Charles Buckenmeyer Stadium will play host to a pair of high school football playoff games this weekend, including the Northwest Ohio Athletic League showdown between Liberty Center and Archbold in the Division VI regional semifinals Friday night.
Napoleon is also hosting the Division VII regional semifinal game between Edgerton and Leipsic Saturday night.
Both games will kick-off at 7 p.m.
“It’s so nice, we wanted to do it twice,” said Napoleon Athletics Director Andy Ham.
Liberty Center coach Casey Mohler, whose Tigers defeated Napoleon at The Buck in the second week of the season, is happy to be playing at a familiar site.
“We’re excited about playing at Napoleon,” said Mohler. “It’s close and we are familiar with the field and the facility. We have had playoff games there before and Napoleon does a great job of hosting playoffs and they treat teams great.”
Along with Liberty Center and Archbold advancing, Patrick Henry and Wauseon won Saturday, making it a perfect 4-0 opening weekend for the NWOAL.
Patrick Henry now advances to face Norwalk St. Paul at Fremont Ross High School in the Division VII regional semifinals. The winner of that game will face the winner of Saturday’s game at Napoleon between Edgerton and Leipsic.
Wauseon faces Ottawa-Glandorf in the Division IV regional semifinals. That game will be played at Defiance High School.
For Napoleon, hosting a pair of playoff football games is a chance to show off the school’s facilities.
“We are very excited, especially for the game Friday between Liberty Center and Archbold,” said Ham. “We are expecting to have one of the largest crowds we have ever had here. Those are two communities that really support their teams. We expect it to be a really awesome atmosphere.”
Ham said planning for the doubleheader of playoff games is made easier because of the staff he already has in place.
“Coach (Corey) Kreinbrink has been my right-hand man for this,” said Ham. “We already have a great staff in place from the regular season. They all will fill in and we will add some extra people to help with all the media in the press box, added security and extra game-management personnel.”
Other area games has Fairview facing Anna at Wapakoneta High School in the Division VI region and Anthony Wayne meeting Lewis Center Olentangy at Tiffin Columbian in the Division II region. Both of those games are Friday at 7 p.m.
Last weekend in the first round, higher seeds (host schools) went 85-27 and five No. 8 seeds won at the No. 1 seed in their region. No. 1 seeds went 23-5, No. 2 seeds went 23-5, No. 3 seeds went 19-9 and No. 4 seeds went 20-8. Five No. 8 seeds won, including Kettering Archbishop Alter (Div. III, R12), Clyde (Div. IV, R14), Carey (Div. VI, R22), Fairview (Div. VI, R23) and New Bremen (Div. VII, R28).
The highest ranked team to fall in the first round was Clarksville Clinton-Massie in Division IV, which was ranked No. 3 in the final poll but fell to Germantown Valley View, 42-28. In Division IV, four of the state’s top 10-ranked teams bowed out of the playoffs.
In the first round, five schools won the first playoff game in their school’s history, including Streetsboro (Div. III), Wintersville Indian Creek (Div. IV), Cuyahoga Falls CVCA (Div. IV), Cincinnati Taft (Div. V) and Lima Perry (Div. VII).