The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced its pairings for the first round of the high school football playoffs.
Hillsboro and McClain, both currently winless, will play on the road at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10.
The Indians and Tigers square off Friday night at 7 p.m. at Richards Memorial Field in Hillsboro in the final game of the regular season.
No. 21 seed Hillsboro (0-5) will visit No. 12 seed Chillicothe Unioto (3-2). If the Indians win, they will face No. 5 seed Cincinnati McNicholas (3-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.
No. 23 seed McClain (0-5) will visit No. 10 West Milton Milton-Union. If the Tigers win, they will face perennial power Germantown Valley View (3-2), the No. 7 seed, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17.
Hillsboro and McClain both play in Division IV, Region 16. There are 24 teams in the region.
There will be 648 schools taking part in the 2020 postseason.
In a normal season, 224 schools qualify for the playoffs, with eight schools from each of 28 regions earning a bid through the OHSAA’s Harbin computer ratings system, which are not being used this season. However, this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the playoffs will begin in Week 7 (Oct. 9-10) and all teams could opt in.
The OHSAA will said it was sending playoff ticketing guidelines and information to schools on Friday and will meet virtually with all playoff schools on Monday morning. According the latest order from the Ohio Department of Health and the governor, only 15 percent of the stadium’s permanent seating capacity are permitted to attend games, unless the site has been approved for a variance by the Ohio Department of Health. Note that the home team can have its band in attendance for its games, while both teams can have cheerleaders.
All playoff tickets will be sold online through www.OHSAA.org/tickets and will be available starting Tuesday, Oct. 6.
For each game through at least the regional semifinals, the higher seeded team will have the first opportunity to host the game. If the higher seeded team cannot host, the other team will host the game. The OHSAA will determine sites for the regional finals, state semifinals and state championships. If a team is unable to play a playoff game on the assigned day according to the bracket, its opponent will advance on the bracket.
Schools eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs or that chose not to enter the playoffs have the option to schedule additional regular season contests through Saturday, Nov. 14 (maximum of 10 regular season contests permitted).
The Division I state championship game will be played Friday, November 13. The specific dates and times for the state championship games in Divisions II through VII will be announced at a later date, but will be played within the November 19-22 date range. Sites will be announced at a later date, as well, but it is unlikely that all seven games will be played at the same venue. There will be no state championship games that happen simultaneously, as each game will have its own time slot.