Ironton headed to Peden Stadium for regional final

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

Now we play here, now we don't.

Last week the Ohio High School Athletic Association informed schools in advance of the future playing sites.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers were told that, if they beat Westfall, they would face Bellaire at Lancaster or Bishop Hartley at Jackson depending on the outcome of that regional semifinal game.

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Ironton beat Westfall 21-7 and Bellaire knocked off Hartley 35-14. The matchup was posted on the OHSAA web site with Lancaster High School the host.

But then came a change in plans.

Instead of Lancaster, the OHSAA switched the Ironton vs. Bellaire Division IV Region 15 championship game to Ohio University's Peden Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday and decided to play the Lucasville Valley vs. Centerburg game at Lancaster on Friday.

Since Lancaster is natural grass, playing back-to-back games on the field could leave poor playing conditions for the Saturday night game.

Ironton (10-2) has played twice at Peden Stadium in the playoffs including last season when the Fighting Tigers lost 10-0 to New Albany. Ironton also lost to Portsmouth in 2002.

Bellaire is 12-0 and finished first in Region 15 while Ironton was second. Saturday's winner will advance to the state semifinals.

The semifinal matchups will be determined by the geographic location of the winning teams.

Other Division IV regional championship games have Youngstown Mooney (10-2), the defending state champion, playing Canton Central Catholic (9-3), Huron (11-1) against top-ranked Coldwater (12-0) and Germantown Valley View (11-1) facing Lemon-Monroe (11-1).

An Ironton win would probably mean a state semifinal game against the winner of Valley View and Lemon-Monroe.