Anyone game for a Springfield vs. Fairmont do-over?
That’s exactly what will happen when the Wildcats (8-2) host the Firebirds (7-3) in the first round of the high school football playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at Evans Stadium.
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Fairmont stunned host Springfield 14-7 in the Week 10 regular-season finale this past Friday. That propelled the Firebirds into the playoffs for the second straight season and prevented the Wildcats from winning an outright Greater Western Ohio Conference National East title, which they shared with Wayne.
“It’s a new week. It’s a new season,” Springfield coach Maurice Douglass said. “They’ll be excited about it. It’s a regular game. That’s how you’ve got to play it. You’ve just got to play with a little more desperation.”
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Joining Springfield in the Week 11 regional quarterfinals are first-time participant Northwestern and Shawnee of the Central Buckeye Conference (D-IV, Region 16), and Greeneview (D-V, Region 20) and Mechanicsburg (D-VI, Region 24) of the Ohio Heritage Conference.
Fairmont’s season was on the brink following Week 8-9 losses to Wayne and then-winless Centerville. Springfield was coming off a rejuvenating 33-26 Week 9 defeat of nemesis Wayne, its best win since a sweep of Lancaster, Fairfield and Hudson to start the season.
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Instead, it was Fairmont that re-emerged in playoff contention as a No. 5 seed. Springfield had already secured a first-round home game, but slipped to the No. 4 seed. Fairmont also defeated Springfield 7-3 to knock the Wildcats out of playoff contention in Week 10 last season.
“We’re going. We’re still alive,” Fairmont coach Dave Miller said. “We’re not putting our stuff away. They’ve got to be really excited about that. We’ve still got to get better. I think they’re ready to come to work. I’m really excited.”
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Springfield’s only other loss was 25-7 in Week 7 at Northmont.
Both head coaches have key sons who are seniors: receiver/defensive back Moses Douglass for Springfield and Fairmont quarterback Braden Miller.
D-I, Region 3 is loaded with GWOC reps Springfield, Fairmont, Northmont and Wayne.
• Also on Friday, Mechanicsburg (8-2) will host St. Henry (8-2) of the Midwest Athletic Conference. The Indians are coming off a 21-14 overtime loss at Fairbanks. St. Henry defeated MAC state power Coldwater 28-10 in Week 9.
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On Saturday’s it’s Northwestern (7-3) at top-seeded Cincinnati Wyoming (10-0), which also was crowned a D-IV state poll champ this week. Shawnee (6-4) will be at defending D-IV state runner-up Clinton-Massie (9-1) and Greeneview (9-1) travels to Cincinnati Madeira (7-3).
All the winners advance to next week’s regional semifinals at neutral sites that will be announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association on Sunday.
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