Fairview’s Caleb Frank joins the Black Swamp Football Show following Saturday’s thrilling 38-36 victory over Northwood in the Division VI, Region 22 quarterfinals. Frank kicked the game-winning 39-yard field as time expired to send the Apaches to their third straight regional semifinal. Click to listen to interview https://blackswampfootball.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Caleb-Frank.mp3
DEFIANCE – An inspiring halftime speech from senior quarterback/defensive back Blake Reynolds left an impression on his Columbus Grove teammates and coaches on Saturday night in the Division VI, Region 22 championship game at Defiance High School.
The Bulldogs outscored Fairview 28-7 in the final 24 minutes to break a 14-14 halftime deadlock on the way to a 42-21 triumph.
Columbus Grove, which is now 5-0 in regional championship games, will play state power Coldwater in the state semifinals next Saturday at a site to be determined today by the OHSAA. The top-ranked Cavaliers rolled past Mechanicsburg, 35-14, in the Region 24 championship game Saturday night. The victory was the 600th in program history for the MAC juggernaut that’s won six state championships, finished state runner-up six times and is making its 16th Final 4 appearance.
Grove is playing in its first state semifinal since 2014 following three straight appearances from 2001-03.
“I can’t talk highly enough about our seniors,” said Grove headman Andy Schafer. “I wish I had a recording to capture the moment in the locker room when Blake – really for the first time ever – shared his heart. He got up in front of the team at halftime and shared his heart. There were tears, there was leadership.”
It all comes down to this.
Division VI’s rugged Region 22 championship will be decided in Saturday evening’s skirmish between Columbus Grove and Fairview.
The Apaches had the right to host the game but moved the game to Defiance’s Fred J. Brown Stadium to allow for more spectators.
Both teams enter the dustup with perfect 9-0 marks.
Fairview, playing in its second regional championship in the last three years, has never ventured to the state semifinal in program history. Grove will be looking for its fifth Final 4 showing.
The winner will advance to the state semifinals at a site to be determined on Sunday against the winner of the Region 24 championship: Mechanicsburg at Coldwater.
Last week’s regional semifinals were vastly different for both Fairview and Columbus Grove.
Fairview had to erase a 27-7 second quarter lead at Colonel Crawford to rally for a 35-34 victory. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs rampaged past Archbold, the top seed in the region.
Former Defiance College teammates Andrew Kohls and Andrew Mickey will be on opposite sides of the field for Saturday’s Division VI, Region 22 championship clash between Columbus Grove and Fairview.
Tony Haynes and Lynn Groll look back at regional semifinals between Avon Lake at Central Catholic, Fairview at Colonel Crawford and Columbus Grove at Archbold. They look ahead to to this week’s regional final between Columbus Grove and Fairview while picking winners for all 30 playoff games around the state.