November 11, 2011

Prep Preview: Second round action

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The second round of the Ohio high school playoffs is upon us and many of the Ohio State commits won their first contests. This weekend will see six future Buckeyes in action in the hopes of bringing home a state title.

1. Big Friday night showdown

Rarely will you find a second round playoff game as big as the one that will be played on Friday night at Canton Fawcett Stadium. Perennial powers Steubenville and Youngstown Cardinal Mooney will meet in a game that reads more like a state final than a regional semi-final. Steubenville of course boasts Ohio State commit, defensive back Najee Murray and Murray will need to step on both sides of the football against a strong Mooney team.

Mooney features a pair of outstanding juniors in linebacker Courtney Love and safety Marcus McWilson. Love could very well be the next Ohio junior in line for a Buckeye offer. The winner of this game will have to be considered the favorite to take home Ohio's division III state championship in December.

2. Central Ohio Buckeyes still alive

Three Central Ohio teams with future Buckeyes on their rosters are still alive and will be in action this weekend. Pickerington Central, led by Roger Lewis and Jacoby Boren will face Gahanna Lincoln on Saturday night. Also on Saturday night, Frank Epitropoulos and Upper Arlington will try and take down two-time state champion Hilliard Davidson. On Friday night, Warren Ball and St. Francis De Sales will take on Elida.

While Central and De Sales enter their games as favorites, Epitropoulos and Upper Arlington have a much taller task, facing a team that has won two of the previous four state championships and three of the previous four region titles. The Golden Bears are hoping to extract some revenge after Davidson defeated them, 25-7, a few weeks ago. Wins by Upper Arlington and Pickerington Central would see those teams match-up in the Region 3 final next weekend and would be yet another showdown of future Buckeyes.

3. 'Holy War' re-match

Once wasn't enough for one of Ohio's best rivalries as we will all get a sequel on Saturday night when Cleveland St. Ignatius and Lakewood St. Edward meet up for the second time in three weeks. St. Ignatius and Ohio State commit Blake Thomas got the best of St. Ed's the first time around with a thrilling 20-17 victory.

The stakes will be higher the second time around as a trip to the Region 1 final is on the line as is St. Edward's state championship defense.


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