GALION — It has been an exciting year for the players, coaches and fans of the Galion High School football team. On Saturday, November 9, the Tigers find themselves back in the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) playoffs for the first time since 2015. In 2015, Galion lost to the Milan Edison Chargers by a final tally of 49-28.
The Tigers, who finished 8-2 overall on the season found themselves in the top-four seeds in their division throughout much of the season and were also in the hunt for a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference championship until the season finale with their loss on the road against the Pleasant Spartans.
At 7 p.m. this Saturday, the ball will be kicked off at Unckrich Stadium in Heise Park as the Tigers, the No. 3 seed in the Division 4, Region 14 computer rankings, host the visiting No. 6 seeded Ottawa-Glandorf Titans (7-3). Galion’s football team will look to get revenge on Ottawa-Glandorf as the Titans’ volleyball team eliminated the Lady Tigers from the postseason not long ago. The winner of Saturday’s Regional Quarterfinals matchup will advance to the Semifinals in which they’ll be paired alongside the winner of the contest between No. 2 Wauseon (8-2) and No. 7 Bellevue (6-4). At the top of the Region 14 bracket, No. 1 LaGrange Keystone (9-1) hosts No. 8 Clyde (6-4) while No. 4 Shelby (7-3) hosts No. 5 Milan Edison (7-3).
Ahead of week 11 football action, the MOAC released the names of the players being named to the all-conference first-teams on offense and defense.
John Abouhassan and Isaiah Alsip found themselves named on both lists for Galion while Wilson Frankhouse (offense) and Brayden Eckels (defense) joined them in their honors.
Alsip once again led the conference in receiving, snagging 82 catches for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2018 and now 2019, Alsip is the only player to break the 1,000+ yards receiving threshold. Frankhouse, in his first year as starting quarterback for the Tigers, threw for 2,464 yards with a completion rate of 179/252 (71%) en route to 27 aerial touchdowns to just five interceptions.
Notable facts about the OHSAA football playoffs
Division 4, Region 14
Numbers listed are: record in 2019, years in tournament, last appearance, playoff record, state finals appearances, state championship (year)
1. LaGrange Keystone Wildcats: 9-1, 2nd, 2014, 0-1
2. Wauseon Indians: 8-2, 8th, 2017, 7-6, 1, 1 (1993)
3. Galion Tigers: 8-2, 9th, 2015, 4-7, 1, 1 (1985)
4. Shelby Whippets: 7-3, 7th, 2017, 7-6
5. Milan Edison Chargers: 7-3, 6th, 2017, 6-5
6. Ottawa-Glandorf Titans: 7-3, 14th, 2016, 14-13
7. Bellevue Redmen: 6-4, 19th, 2017, 18-18, 1
8. Clyde Fliers: 6-4, 15th, 2018, 21-13, 2, 1 (1995)
Most playoff appearances: Newark Catholic- 36; Most playoff wins: Maria Stein Marion Local- 76; Highest playoff winning percentage: Maria Stein Marion Local- 76-11, .874; Most state titles: Cleveland St. Ignatius- 11; Most playoff wins without a title: Massillon Washington- 35; Fewest playoff wins with a state title: Parma Heights Holy Name and Garfield Heights Trinity- 3, Galion- 4 (4-7 all-time), won 1985 state title
Coldwater (D6) has qualified for the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season, which is a new state record. Meanwhile, five schools are in the playoffs for the first time in their school’s history, including Xenia (D2), Delaware Olentangy Berlin (D2, opened in 2018), Columbus Centennial (D3), Worthington Christian (D6) and Cincinnati College Prep Academy (D7).
For the first time since 2001, an undefeated record wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs. It happened to both Northwood (D5, R18) and Gibsonburg (D6, R23), which both went 10-0. Previously, Newcomerstown in 2001 was the last school that went undefeated but didn’t make the playoffs.
Several schools are back in the playoffs after a long hiatus. Leading the pack is Cleveland Heights Lutheran East (D5) and Reedsville Eastern (D7) which both qualified for the first time since 2001.
Every state champion from 2018 is back in this season’s playoffs. Kirtland, the Division 6 champs in 2018, moved up to Division 5 this season and enter the playoffs at 10-0 and are the No. 1 seed in Region 17.
Division 1: Lakewood St. Edward- No. 2 seed, Region 1; Division 2: Akron Archbishop Hoban- No. 3 seed, Region 5; Division 3: Chagrin Falls Kenston- No. 8 seed, Region 9; Division 4: Cincinnati Wyoming- No. 1 seed, Region 16; Division 5: Orrville- No. 2 seed, Region 18; Division 6: Kirtland- No. 1 seed, D5R17; Division 7: McComb- No. 4 seed, Region 26
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