In the first game against Wayne, Springfield’s Te’Sean Smoot threw two touchdown passes to Ben Van Noord and one to Anthony Brown.
Those receivers have been Smoot’s top targets all season. Brown leads the Wildcats with 24 catches for 503 yards and six touchdowns. Van Noord has caught 19 passes for 347 yards and five touchdowns.
Among the unsung heroes on the offensive line giving Smoot time to make throws are senior linemen Christian Ochs and Roderick Green. The Wildcats have averaged a GWOC-best 36.9 points in seven games.
Wayne rallied from a 21-7 deficit to make it interesting in the final minutes in the first game. Cam Fancher led a drive from the Wayne 12-yard line to the Springfield 22. Fancher threw three passes to the end zone in the final seconds, but the Springfield defense got the stop and preserved the lead.
“Springfield has a great team,” Wayne coach Roosevelt Mukes said. “Coach Douglass is doing a great job. It’s going to be a challenge for us. That’s the thing about this game. You look forward to those challenges. You embrace them."
Here’s a glance at the other playoff games involving other area teams:
Division VII, Region 28
No. 16 Cedarville (2-5) at No. 1 Marion Local (6-0): After beating Mississinawa Valley 35-6 in the first round, the Indians earned a date with the defending state champions, who ended the regular season with three straight shutouts against St. Henry, Minster and St. John’s.
No. 19 Southeastern (3-4) at No. 3 New Bremen (4-2): Southeastern travels 81 miles northwest to face a New Bremen team that has lost only to two undefeated teams: Marion Local (21-13) and Coldwater (24-7).
Division IV, Region 16
No. 11 Eaton (3-4) at No. 6 Graham (6-0): After receiving a first-round bye, Graham will play its first postseason game since 2003. It is 1-4 in four playoff appearances. Eaton beat winless Northridge 52-28 in the first round.
Division V, Region 20
No. 9 Taft (2-1) at No. 8 Greenon (5-1): This will be the first playoff game in school history for Greenon, which received a first-round bye. Taft beat Meadowdale 84-12 in the first round.
No. 11 Mariemont (4-3) at No. 6 West Liberty-Salem (3-3): West Liberty-Salem beat another Cincinnati-area team, Madeira, 21-14 in the first round last season. Mariemont lost to that same Madeira team 21-20 last season.
No. 10 Madison (4-3) at No. 7 Shawnee (3-2): Shawnee saw its regular-season finale postponed because of a positive COVID-19 test at Kenton Ridge and then had a first-round bye. This will its first game since a 38-31 loss to Jonathan Alder on Sept. 25. Madison beat winless Finneytown 47-0 in the first round.
Division VI, Region 24
No. 17 Triad (3-4) at No. 1 Coldwater (6-0): Triad beat National Trail 42-7 in the first round and now faces a powerhouse that has won six state championships, most recently in 2015.
No. 15 Deer Park (4-3) at No. 2 Mechanicsburg (6-0): With a 31-14 victory against Northeastern last week, Deer Park is 2-4 in five playoff appearances. Mechanicsburg, which received a first-round bye, is 17-16 in the playoffs. This is its 17th appearance.
No. 10 Greeneview (4-2) at No. 7 Paint Valley (5-1): Paint Valley beat Chillicothe Southeastern 40-0 in the first round. Greeneview had a bye after losing 21-20 to Greenon in the final game of the regular season.