Local teams dominate playoff selections

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 27, 2003

Lawrence County could stake claim as the Playoff Capital of 2003.

Of the eight schools playing football, five qualified for the Ohio High School postseason playoffs officially announced Sunday.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers, Rock Hill Redmen and Fairland Dragons all qualified in Region 15 of Division IV. The Chesapeake Panthers are a Region 19 Division V qualifier and the Symmes Valley Vikings got a postseason berth in Region 23 of Division VI.

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The total is the most teams Lawrence County has ever qualified for the playoffs in one season.

Ironton is the most experienced at the postseason. This will mark Ironton's 23rd appearance.

Chesapeake is making its sixth playoff appearance, Symmes Valley is in its third, and Rock Hill and Fairland have now qualified twice.

One school is guaranteed to be eliminated because Ironton (9-1) will host Rock Hill (7-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday. Fairland (7-3) travels to Martins Ferry (8-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Chesapeake (8-2) gets a home game against nearby Wheelersburg (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Symmes Valley (9-1) is on the road, too. The Vikings play at Centerburg (7-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The top four teams in each region host a first round playoff game. The top seed plays No. 8, No. 2 plays No. 7, then it's 3-6 and 4-5. The winner of 1-8 goes against the 4-5 winner while 2-7 faces 3-6. Survivors meet for the regional championship on Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15.

State semifinals are the weekend of Nov. 21-22 and the state championship games are Nov. 28-29.

Divisions I, III and V games are played on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. while Divisions II, IV and VI play on Saturdays at 7 p.m.

The state championship schedule will be as follows:

Friday, Nov. 28, 11 a.m. Division V (Massillon); 3:30 p.m. Division III (Canton); 8 p.m. Division II (Massillon);

Saturday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m. Division VI (Canton): 3:30 p.m. Division IV (Massillon); 8 p.m. Division I (Canton).

Ticket prices have increased to $6 for all regional games, and $7 for state semifinal and championship games.