The year started with 714 schools playing high school football in Ohio. Only seven games remain and play begins Thursday night in what should be a great game.
Here is a look at one of the key games in this year’s finals.
Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary (14-0) vs. Trotwood (Ohio) Madison (11-2)
7 p.m. at Massillon (Ohio) Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Trotwood-Madison: The Rams make their fifth finals appearance having played in a finals game the previous three seasons while winning a Division II title in 2011. After opening the season with a win that was later forfeited to Springfield and a loss to Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne, Trotwood has been impressive with 11 consecutive wins. Despite their success on the field, they didn’t earn their playoff berth until the final week of the season earning a No. 7 seed in Region 10. During the season the Rams have played mostly a Division II schedule and are well tested heading into their fourth consecutive championship game with their offense running on full throttle.
Key Players to Watch: Messiah deWeaver (QB), Kei Beckham (DB), Verondtae Wilkinson (LB), Kendric Mallory (WR), Ryan Lucas (WR)
St. Vincent-St. Mary: The Irish are looking for a second straight state title and enter with a 20-game winning streak dating back to last season. Their road to state has been a dominating one as the Irish have played great defense posting three shutouts during the regular season and winning six other games giving up seven or less points. So far in the playoffs, the Irish have allowed only seven points in each of their four playoff victories.
Key Players to Watch: Dante Booker (Ohio State) (LB), Parris Campbell (Ohio State) (RB/DB), Newman Williams (LB), Tyrece Speaight (DB/WR), Aaron Bushner (QB)