornerback Matt Robinson said. “They handled us when we played the first time, but we feel like we have gotten better since then.”
Mansfield Senior is one of seven north central Ohio teams to qualify for the playoffs. The Tygers are joined by Madison in Division II, Galion (Division IV), Hillsdale, Loudonville and Wynford (Division V) and Colonel Crawford (Division VI).
The sixth-seeded Rams (9-1), who secured a piece of the Ohio Cardinal Conference championship with last week’s 34-0 win over Mansfield Senior, will visit No. 3 seed Westlake (9-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Madison last qualified for the postseason in 2005.
“It feels great to be going to the playoffs, especially the way it happened,” said Madison running back and safety Kale Huss, who broke the program’s single-season rushing record in the win over Mansfield Senior. “Everyone has worked hard to get here. Not a lot of people thought we would be in this position.”
In Division IV, fifth-seeded Galion (9-1) will visit No. 4 seed North Union (10-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Tigers, who won the North Central Conference Black Division title outright with last week’s 15-6 win over Ontario, have had their backs against the wall since a Week 1 loss to Mansfield Senior.
“We were backed into a corner when we lost our opener,” record-setting senior running back David Nay said. “Every week has been like a playoff week for us because we knew we couldn’t afford to lose another game.”
Sixth-seeded Colonel Crawford (8-2) is in the playoffs for the first time in school history. The Eagles, who won the NCC’s Silver Division title, visit No. 3 seed Glouster Trimble (9-1) in a Division VI, Region 23 quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Nearly half of the eight-team field in the Division V, Region 19 quarterfinals is made up of local teams. Two of them, fourth-seeded Wynford (8-2) and fifth-seeded Loudonville (8-2) will square off at Wynford at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Royals are making their eighth straight playoff appearance and 12th all-time. The Redbirds are in the postseason for the first time since 2000 and sixth all-time.
Also in Region 19, seventh-seeded Hillsdale (7-3) is at No. 2 Oak Hill (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Falcons qualified for the playoffs for the first time in school history in 2009 and returned in 2010. Last year, Hillsdale was 9-1 but missed out on the postseason.