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Madison headed to state football playoffs for first time

Fairfield, Franklin also qualify for postseason

The Madison Mohawks are in the postseason for the first time.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association made it official when they announced first-round pairings Sunday for the state football playoffs.

“It’s definitely exciting times,” Madison coach Steve Poff said. “It’s something we’ve been working toward.”

While Madison is in the playoffs for the first time, Fairfield (Division I) and Franklin (Division III) will make their ninth and 11th appearances, respectively.

A bonus for the playoff first-timers? The second-seeded Mohawks (8-2) will host seventh-seeded Anna (7-3) in a Division V, Region 20 quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Brandenburg Field. The top eight teams in each region qualified for the playoffs. The top four seeds host first-round games.

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“It’s great for the community,” Poff said. “The boys are excited about it. We’re all proud of what we’ve done, but we still feel we’ve got a lot to prove.”

Anna is making its 10th playoff appearance and first since 2010. The Rockets are 2-9 in the postseason.

The Rockets tied for third in the rugged Midwest Athletic Conference. Their three losses all came in conference play to playoff teams — Marion Local, Coldwater and Minster. The MAC is 65-2 in first-round playoff games against non-MAC schools since the playoffs expanded to eight qualifiers per region in 1999. Anna joined the MAC in 2005.

“We know they’re a great program,” Poff said.

Eighth-seeded Fairfield (6-4) will travel to defending state champion and top-seeded St. Xavier (9-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a Region 4 quarterfinal. The Indians are 5-7 all time in the playoffs. They won a state title in 1986. St. Xavier is 41-20 in 23 previous playoff appearances. The Bombers have won three state titles.

Third-seeded Franklin (8-2) will host sixth-seeded New Richmond (8-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Region 12 first-round game. The Wildcats are 5-10 in their previous postseason appearances.

Regional semifinals, regional finals and state semifinals in each division will be played at neutral sites. All games will be played on Friday nights. The state championships are set for Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton on Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.

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