West Liberty-Salem faced a tough task Saturday night taking on a Coldwater team who had been state runners-up the past three years in the Division V Ohio High School Football playoffs.
The Tigers, although the score may not have indicated, competed with the Cavalier powerhouse, falling 41-22. The 22 points they scored tied the most Coldwater has given up all season, and the only other double-digits posted against Coldwater since an opening week win over Kenton by an identical score.
Coldwater jumped out early with a pair of touchdowns, but the Tigers closed the gap to 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Mayse gets Tigers on scoreboard from 82 yds out
It looked like WL-S was primed to go into halftime down just 7, but a blocked punt set up another Coldwater TD.
Cavs score late in 1st to go up 21-7
Despite being down two scores, the Tigers felt pretty good about their defensive effort, until the Cavs opened the second half with an 80+ yard scoring drive.
Another long drive extended Coldwater’s lead, but the Tigers refused to quit with Senior QB Riley Sims finding paydirt to reduce the gap to 35-14.
The Tigers had another chance to close in on Coldwater, but a late fumble led to another Cavalier TD.
Tiger fans perhaps saw a glimpse of next year’s promise on their final score and 2-point conversion late in the game, in the hands, or maybe the legs, of sophomore RB Kameron Evans.
Evans scores from near midfield and 2 pt. conversion late for final Tiger points
West Liberty-Salem bows out with an 11-1 record and heads into next season looking to defend their 24-game regular season winning streak.
Chad Wilkinson and Matt Hull, who had the call on 98.3 WPKO for three Tiger games this year, recognized an outstanding senior class of players.
Chad & Matt recognize Tiger seniors
Regional final playoff matchups are now set for week 13, and are as follows:
Mentor (11-1) vs. St. Ignatius (11-1)
Mentor knocked out top-ranked St. Edwards 63-56. Defending champion St. Ignatius defeated North Royalton 56-0.
Massillon Washington (11-1) vs. Toledo Whitmer (12-0)
Washington beat Canton Mckinley 28-19. Whitmer beat Hudson 39-28.
Pickerington North (11-1) vs. Hilliard Davidson (10-2)
Pickerington beat Hilliard Darby 24-14. Davidson beat Olentangy 29-14.
Cincinnati Colerain (12-0) vs. Archbishop Moeller (9-3)
Colerain beat Elder 35-34. Moeller beat Lakota East 46-20.
Chagrin Falls (11-1) vs. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (10-2)
Chagrin Falls beat Ravenna 49-21. St.V-St.M beat Hubbard 54-14.
Napoleon (11-0-1) vs. Bellevue (11-1)
Napoleon beat Bryan 21-20. Bellevue beat Perkins 28-27.
Dover (10-2) vs. Millersburg West Holmes (11-1)
Dover beat Poland Seminary 35-17. West Holmes beat Steubenville 35-7.
Dayton Thurgood Marshall (11-1) vs. The Plains Athens (11-1)
Thurgood Marshall beat Gallia Academy 68-9. Athens edged Springfield Shawnee 36-35.
Kirtland (12-0) vs. Youngstown Ursuline (8-4)
Defending champion Kirtland beat Crestview 28-14. Ursuline beat Cuyahoga Heights 44-15.
Liberty-Benton (11-1) vs. Patrick Henry (10-2)
L-B beat Lima Central Catholic 24-17 in OT. Patrick Henry beat Columbia 56-16.
Lucasville Valley (12-0) vs. Baltimore Liberty Union (10-2)
Lucasville Valley beat Wynford 21-9. Liberty Union beat Oak Hill 22-21.
Coldwater (12-0) vs. Covington (12-0)
Coldwater beat WL-S 41-22 (see above). Covington beat Summit Country Day 58-14.
As a result of Friday’s games, the other regional finals will be:
Chardon (10-2) vs. Aurora (11-1)
Avon (11-1) vs. Toledo Central Catholic (11-1)
New Albany (10-2) vs. Columbus Marion-Franklin (11-1)
Cincinnati Turpin (12-0) vs. defending champion Trotwood-Madison (10-2)
Brookfield (12-0) vs. defending champion Creston Norwayne (12-0)
Columbus Bishop Hartley (12-0) vs. Ottawa-Glandorf (12-0)
St. Clairsville (12-0) vs. Johnstown-Monroe (10-2)
Clarksville Clinton-Massie (12-0) vs. Milton-Union (10-2)
Mogadore (12-0) vs. Youngstown Christian (10-2)
McComb (12-0) vs. Delphos St. John's (8-4)
Danville (11-1) vs. Newark Catholic (10-2)
St. Henry (9-3) vs. defending champion Marion Local (10-2)