The biggest sports weekend in the history of Richland County is about to begin as the Mansfield Senior Tygers and Lucas Cubs prepare for their state championship contests.
The 13-1 Tygers are battle-tested having won their past two games on overtime scores by Angelo Grose. In the Region 10 final two weeks ago Grose ran in from 5-yards away for a 15-9 victory over Sandusky.
Last week, the Tyger defense stood on its head in the second half against Aurora forcing overtime.
Grose then stepped up big again in the second extra period intercepting a pass and then catching the game-winning score for a 27-21 win and a spot in the Division 3 Final.
The final roadblock in Mansfield Senior's path to a state championship is an 11-3 Trotwood-Madison squad that has been to the State Final Four in every year but one this decade.
The Rams have been to six state championship games, winning in 2011 and 2017.
Trotwood-Madison held a 24-0 lead on Bishop Hartley last week heading into the fourth quarter, but needed a late interception to hold on for a 24-19 victory. University of Cincinnait commit Sammy Anderson is Trotwood-Madison's playmaker scoring three times on touchdown catches of 35 and 26 yards and a 40-yard punt return touchdown. He also sealed the game with an interception with under a minute left.
Kickoff for the Division 3 State Championship is set for 3:00 PM from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
As for the 12-2 Lucas Cubs, they also needed last-second heroics in the past couple of weeks to
advance. In the Region 25 Final, the Cubs needed a goalline fumble recovery to hold off Cuyahoga
Heights 21-13. They then needed a 13-yard touchdown pass from Logan Niswander to Riley Mounts with less than a minute remaining to defeat Harvest Prep 15-12 last Saturday.
The Cubs also face a state power in 12-2 Marion Local, who has been to the Final Four 16 times in the past 20 years. It's the 9th-straight State Final for the Flyers, who are winners of 11 State Championships and will be seeking a state-record 12th title.
The Flyers needed overtime to defeat Fort Loramie 24-21 in the Region 28 Semifinal, but then outscored its opponents 67-6 in its past two games.
Kickoff for the Division 7 State Championship is set for 10:00 AM from Tom Benson Hall of Fame
Stadium in Canton.