Local Sports

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prep Football: Area playoff preview capsules
Division VI Region 22 Finals

McComb (12-0) vs. Delphos St. John's (8-4)

WHEN & WHERE: Donnell Stadium, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

THIRD TIME A CHARM?: Friday will be the third time McComb has played St. John's in the Division VI, Region 18 final. The Blue Jays defeated McComb 56-20 in 2010 and 44-3 in 2000.

BVC KILLER: St. John's has had the BVC's number. The Blue Jays are 11-0 all time against conference opponents in the postseason. St. John's is 2-0 vs. Arlington, 3-0 vs. Hardin Northern, 4-0 vs. Leipsic and 2-0 vs. McComb.

FITTING MATCHUP: Since the 2000 season, no other team has made more Region 22 playoff appearances than McComb. The Panthers have advanced to the Region 22 playoffs 10 times (2000, 01, 02, 04, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11 & 12). St. John's has advanced in Region 22 the last five seasons and has won the last four titles.

HERO AND SIDEKICK: McComb's Jerry Brown (1,560 rushing yards, 23 TD) and St. John's Tyler Jettinghoff (1,768 rushing yards, 19 TD) have had outstanding seasons running the ball. But both teams have another back that has complemented them quite well. The Panthers' Cody Wilson (800 yards, 15 TD) and the Blue Jays' Luke MacLennan (603 yards, 9 TD) also chew up plenty of yards on the ground.

DOMINANT "D": McComb is known for its quick-strike offense. But this season its defense has been equally impressive. The Panthers have allowed just 100 points (8.3 pppg), surrendered only 869 rushing yards and they've intercepted 10 passes. The Panthers have six shutouts including the first two weeks of the playoffs.

AERIAL ADVANTAGE: Dalton Buck has continued the tradition of strong quarterback play at McComb. The senior signal-caller is 126 of 199 passing for 2,092 yards, 22 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Meanwhile, St. John's quarterback Mark Boggs is 64 of 143 for 915 yards, 6 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Division IV Region 14 Finals

Ottawa-Glandorf (12-0) vs. Columbus Hartley (12-0)

WHEN & WHERE: Piqua's Alexander Stadium, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

TRADITION CONTINUES: The Ottawa-Glandorf football program has made the playoffs each of the last eight seasons. This is the third time the Titans have reached the regional final. Genoa defeated O-G 40-21 in 2008 and the Titans nipped Orrville 21-20 in 2009.

A DESTRUCTIVE PATH: Ottawa-Glandorf has scored over 40 points in seven games including four of the last five. Bishop Hartley has been even more impressive. The Hawks have scored over 40 points in 11 of their 12 contests. The only game Hartley didn't reach 40 was against Division III playoff participant Columbus Watterson in a 28-14 win.

DYNAMIC DUOS: Ottawa-Glandorf and Bishop Hartley have two players each who have rushed for over 1,000 yards. Tristan Parker (1,877 yards, 25 TD) and Caleb Siefker (1,183 yards, 21 TD) have done so for the Titans. Ja'wuan Woodley (1,709 yards, 23 TD) and Marcellus Calhoun (1,435 yards, 23 TD) have achieved the feat for the Hawks.

FORCING THE ISSUE: Ottawa-Glandorf has done an outstanding job against opposing quarterbacks, allowing just 129 yards passing per game. O-G has 25 sacks.

OPPORTUNISTIC DEFENSE: Ottawa-Glandorf has forced 27 turnovers in 12 games. The Titans have recovered 16 fumbles and intercepted 11 passes. Bishop Hartley has been even better with 19 fumble recoveries and 15 interceptions.

GETTING IT DONE ON THE GROUND: Of the 676 offensive plays Columbus Hartley has run, only 80 have been passes. It's okay, though, because the Hawks have averaged over eight yards per carry on their 596 rushing attempts.

IMPACT PLAYER: Bishop Hartley has another impact player that doesn't run the ball. Jacob Matuska, a senior tight end and Notre Dame recruit, has 16 of his team's 52 receptions for 348 yards and four touchdowns. He also has 32 tackles, three interceptions and a fumble recovery on defense.

Division V Region 18 Finals

Liberty-Benton (11-1) vs. Patrick Henry (10-2)

WHEN & WHERE: Lima Stadium, Saturday, 7 p.m.

RENEWING A RIVALRY: Liberty-Benton and Patrick Henry had quite a playoff rivalry going in the 2000s, meeting four times in postseason. The Patriots lead the series between the two schools 3-1 but the Eagles scored a win in their last meeting with a 28-0 victory in the Region 18 final in 2008.

NOTHING NEW: Playing on the regional final stage will be nothing new for Patrick Henry. The Patriots are in the playoffs for the 11th straight season. During that span, PH has played in seven regional final games with a record of 4-3.

DUAL THREATS: Liberty-Benton quarterback Mitch Linhart has thrown for 1,701 yards. He is also the Eagles' leading rusher with 952 yards and has a team-high 15 rushing TDs. Gabe Jones has had a similar role for Patrick Henry. He has thrown for 1,673 yards and rushed for 884 and seven touchdowns.

MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL: When watching their upcoming opponent on film, Liberty-Benton and Patrick Henry probably see a lot of similarities offensively. The Eagles have passed for 1,706 yards; the Patriots for 1,702; L-B has rushed for 3,387 yards; and PH 3,423 yards. However, the Eagles have only eight turnovers, while the Patriots have given up the ball 18 times.

SPREADING THE WEALTH: Liberty-Benton and Patrick Henry take pride in running the ball and both teams get a lot of players involved. The Patriots and Eagles each have five players with at least 35 carries.

HE'S DUE?: Liberty-Benton receiver Chase Cook was second in the Blanchard Valley Conference with 40 catches for 863 yards and 14 touchdowns during the regular season. The junior has eight catches for only 77 yards in two playoff games. However, the junior is still finding a way to make an impact. He stripped Lima Central Catholic's Ryan Pitts in overtime and that effort helped L-B clinch the win.

STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Each one of the area games this weekend will involve a team that has won a state championship. Columbus Bishop Hartley captured Division IV titles in 1986 and 2010, Patrick Henry won a Division V title in 2005 and Delphos St. John's has walked off with Division VI crowns in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2008 and 2010.

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