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Official: Norwalk, St. Paul headed to state playoffs

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Updated Oct 28, 2018 at 4:45 PM

COLUMBUS — For just the third time in the 47-year history of the tournament, both Norwalk and St. Paul are headed to the state football playoffs.

The Truckers (7-3) are the No. 4 seed in Division III Region 10, meaning they will host a first-round home game for just the second time in program history. Norwalk will entertain No. 5 seed Bowling Green (6-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Whitney Field.

The Bobcats play in the Northern Lakes League, and are making their 11th playoff appearance — and the fourth in the past five seasons. Bowling Green is just 2-10 in playoff games entering Friday’s matchup.

Bowling Green has won its last four games after a 2-4 start to advance to the Week 11 matchup with the Truckers. Norwalk won seven straight games following a Week 2 loss at Norwayne, but dropped its last two regular season games vs. Clyde (32-31 OT) and at Tiffin Columbian (41-20) last Friday.

Norwalk is 3-2 all-time in playoff games and will be making its fourth appearance. The Truckers won two games and the Class AA state championship in 1974, lost in double-overtime in the first round in 2013 — and lost in the second round in 2014.

The Flyers (9-1) are in the deepest region in Div. VII, and will be the No. 7 seed in Region 26. St. Paul will visit No. 2-seed Edgerton (10-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday — making the two-plus hour drive to nearly the Indiana border to face the Bulldogs.

Edgerton — ranked No. 2 ahead of today’s final Associated Press state poll — will be seeking its first-ever playoff win (0-5) in its sixth appearance when it faces St. Paul (AP No. 10).

The Bulldogs play in the Green Meadows Conference, and have won all 10 games by the ‘running clock’ 30-point margin. Since a 33-14 home loss vs. Tiffin Calvert on Sept. 7, the Flyers have won seven straight games by an average of 38 points.

St. Paul is making its 20th playoff appearance — all in a 24-year span since 1995. The Flyers are 40-18 all-time in the playoffs, with a state championship (2009), four state runners-ups (1997, 1999, 2004, 2014) and eight state semifinal appearances.

Norwalk and St. Paul also made the playoffs in the same season in 2013 and 2014, making it the third time in the last six years after never happening before.

Also of note to the area, Olmsted Falls (8-2) is in the playoffs for a third straight season in Div. II. The Bulldogs are coached by 1999 Norwalk graduate Tom DeLuca, who will take a 39-28 record at the school into Friday’s game at Avon Lake (9-1). Olmsted Falls gave the Shoremen their lone loss, 34-31, two weeks ago.

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