Every Team’s Goal: Be Playing Over Thanksgiving


Posted on 11/28/2019 at 12:31 p.m.

Elder, La Salle Prepare For Games In Football State Semifinals

The ultimate goal of every high school football team is to still be playing over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, meaning that it is in the midst of a deep postseason run.  That’s the case for Elder and La Salle, two members of the Greater Catholic League South Division that will spend today getting prepared for the chance to move one win away from winning state  championships when the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Football Tournament resumes Friday.  Along with Wyoming, the defending Division IV state champion, the three Cincinnati schools will represent Southwest Ohio in the seven divisional state semifinals to be played Friday and Saturday around the state.

Elder (11-2), which won its first regional title since earning back-to-back crowns in 2008 and 2009, will face Springfield (12-1) in one DI state semifinal.  Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Piqua’s Alexander Stadium.  The Panthers, who defeated Colerain, 28-21, last Friday at Mason to win Region 4, have won three straight and eight of their last nine – the lone blemish during that span a 27-25 setback at La Salle the final week of the regular season in a game that determined the outright GCL South champion.  Elder’s only other loss this season is to defending DI state champ Lakewood St. Edward, 42-25, on September 21 in Northeast Ohio.  Elder is led by a high-powered offense that is averaging 37.1 points per game.

La Salle (11-2), which won its fourth DII, Region 8 title in the last six years with a 45-8 win over Harrison last Friday at Lakota West, will attempt to knock a second team from the ranks of the unbeaten in its semifinal game against Toledo Central Catholic (13-0) at 7 p.m. Friday at Sidney Memorial Stadium.  The Lancers, who have won four consecutive games following a 26-21 loss to Winton Woods in week nine of the regular season, are vying for their fourth DII state title since 2014 – when the school won its first state championship in football and the first of three straight.  The Lancers, who have outscored their three state playoff opponents by a combined 122-15 score, are 20-1 in the postseason since 2014.

La Salle beat then undefeated Columbus Walnut Ridge, 35-7, in the regional semis.

Wyoming (13-0), a member of the Cincinnati Hills League, is the other area team still playing.  The Cowboys, who have won 28 straight games dating back to the kickoff of the 2018 season, play Clyde (9-4) in the DIV state semifinals Saturday.  Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Marysville Impact Stadium.  The Cowboys, who defeated Valley View in the Region 16 final, 33-0, last Saturday at Princeton, won last year’s state title with a 42-14 victory over Girard.

Elder and La Salle are attempting to give the GCL South state title No. 11 since 2002, when Elder won the first of back-to-back DI state crowns.  La Salle and St. Xavier, which won in 2005, 2007 and 2016, have each won three in that period, while Moeller captured consecutive DI state championships in 2012 and 2013.  Elder also advanced to a third state final in 2009, falling to Cleveland St. Ignatius, 28-20, in the title game.

All state semifinal playoff sites will feature presale online ticketing at https://www.ohsaa.org/tickets.  Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as participating schools keep a portion of presale ticket revenue.