Other 7:30 p.m. Friday games involving area teams are:
• Wayne (11-0-1) vs. Pickerington Central (11-1) at London; D-I, Region 3.
• Miamisburg (10-2) vs. Cin. La Salle (10-2) at Mason; D-II, Region 8.
• Alter (12-0) vs. Cin. Wyoming (12-0) at Monroe; D-IV, Region 16.
Saturday’s 7 p.m. games with area teams are:
• Trotwood-Madison (10-2) vs. St. Marys Memorial (11-1) at Piqua; D-III, Region 12.
• Coldwater (11-1) vs. Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (12-0) at Northmont; D-V, Region 20.
• Fort Recovery (8-4) vs. Minster (8-4) at Wapakoneta; D-VII, Region 28.s
READ MORE: Statewide regional final pairings
Romero, a three-time state wrestling champion who's committed to Ohio State University, blasted Delphos Jefferson for a career-high 275 yards rushing and four touchdowns in a 56-20 semifinal win. Marion Local KO'ed St. Henry, another MAC rep, 22-0 in its semi.
An established small-school state power in most of the major sports, the MAC is in position to contend for three state championships in Divisions V-VII. The 10-team conference is guaranteed a spot in the D-VII state semifinals next week. Fort Recovery is the defending D-VII state champ and Minster was a surprise D-VI state champ in 2014.
READ MORE: High School Football Playoff Guide
Unbeaten Covington of the Cross Country Conference seemed the best bet to break through the MAC’s playoff football dynasty. The top-seeded Buccaneers were crowed the D-VII state poll champ, yet were thumped 42-14 by Fort Recovery in Saturday’s Region 28 semifinal.
Minster has won six straight games following a 2-4 start. It’ll also be a rematch for the MAC rivals, which Fort Recovery won in Week 5 of the regular season, 33-21.
Yet another MAC power, four-time defending state champ Coldwater, also faces a severe test in unbeaten CHCA. The Cavaliers trailed 17-0 to Greeneview and rallied to stun the OHC rep 27-24 in a Region 20 semifinal also on Saturday. CHCA defeated Greeneview 41-22 in a season opener and also was declared a state poll champ.
Other playoff story lines to watch:
• Wayne’s route to a third straight D-I state title game took an unexpected twist when St. Xavier rallied in OT to upset unbeaten and D-I state poll champ Colerain 29-23. St. X (7-5) will play Sycamore (8-4) in D-I, Region 4 final no one could have seen coming.
That will all be for naught if Wayne can’t get past Pickerington Central. The Warriors have been at their running-clock best in 52-7 and 52-10 playoff blowouts of Lancaster and Dublin Coffman.
VIDEO: Wayne whips Dublin Coffman
• Miamisburg completed a sweep of Troy, 28-21, and gets two-time defending D-II state champ La Salle as a reward. Like St. X, the Lancers are a Greater Catholic League South titan and have lost only to Colerain 6-0 and national power Christian Brothers (Tenn.).
• Alter and Wyoming will play in one of only two unbeaten regional final showdowns, the other Hamler Patrick Henry vs. Defiance Ayersville in D-VI, Region 22. The Knights shut down Clinton-Massie 28-0 in their regional semi, allowing the Falcons less than 100 yards of offense.
• A Trotwood/Franklin matchup seemed inevitable until St. Marys spoiled the Wildcats unbeaten season, 55-31. The Roughriders join Ottawa-Glandorf (D-IV) as two remaining Western Buckeye League teams.
PHOTOS: Franklin vs. St. Marys
Trotwood hammered a third WBL power Wapakoneta in its playoff opener 41-7 and followed with a47-10 blowout of New Richmond. The Rams have playoff history on their side with a streak of six straight state semifinal appearances, rejuvenated running back Raveion Hargrove (329 yards rushing, five touchdowns in the postseason wins) and a shutdown defense that was at its best in a 17-6 Week 10 loss at Wayne.
• The OHSAA will announce some state semifinal sites later this week. The rest will be determined following the regional finals. State semifinal pairings (final four) are based on geography; less travel distance that makes sense and ideally at a midway location.
Tickets are available at all participating schools. A percentage of the presale proceeds are returned to each school.