CANTON, Ohio — The Ohio High School state football championships begins Thursday night with the Division II title game and conclude Saturday night with the Division V contest.

In all seven state champions will be crowned over the three days at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on the campus of Canton McKinley High School.

On Thursday, Massillon Washington (14-0) faces Cincinnati La Salle (12-2) for the Division II title, with kick-off at 7 p.m.

Friday features a tripleheader, beginning with the Division VI game between Anna (13-1) and New Middletown Springfield (14-0) at 10 a.m. Mansfield Senior (13-1) and Trotwood-Madison (11-3) face off for the Division III title at 3 p.m. and the Division I clash between Cincinnati Elder (12-2) and Pickerington Central (13-1) closes the day, beginning at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the Division VII game between Lucas (12-2) and Marion Local (12-2) kicks things off at 10 a.m., followed by the Division IV contest between Newark Licking Valley (14-0) and Clyde (10-4) at 3 p.m. In the final game, Ironton (13-1) takes on Kirtland (14-0) for the Division V title at 8 p.m.

This season four teams (Mansfield Senior, Anna, New Middletown Springfield and Lucas) are playing in the state championship game for the first time in school history. Massillon Washington and Newark Licking Valley, who have combined for 73 playoff wins, are vying for their school’s first state titles in football.

Massillon Washigton, with 39 playoff wins, has the most wins in the postseason without winning a state title. Newark Licking Valley, with 34 playoff wins, is third overall.

Clyde, an eighth seed, is the only team playing for a state title that was not ranked at the end of the regular season. Massillon Washington, Kirtland, Anna and Marion Local finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll.

Marion Local is attempting to win its 11th state title, which would tie the Flyers with Cleveland St. Ignatius for the most all time in Ohio.

There are no teams defending state titles this season, but Kirtland won the Division VI state title last year. Kirtland, which is vying for its fifth state title, is playing in Division V this season.

This is the third-straight year the games will be held in Canton after playing the state title games at The Ohio State University from 2014-16. The location for the state championship games for 2020 have yet to be determined.

E-mail comments to jeffr@northwestsignal.net.

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