This week we'd like to welcome Marlington junior Dymonte Thomas (follow him @Dymonte1) to our coverage of Ohio football. The Michigan recruit helped the Dukes go 8-2 this season, making contributions on both sides of the ball as the Dukes just missed out on the postseason. He's agreed to occasionally drop in to offer some insight on some of the intriguing playoff matchups.
Click here for the full playoff schedule and brackets.
Here are Dymonte's best bets for this weekend:
Division III — Poland (7-3) vs. Minerva (10-0)
This should be a good game but Poland will get the win if they stick to running the ball. They have a good rushing attack and a big offensive line. We beat them by like two touchdowns but it was a lot closer than the score indicates. Their running backs did a good job against us. Minerva will do good if they throw the ball and put Zach Wade at running back. He’s tough. I don’t think their defense will be able to stop Poland’s running game, though.
Division I — GlenOak (9-1) vs. Wadsworth (9-1)
GlenOak will beat Wadsworth. My cousin Bri’Onte Dunn is about to rush for a good 250 yards and their QB (Reid Worstell) will pass for about 200. GlenOak is tough and has a lot of swag going into this game.
Canton McKinley (8-2) vs. Southview (9-1)
McKinley has a tough matchup, but I feel like they can pull this one out if they don’t have a lot of turnovers and their quarterback, Tyler Foster, goes off.
Here's two more from yours truly
Division I — Cleveland Heights (9-0) vs. St. Edward (7-3)
Both of these teams enter the playoffs with something to prove. Sure, Heights took down Maple Heights but people still aren't sold on this team as a legit contender in Division I. Ending the Eagles' championship reign would go a long way toward silencing the critics. St. Ed dropped three of its last four contests, casting some serious doubts on whether they can repeat this season. The Eagles are known for their ground-and-pound attack but junior QB Ryan Fallon has shown the ability to air it out in recent weeks.
Division III — Shawnee (10-0) vs. Taft (7-3)
This is not your usual 1 vs. 8 matchup. Taft has an uncanny ability to apply heat on QBs, led by senior DL Adolphus Washington, who has racked up 23 sacks this season. The defense held five opponents to less than 15 points while the offense averaged 54 points in the last two weeks of the season. On the other side of the field, Shawnee went undefeated during the regular season and outscored opponents by an eye-popping 413-110 margin.