Rebels, Reserve, Range onto the second round
After enjoying the comforts of home in opening round playoff wins, area teams now hit the road in the second round.
Crestview, 35-26 winners over Liberty in the opening round in Div. V, Region 15, will play Gates Mills Gilmour Academy at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s John Cistone Field at Green Street Stadium.
“They’re a lot like our kids,” Crestview coach Paul Cusick said about Gilmour. “They’re aggressive on defense, attack the line of scrimmage and run a lot of stunts.”
St. Vincent-St. Mary’s stadium has a seating capacity of 3,000 and had artificial turf installed in 2005. The stadium overlooks downtown Akron.
“We’ve never played there before, so it will be kind of cool to see what it’s like,” Cusick said.
The winner of Crestview-Gilmour will play the winner of Saturday’s Akron Manchester-Navarre Fairless game the following week in the regional final. Top-seeded Manchester provided a bit of a shock to the region with a 19-16 win over Youngstown Ursuline on Saturday night in the opening round.
“I don’t think it was all that surprising,” Cusick said. “I saw Ursuline play on TV earlier in the year and they didn’t seem as strong as they had been in the past.”
Wellsville (9-2) will have its hands full when it travels to Orrville’s Red Rider Stadium to take on second-seeded Norwalk St. Paul (10-1) at 7 p.m. on Saturday in a Div. VII, Region 23 contest.
The Tigers, 39-21 winners over Ashland Mapleton on Saturday in the opening round, will have some points of reference though.
“We were fortunate that they played Mapleton earlier in the season, so we got to see that game on tape,” Wellsville coach Rich Wright said.
St. Paul beat Mapleton 42-13 on Oct. 25. It was the first of three straight losses for Mapleton.
“They’re a well-disciplined team that runs up to the line quickly and they run the ball very well,” Wright said. “Their coach does a lot at the school. He’s the dean of students and athletic director too.”
It will be roughly a 75-mile trip for Wellsville fans, while it’s about 65 miles away for Norwalk St. Paul’s contingent.
“We had some longer trips with McDonald and Western Reserve, so I’m not all that concerned about it,” Wright said. “Maybe at this point in the season the booster club comes through and rents a charter bus so you can ride to the game in a little bit of comfort, but other than that it’s not that much different.”
Red Rider Stadium had artificial turf installed at the start of the 2012 season.
“Orrville has a lot of tradition, so I think it’s going to be a nice facility,” Wright said.
Wellsville will prepare for the game on turf by practicing at Southern Local on Wednesday.
Western Reserve (11-0) will travel to Stark County for its Div. VII, Region 23 second-round game against Danville (9-2) set for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Massillon Jackson’s Robert Fife Stadium.
Danville, the fourth seed, was a 49-0 winner over Lowellville in the first round.
“They’re very athletic and go five-wide,” Hake said. “They’re very good and know what they’re doing.”
Western Reserve coach Andy Hake said he knows little the venue, but he’s excited regardless.
“This is what it’s all about,” Hake said. “Playing new teams and seeing new stadiums. This is cool.”
Massillon Jackson installed an artificial surface on the stadium in 2011. It cost $637,000 and was paid for by private donations.
South Range (11-0) will keep it local for its Div. VI, Region 19 second-round game with Mogadore (10-1) set for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Minerva’s Hines Stadium.
Minerva had turf installed at the stadium this summer.
“I’m excited to go down there on Tuesday to check it out,” South Range coach Dan Yeagley said.
Mogadore and South Range played a series of regular season games in 2006 and 2007, so there is a bit of familiarity there. South Range won both of those games.
“It was nice seeing their coach again,” Yeagley said. “Of course, a lot has changed since those games. We run a different offense and defense now and I’m sure they’ve evolved as well.”
The winner of the Range-Mogadore game will have a date with the winner of Saturday’s Kirtland-St. Thomas Aquinas game in the regional final.
Other local games of note include a Div. IV matchup between Struthers and Cardinal Mooney set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Niles’ Bo Rein Stadium. It will be the first playoff game at the renovated stadium. It will also be Struthers and Mooney’s first meeting since 2000.
Also in Div. IV, Steubenville is set to take on Zanesville Maysville at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at St. Clairsville Red Devil Stadium.
In Div. III, Hubbard will take on Aurora at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Austintown Fitch Falcon Stadium. That game was inititally reported as being set for Warren’s Mollenkopf Stadium early Sunday afternoon, but the first Ohio High School Athletic Association playoff pairing release listed the game as To Be Announced. It was later officially announced as being headed to Fitch.
Warren Harding’s final regular season home game at Mollenkopf Stadium was canceled because of ongoing violence in the city.
Also in Div. III, Poland will take on Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Ravenna’s Gilcrest Field.
In Div. I, Austintown Fitch will play Westerville Central at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Mansfield’s Arlin Field.