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Plenty of interesting facts surround playoff participants

The uncertainty of making the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason playoffs has been over for several weeks. Getting a home game was settled before last Friday.

But the one thing that can never be settled in advance is the game itself.

Everyone can speculate, but there is no way of knowing the outcome for certain until the game has been played.

Last year it was a foregone conclusion that Youngstown Cardinal Mooney would win the Division IV championship only to be upset by Coldwater. Sure, Coldwater got some breaks, especially with Mooney missing their starting quarterback, but it proves that no game has ever been won on paper.

There are some interesting facts and figures heading into this year’s postseason playoffs.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers are a qualifier in Region 15 of Division IV, something that has been known for several weeks.

This marks Ironton’s 26th state playoff appearance, third most behind Newark Catholic with 31 and Cincinnati Moeller with 27.

While Ironton has some interesting facts, so do the rest of the teams in the region.

Hartley and New Lexington played on Oct. 3 with New Lexington winning 7-3.

Meigs is making the school’s first-ever playoff appearance. The Marauders had three key games this year as they beat Coal Grove 18-7 and Fairland 26-23 to start the season, and lost in the closing seconds at Nelsonville-York 30-28.

Ironton outscored N-Y 43-28.

Martins Ferry lost its first game of the season 21-14 to Buckeye Local, then ran off nine straight wins. Two wins came against MVL teams West Muskingum (49-14) and John Glenn (21-10).

New Lexington, a member of the MVL, beat West Muskingum 43-14 and John Glenn 28-3.

Union Local was 9-1 with their lone loss 60-18 to Martins Ferry. But they did beat Harrison Central 27-8 and Martins Ferry beat Harrison 26-20.

St. Clairsville, a league member with Martins Ferry, beat Harrison 21-16 but lost to Union Local 28-14. The Red Devils also lost to Martin Ferry 34-6 and Bellaire 22-14.

Martins Ferry ended the regular season with a 41-6 win over their arch-rival Bellaire after the game was just 7-6 at the half.

In Division V, Wheelersburg will be at home for a rematch with SOC foe Minford. The Pirates beat Minford 14-7 during the regular season.

Portsmouth West was the top seed and will host West Lafayette Ridgewood, the same team that opened the playoffs last season at Wheelersburg.

The sleeper in Region 19 might be the Columbus Bishop Ready Silver Knights.

Ready needed a win over Hartley last Friday for a shot at a home game. The Knights did get the home game but they did win in stunning fashion as they rolled Hartley 52-6.

–– Sinatra ––

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.