There is change in the air in Ohio Division IV, Region 16 this postseason. Unlike the previous two seasons, the field appears to be wide open.
Two-time defending Division IV state champs, the Alter Knights, are vulnerable as evident by the Knights' two losses.
Clinton-Massie, the top seed will be tough as always and North College Hill has been building for this year's playoff run for a few seasons.
Let's take a look at this week's playoff matchups:
DIVISION IV, REGION 16
all games on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
#8 Taft (7-3) at #1 Clinton-Massie (10-0)
Taft is making their first playoff appearance in school history, unfortunately they get to face the "Big Boy" in Week 11. The Senators will find out quickly what it takes to be one of the elite in Division IV. Clinton-Massie is loaded with the depth, talent and discipline it takes to be state champions. The Eagles have tuned up for the post-season by winning their last five games by an average score of 58.2 to 2.8 a 55.4 margin of victory. Even more impressive is that only one of those squads had a losing record and two ended up with eight victories.
#7 Waynesville (8-2) at #2 Jonathan Alder (9-1)
Jonathon Alder comes into this game as winners of eight in a row with their only blemish a 1-point loss to Clinton-Massie. The Pioneers are making their 10th straight playoff appearance and have seven wins against larger Division schools. Waynesville is no stranger to tough opponents they only lost to undefeated Clinton-Massie and Carlisle in the regular season. Spartans quarterback Luke Creditt is the x-factor in this contest if Jonathon Alder can't contain him the will be in for the dogfight of their life.
#6 Kettering Alter (8-2) at #3 North College Hill (10-0)
North College Hill has been waiting for this game since their season. The Trojans know that if they want to be the best they have to beat the best. Chaminade-Julienne finally figured out how to stop the Alter running game last week. North College Hill must hope they can execute a similar game plan. The Knights proved that they are not invincible and come into Joe Nickels Field as a very vulnerable target for a hungry Trojans' team.
#5 Kenton (9-1) at #4 Carlisle (10-0)
This is a great match up between two teams with contrasting styles. Carlisle does it with defense giving up just 11.1points per game. The Indians have held seven foes to seven points or fewer. Kenton brings its high-flying offensive aerial assault led by junior Maty Mauk south in hopes of living to survive another week. The Wildcats have scored 50 or more points eight times this season while averaging 54 per contest. It has been their defense that has come to life over the past five tilts allowing just 9.8 points per game.
Written by: Greg Shoemaker, TriStateFootball.com