The top two teams of the Division VI, Region 20, will battle in the second round of the playoffs Saturday.
The No. 3 seed Colonel Crawford Eagles will travel to play the No. 2 seed Tinora Rams at Spartan Stadium, 100 S. Calumet Ave., in Lima at 7 p.m.
“We’re going to have to execute well,” said Colonel Crawford head football coach Ryan Teglovic. “It’s always about us… doing our job to the best of our ability.”
Although the Eagles have a 10-1 record, Drew Pasteur’s Fantastic50.net projects the Rams (9-1) to win by six points.
The Eagles celebrated its first-playoff win in school history last week with a 42-10 rout over No. 6 seed Ayersville Pilots on top of previous tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013. The team was the runner-up in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference behind No. 1 seed Wynford, which lost its playoff opener to No. 8 seed Delta last week.
The Eagles will rely on senior quarterback Will Kirkpatrick’s passing and running game to bring down another school from the Defiance area. After last week’s game, he completed 64 of 111 passes for 1,237 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions after last week’s game. He also finished with 200 carries for 1,856 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns. Kirkpatrick was also recognized on Monday as the offensive player of the year for the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.
He will depend on his own arsenal of teammates to move the ball into the end zone at Saturday’s game. Blake Treisch has so far completed 132 carries for 1,053 yards and 15 touchdowns. Owen Adams – who was recognized by the Northern 10 as both defensive player and special teams player of the year – completed 39 catches for 692 yards and eight touchdowns for the season.
Teglovic said adjustments were made to the team’s defense after its game with the Pilots.
On the other hand, Tinora is making its 11th appearance in the playoffs and its third one consecutively. The team won the Green Meadows Conference with a 6-0 record and where it also crushed Ayersville 41-0 in Week 10. Tinora easily defeated Seneca East in its playoff opener last week with a 48-6 rout – but the Eagles beat Seneca East 42-18 in Week 4.
“They got great speed offensively and defensively,” Teglovic said. “Defiance (Tinora) got a great football program.”
The Galion Inquirer was unable to reach Tinora head football coach Kenneth Krouse for comment and stats for the Rams were unavailable.
The Colonel Crawford Athletic Department have presell tickets on sale for $8 – checks will not be accepted. Eagle supporters can purchase the tickets at the high school from 9-10 a.m. today. Tickets are $9 at the gate and Lima charges $3 to park.
Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.