CVCA awaits Salem
It’s on to the postseason for a few select area football teams.
Salem and Southern will represent Columbiana County in road games against tested opponents, while South Range and Western Reserve will represent southern Mahoning County.
Salem (8-2) qualified as the fifth seed in Div. IV, Region 13 and will travel to fourth seed Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (7-3) for a 7 p.m. contest on Saturday at Royals Stadium.
“They are a well-coached team that do very little to hurt themselves,” Salem coach Ron Johnson said.
Johnson said he has not come across CVCA during his career but is familiar with their program. The coach is fine with making the trip to Cuyahoga Falls, but wonders what could have been if the Quakers had one more win.
“We would have liked to have hosted,” Johnson said. “We kind of let one get away with that Alliance game though. But, we’re happy to be playing and want to keep playing for as long as possible.”
Southern Local’s reward for a perfect regular season is a nearly three-hour 140-mile trip to small-school power Glouster Trimble, the Div. VII state runner-up from a sesason ago. The Indians and Tomcats will tangle at 7 p.m. on Friday at Trimble Tomcat Football Field in a Div. VI, Region 21 first round contest.
The Tomcats (10-0) completed this season giving up only six points, while Southern Local had one of the more prolific offenses in this area.
“They have a really good defense and we can score a lot of points,” Southern coach Rich Wright said. “Something will have to give.”
Since the distance between these two schools is so great, there is little familiarity present.
“The only one I recognize on their schedule is Racine Southern because we get their mail sometimes,” Wright said.
The winner of the Southern-Trimble game will get the winner of Friday’s Div. VI, Region 21 game between top seed Springfield and eighth-seed Western Reserve. The game is a rematch as Springfield (10-0) beat Western Reserve 35-14 on Oct. 25 in a key Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference tilt.
“It’s a tough region with no margin for error,” Wright said. “It has been that way for a while.”
South Range (7-3) had a late season surge to earn a Div. V, Region 17 home game. The tough nature of the Northeast 8 grind puts the Raiders in a good position to advance as they’ll host Bellaire (7-3) at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“I don’t know much about them, but I know they have a long tradition of playoff success,” South Range coach Dan Yeagley said. “Their coach does a terrific job. They’re going to be a very tough opponent. We’re certainly glad to be hosting the game at our place.”
South Range had several potential pitfalls that may have ruined its playoff chances but the Raiders put it all together in the final few games.
“We definitely feel we’re playing our best football of the season right now,” South Range coach Dan Yeagley said. “After the loss to Niles, we knew there wasn’t much margin for error if we wanted to make the playoffs and the kids have responded very well. To close the season the way we did with wins over Struthers and Hubbard was huge.”
• Southern Local will dismiss early on Friday to accomadate the long trip. Wright said the junio high and high school will be let out at 12:30 p.m. and the elementary will be dismissed at 1:30 p.m.
• Southern will take charter busses to the game. This will include the band and cheerleaders.
• The Northeast 8 also had Poland, Struthers, Girard and Hubbard qualify for the playoffs. Poland will host Struthers in a rematch of last week’s regular season finale in Div. IV, Region 16.