Ohio football playoff primer

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
4:28
PM ET
Kings (11-0) vs. Trotwood-Madison (11-0)
Several football pundits believe that Maple Heights' first round exit has cleared the path for the Rams to coast to the Division II crown. The players on Kings don't buy into that talk. The Knights have been every bit as good as Trotwood this season, sporting a matching 11-0 mark while beating up on opponents by a combined score of 390-104. The defense has been impenetrable and has limited eight opponents to single digits. However, the Trotwood backers have plenty of ammunition in their case that the Rams are the favorites for the title. The Rams have embarked on a tour de force on offense, scoring 500 points in 11 contests for an insane 45.4 points a contest. RB Israel Green and QB Mike Simpson lead the explosive attack.

Cardinal Mooney (8-3) vs. Dover (11-1)
Both Mooney and Dover notched upset over previously unbeaten squads to reach the Division III quarterfinals. Cardinal Mooney kicker Conor Durina booted a 30-yard field goal with less than 10 seconds to play to power the Cardinals to a 27-24 upset of Steubenville. Dover took to the air and produced more than 400 passing yards to halt Minerva's unbeaten campaign. Junior QB Derik Swinderman amassed 431 yards and five TDs to lead the way.

Kenton (12-0) vs. Bishop Hartley (11-0)
Did Genoa devise the blueprint for shutting down Kenton's aerial attack? Defending state champ Hartley likely has pored over the game tape of Genoa's 32-22 loss to Kenton last week, which marked the first time since September that Maty Mauk and Co. were held under 50 points. Hartley has the weapons, specifically workhorse back Ja'Wuan Woodley (17 TDs) to keep pace with Kenton and a defense which hasn't allowed a 20-point scorer over the past five weeks. Mauk was held to 239 passing yards but made Genoa pay on the ground by rushing for 209 yards and three scores.

Moeller (9-3) vs. St. Xavier (9-3)
Moeller took down top-seeded Middletown to set up a rematch with the Bombers, who they defeated 27-24 in Week 5. St. X is seeking its sixth regional crown and first since its 2007 championship season. Moeller has won both previous postseason matchups in the series, including a 10-7 defeat in 2004.

Whitmer (12-1) vs. Wadsworth (11-1)
Whitmer is one of three remaining No. 1 seeds in the Division I playoffs but will face a tough test in No. 7 Wadsworth, which features a high-octane attack. Whitmer's D has been dominant, though, allowing a paltry six points through the first two rounds.
• ESPN.com NFL editor
• Previously covered recruiting for ESPNHS
• Graduate of Northeastern University
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