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Football playoffs: State semifinals a first for Fort Loramie

Two area high school football playoff dynasties have been extended into this week’s state semifinals in Alter and Marion Local. Joining those established powers is a relative newcomer, Fort Loramie.

All posted Week 13 regional final wins this past weekend. Alter defeated Wapakoneta 21-7 at Piqua and Marion Local had a rematch answer for Coldwater, 40-19 at Sidney. Both those games were on Friday.

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Loramie extended its postseason fun with a 49-20 defeat of Convoy Crestview at Lima on Saturday. It’s the first time Loramie has ventured this deep into the football playoffs.

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Alter’s Matthew Schimpf tackles Wapakoneta’s Riley Gibson during the Knights’ 21-7 victory over Wapakoneta in the Division III, Region 12 high school football championship at Piqua High School’s Alexander Stadium on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. MICHAEL COOPER / CONTRIBUTED

“People were doubting us, counting us out,” senior CJ Billing said to pressprosmagazine.com. “We’re always the underdogs. We love that. We’ll be the underdogs every single game. We come to fight every game.”

Only Middletown Madison didn’t pass its regional final test, falling 24-16 to Wheelersburg in a Division V, Region 20 final at Hilliard on Saturday.

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»» PHOTOS: Marion Local vs. Coldwater, football playoffs

• Alter (12-1) will take a 12-game win streak against Norwalk (10-3) in a D-III state semi at Wapakoneta’s Harmon Field at 7 p.m. Friday. The Knights’ only loss was at Fairmont in the season opener.

It’ll be the 11th state semifinal appearance for Alter and third since the 2014 season. The other D-III state semi is Columbus Eastmoor Academy (12-1) vs. Chagrin Falls Kenston (12-1) at New Philadelphia.

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• Marion Local (12-1) is paired against Attica Seneca East (12-1) in a D-VI state semi at Lima Spartan Stadium also on Friday. It’s the 17th state semi for the Flyers, all but one since 1999. The two-time D-VI defending state champion, it’s also the eighth straight season Marion Local has gone at least four games into the postseason.

Marion Local QB Nathan Bruns had three TD passes in the first quarter. Marion Local defeated Coldwater 40-19 in a D-VI, Region 24 final at Sidney on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

The other D-VI state semi is Beverly Fort Frye (12-0) vs. Kirtland (13-0) at Massillon Jackson.

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• Fort Loramie (12-1) will play McComb (12-1) in a D-VII state semi also at Wapakoneta at 7 p.m. Saturday. Loramie’s first varsity football team was in the 2005 season. The Redskins have qualified for the playoffs nine times in the last 10 years.

Defeating Crestview was extra significant because defending D-VII state champ Minster lost to Crestview in Week 12. Fort Loramie’s only loss was to Minster in the season opener.

“All year people were like, what about Minster and Crestview,” Carter Mescher of Fort Loramie said. “We didn’t get a lot of respect. I hope we got some respect (against Crestview). We’ve got more to come.”

»» FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: It’s Coldwater vs. Marion Local

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The other D-VII state semi is Cuyahoga Heights (11-2) vs. Glouster Trimble (12-1) at Sparta Highland.

All the winners advance to the Week 15 season-ending state championships at Canton’s Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

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