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Return To Playoffs

It’s nothing new to the Ironton Fighting Tigers. It’s a chance to get reacquainted for the Coal Grove Hornets and Symmes Valley Vikings.

All three teams qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason playoffs when pairings were made official on Sunday.

Ironton is making its 27th playoff appearance, third only to Newark Catholic with 30 and Cincinnati Moeller with 28. The Fighting Tigers have qualified 11 of the past 12 seasons.

The Hornets qualified for their eighth playoff appearance but first since 1996.

Symmes Valley made the playoffs for the seventh time but their first trip since four straight appearances from 2002-05.

Ironton (8-2) will host a first-time opponent in the Sparta Highland Scots (8-2) in a 7 p.m. game Saturday in the Division IV regional quarterfinals.

In the Region 19 Division V quarterfinals, the Hornets will travel to Oak Hill for a 7:30 p.m. game on Friday.

Coal Grove (9-1) was the seventh seed while unbeaten Oak Hill (10-0) was the second seed.

Coal Grove leads the series 23-9-3. The teams last met in 1993 with the Oaks winning 32-6 as the Hornets went 5-5.

Symmes Valley (8-2) qualified in Region 23 of Division VI, but the Vikings will have to make a nearly five-hour trip to top-seed Malvern (9-1). The quarterfinal game is 7 p.m. Saturday.

It is the first meeting ever between the teams.

Winners advance to the regional semifinals the following week. The No. 1 and No. 8 seeds play in the first round and the winner faces the No. 4 and No. 5 seed winner. The No. 2 and No. 7 seed winner goes against the No. 3 and No. 6 seed winners.

A complete list of pairings for all divisions is on Page 8 under Scoreboard.