Prep football: Wheelersburg, a trip to Chillicothe up next for Madison

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Prep football: Wheelersburg, a trip to Chillicothe up next for Madison

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Madison’s players celebrate with their student section last Friday night after the Mohawks defeated West Jefferson 42-7 in the Division V, Region 20 championship game at Frank Zink Field in Beavercreek. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The Division V Final Four almost matches the top of the final Associated Press regular-season football poll.

Almost.

Madison High School is the party crasher as the Mohawks (11-2) were unranked heading into their first playoff competition, but they’ll face third-ranked Wheelersburg (13-0) in a state semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Herrnstein Field in Chillicothe.

No. 1 Pemberville Eastwood (13-0) and No. 2 Canfield South Range (13-0) will meet in Friday’s other semifinal at Strongsville’s Pat Catan Stadium, with the state championship game set for Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton on Nov. 30 (7:30 p.m.) or Dec. 1 (10 a.m., 3 p.m. or 8 p.m.).

Wheelersburg, located about nine miles east of Portsmouth on the Ohio River, is a perennial state contender that’s 33-27 in 29 trips to the playoffs. Madison is 3-0 in postseason competition over the last three weekends.

The Pirates captured the Division IV state title in 1989, but they are 1-5 in state semifinal games. Those results are as follows:

• 1981 — Division IV, lost to Nelsonville-York 14-0

• 1989 — Division IV, beat Versailles 15-7 (then defeated Warren John F. Kennedy 14-7 for the championship)

• 1991 — Division IV, lost to Springfield Catholic Central 28-13

• 1994 — Division IV, lost to Valley View 24-7

• 1998 — Division V, lost to Versailles 14-7

• 2015 — Division V, lost to Coldwater 36-6

Friday’s game will be Wheelersburg’s third straight contest at Herrnstein Field. The Pirates opened the postseason with a home win over Columbus Ready (34-0), then topped Columbus Academy (35-16) and Johnstown-Monroe (34-7) at Chillicothe.

According to MapQuest, it’s a 56.3-mile trip from Wheelersburg High School to Herrnstein Field. Madison will be traveling 90.5 miles.

Ticket information: Presale tickets will be available in Madison’s fieldhouse community room from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

All presale tickets are $8, and all tickets at the gate will be $10. Local fans are encouraged to buy presale tickets as Madison will receive a portion of that money.

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