November 18, 2011

Prep Preview: Regional Finals

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We are getting closer and closer to crowning the state champions and there are still plenty of Ohio State commits and key targets in action this weekend. Below, we take a look at some of the best regional final match-ups that will take place on Friday and Saturday.

1. Thomas and Ignatius get another crack at Mentor

For the second time in three weeks, Ohio State commit Blake Thomas and his St. Ignatius squad knocked off bitter rival Lakewood St. Edward. The second time around was an even bigger win for the Wildcats as it sent them to the Region 1 final where they will face another team that they saw during the regular season in Mentor.

Mentor took down St. Ignatius 38-24 during the regular season so Thomas and company will be looking forward to getting another shot at the Cards. Sweetening the pot for Thomas will be the chance to send a future Michigan Wolverine home for the second straight week as Mentor boasts outstanding senior defensive end Tom Strobel. Unlike last week when Thomas and St. Edward lineman Kyle Kalis never saw the field at the same time, Thomas and Strobel should see their fair share of individual battles.

2. Davidson and Central to do battle once again

As has been the case nearly every year in recent memory, the Hilliard Davidson Wildcats and Pickerington Central Tigers will battle it out in the Region 3 playoffs. The two programs have dominated Central Ohio recently and will meet in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. This will be the third time the two have met in the Region 3 final during that time span and will also mark the fourth year in a row that the winner of this game will ultimately play in the state semi-finals.

For Central, Ohio State commits Roger Lewis and Jacoby Boren have been waiting a year to get revenge after a tough 13-6 loss in last year's regional final that left a bad taste in the mouths of the entire Central program. After a 0-2 start to the season, Central made a commitment to win the rest of its regular season games and make a run to Stark County for the state championship game. With a win on Saturday night, the Tigers would be just one win away from making that improbable goal a reality.

3. Big time battle of unbeatens in Region 8

Rematches are the theme of the week and in Division II Region 8 there will be a great one between a pair of 12-0 teams in Trotwood-Madison and Kings Mills Kings. Trotwood took out Kings a year ago in this very same round with an emphatic 53-24 victory as the Rams made their way to the state championship game before falling to Maple Heights.

This season, the Rams have been the heavy favorites in Division II from day one and Kings would love nothing more than to derail Trotwood's title run. Trotwood features a slew of Ohio State targets including senior defensive back Bam Bradley, junior defensive back Cameron Burrows, and junior linebacker Mike McCray. All three players were starters a year ago for Trotwood and ever since losing in the finals last year, this group has been on a mission to go 15-0.


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