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Football playoffs: Fairfield-Hamilton matchup part of area’s postseason storylines

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Fairfield finished regular season 9-1. They will play Hamilton at home in first round playoff game.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The best way for Fairfield to rebound from its only loss is to begin a new season. That was the message Indians coach Jason Krause delivered following a Week 10 showdown setback to Cincinnati Colerain that decided an outright Greater Miami Conference football title last Friday.

“It’s a new season, so there is still a lot to play for,” Krause said after Colerain’s super-charged 16-10 overtime win that left both teams at 9-1 for the regular season. “We’ll get back to work and see what we need to fix, put this behind us and get ready for season No. 2.”

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That would be the high school playoffs. Fairfield was among six other area teams that qualified. The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced first-round pairings on Sunday.

Fairfield (9-1) dropped to a No. 2 seed and will host Hamilton (5-5) in the Division I, Region 4 first round on Friday. Fairfield, which defeated visiting Hamilton 34-27 in Week 4, will make its 11th playoff appearance and fifth in a row.

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Hamilton earned the No. 7 seed despite a 21-14 Week 10 loss to Lakota East. This will be the Big Blue’s fifth postseason and first since 2010.

Another GMC rep, Lakota West (7-3), earned a No. 5 seed in Region 4 and is at Cincinnati Elder (8-2) in the first round. This will be West’s sixth playoff team and first since 2014.

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Franklin (9-1) of the Southwestern Buckeye League will take a seven-game win streak and No. 3 seed into the D-III, Region 12 first round against visiting St. Marys Memorial (8-2). This is Franklin’s 12th trip to the postseason after missing out last season.

Also in D-III, Region 12, it’s No. 5 seed Ross at No. 4 Badin (7-3). That’s a rematch of their season opener that Ross won, 20-19 in overtime. It’s the seventh playoff team for Ross, which last made the postseason in 2011. Badin is among the state’s most frequent postseason participants and will make its 24th appearance.

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All those games are on Friday. On Saturday, top-seeded New Miami (9-0) will look to extend its record-breaking season against No. 8 seed New Bremen (7-3), one of five Midwest Athletic Conference teams in the postseason. It’s the second straight season for New Miami to advance and third overall.

The football playoffs began in 1972 and last expanded to the present format of seven divisions in 2013. Based on the Harbin system, teams amass computer points throughout the regular season based on wins and wins by a defeated opponent. Matchups are no factor in the formula.

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The top eight teams in each region qualify and those top four host Week 11 first-round games. The playoffs shift to neutral sites in Week 12 beginning with the regional semifinals.

Divisions I, II, III and VI will play on Fridays through the state semifinals and Divisions IV, V and VII on Saturdays. It takes five postseason games to win a state title. All games through the state semifinals are at 7 p.m. State championship weekend will be held at Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Dec. 5-7.

»» RELATED: Week 10 state football polls

The Associated Press will announce the state poll champions on Monday.