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Norwalk-Alter to be played at Wapakoneta

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Updated Nov 18, 2018 at 3:38 PM

COLUMBUS — A long road trip awaits the Norwalk football team on Friday.

But the Truckers (10-3) are also one of just four teams remaining in Division III — and 28 total across the seven divisions in the state semifinals, so location is hardly the biggest concern.

Norwalk will face Associated Press poll champion Kettering Archbishop Alter (12-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Wapakoneta High School’s Harmon Field. It will be roughly a two-hour, 115-mile drive for the Norwalk program and community members making the trip.

The Truckers advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 1974 and the second time ever with a thrilling 20-17 win over Sandusky in last Friday’s regional championship game at Bellevue.

Norwalk trailed 14-10 at halftime, but outscored the Blue Streaks 10-3 over the final two quarters — with the defense keeping Sandusky out of the end zone on seven consecutive possessions. 

Friday’s game against the Knights will be the ninth playoff game in Norwalk history, as it has a 6-2 record spanning four appearances in the OHSAA tournament.

It will be the first-ever Week 14 matchup and fourth playoff game in a single-season for the program. The Truckers won the Class AA state championship in 1974. But when the OHSAA state playoffs first began in 1972, just four teams per Class earned a spot in the postseason.

Norwalk proceeded to beat Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas to win the state title. Since then, the playoffs has expanded three times, the most recent in 1999 when the format went to eight teams per region and 32 teams per division.

In their other state semifinal appearance 44 years ago, the Truckers beat the Fighting Irish in their own backyard at the Akron Rubber Bowl, 20-7.

This Friday, the other state semifinal matchup in Div. III features AP No. 4 Chagrin Falls Kenston (12-1) against AP No. 7 Columbus Eastmoor Academy (12-1) at New Philadelphia.

The Norwalk-Alter and Kenston-Eastmoor winner will play for the state championship next weekend at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.



State semifinal pairings

Home team listed first. Winners to advance to state championship games at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Division I

7 p.m. Friday

Powell Olentangy Liberty (9-4) vs. Lakewood St. Edward (9-3) at Mansfield Arlin Field

Pickerington Central (11-2) vs. Cincinnati Colerain (13-0) at Piqua Alexander Stadium

Division II

7 p.m. Friday

Cincinnati Winton Woods (12-1) vs. Massillon Washington (13-0) at Gahanna Lincoln Wilbur C. Strait Field

Akron Archbishop Hoban (13-0) vs. Avon (12-1) at Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium

Division III

7 p.m. Friday

Kettering Archbishop Alter (12-1) vs. Norwalk (10-3) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field

Columbus Eastmoor Academy (12-1) vs. Chagrin Falls Kenston (12-1) at New Philadelphia Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium

Division IV

7 p.m. Saturday

St. Marys Memorial (12-1) vs. Cincinnati Wyoming (13-0) at Piqua Alexander Stadium

Girard (12-1) vs. Newark Licking Valley (10-3) at Dover Crater Stadium

Division V

7 p.m. Saturday

Liberty Center (12-1) vs. Orrville (11-2) at Perkins Firelands Regional Medical Center Stadium

Johnstown-Monroe (12-1) vs. Wheelersburg (12-1) at Jackson Holzer Field at Alumni Stadium

Division VI

7 p.m. Friday

Beverly Fort Frye (12-0) vs. Kirtland (13-0) at Massillon Jackson Robert Fife Stadium

Attica Seneca East (12-1) vs. Maria Stein Marion Local (12-1) at Lima Spartan Stadium

Division VII

7 p.m. Saturday

Fort Loramie (12-1) vs. McComb (12-1) at Wapakoneta Harmon Field

Cuyahoga Heights (11-2) vs. Glouster Trimble (12-1) at Sparta Highland Fishburn Family Field at Covrett Stadium


Regional championship scores

Nov. 16

Division I

Cin. Colerain 42, Cin. Elder 0

Lakewood St. Edward 24, Mentor 14

Pickerington Cent. 20, Hilliard Davidson 13

Powell Olentangy Liberty 21, Dublin Coffman 7

Division II

Akr. Hoban 52, Maple Hts. 6

Avon 37, Tol. Cent. Cath. 22

Cin. Winton Woods 52, Cin. Anderson 20

Massillon Washington 41, Wadsworth 19

Division III

Chagrin Falls Kenston 33, Canfield 7

Cols. Eastmoor 20, Thornville Sheridan 14

Kettering Alter 21, Wapakoneta 7

Norwalk 20, Sandusky 17

Division VI

Attica Seneca E. 26, Sherwood Fairview 21

Beverly Ft. Frye 18, Shadyside 6

Kirtland 20, Mogadore 14

Maria Stein Marion Local 40, Coldwater 19

Nov. 17

Division IV

Cin. Wyoming 28, London 0

Girard 43, Hubbard 18

Newark Licking Valley 30, St. Clairsville 0

St. Marys Memorial 38, Bellville Clear Fork 7

Division V

Johnstown-Monroe 45, Byesville Meadowbrook 14

Liberty Center 43, Genoa Area 40

Orrville 43, Akr. Manchester 19

Wheelersburg 24, Middletown Madison Senior 16

Division VII

Cuyahoga Hts. 35, Warren JFK 20

Ft. Loramie 48, Convoy Crestview 20

Glouster Trimble 21, Lucas 14

McComb 33, Edgerton 18

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