Postseason football kick off across Greene County


XENIA — 10-0 has turned to 0-0.

It’s been a memorable season for the Xenia Buccaneers between pulling out a comeback win in the league’s game of the season, winning the Miami Valley League overall title, earning the No. 2-seed in the playoffs and doing something seemingly no one alive has ever seen from the team: An undefeated regular season.

In just one week, all of that quickly becomes an afterthought with the postseason arriving. Every team across the state gets a clean slate where everyone is back to square one.

The playoffs are a weekly battle to keep your season alive.

“We’ve talked consistently for us to be 1-0 each week,” head coach Maurice Harden said. “Staying locked in on each day and being present. I keep using the same saying, to keep being where you’re feet are, but it’s very true. It helps us continue to keep staying process driven and not results driven.”

Xenia is in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Friday’s game hosting No. 15 Little Miami will be the second postseason home game ever for the Bucs at Doug Adams Stadium.

The Panthers make the trip from Morrow having gone 3-7 this season while competing in the difficult Eastern Cincinnati Conference. Little Miami uses its offense through Grant Maupin, but he has success throwing the ball in the direction of Brayden Bischoff as two together are one of their league’s top-three passing-receiving combinations. Jack Cooper gives him a solid second option as well.

Xenia’s pass rush has produced 34.5 sacks this season, which would lead both the MVL and ECC, and should get more opportunities to add to that total.

On the other side of the ball is where the advantage would seem to strongly be in favor of Xenia. A dynamic rushing game that helped the Bucs average just over 42 points will take on a Little Miami defense that has not come within three scores in all but one of its losses and has only made 38 tackles for loss this year. That total would rank eighth within the MVL, a league that Xenia shredded to the tune of 449 total yards per game.

The start of the playoffs are also full circle moment for the Xenia senior class. They began their high school careers as parts of the first team to participate in the playoffs in school history in 2019. Now they have added on by becoming the first group to play all four years.

“We want those expectations for us,” Harden said. “It shouldn’t be, ‘oh wow, Xenia is in the playoffs,’ it can be ‘Xenia goes to the playoffs.’ Building brick by brick has been the mantra, and the reason why is I want to let people know that we’re laying that foundation for becoming a successful program.”

Friday will also be the first chance for the Bucs to win its first ever playoff game at home, having lost the only other opportunity in 2019.

“Little Miami is a really good football team who’s going to be coming in here playing in a hostile environment,” Harden said. “We’re excited for that opportunity to put on a great show in front of our fans and represent our school in the best way we know and possibly win the first home playoff game in shool history.”

A potential regional quarterfinal matchup against either No. 10 Cincinnati Anderson or No. 7 Troy awaits the winner of Friday’s game.

No. 12 Celina (6-4) at No. 5 Bellbrook (8-4)

Two strong defenses will square off in the first round at Bellbrook.

The Golden Eagles are in the playoffs for the third straight year. One year ago they were mere seconds away from reaching the final four, and with that knows what it takes to win this time of year and will have the experience edge.

Also having a defense which only twice allowed more than 14 points is also a strength which could get you far.

Celina meanwhile has turned around from a 1-9 season to a playoff team which contended for the Western Buckeye League title. Neither of its league losses came by more than a touchdown with its own defense averaging 16 points per game allowed.

Two close losses the last two weeks may suggest Celina isn’t coming in hot, but both were strong performances against the top of their league with improved offensive play.

Field position could be a key and the advantage in special teams would favor Bellbrook as Celina averages under 30 yards per punt and may not be able to back up the ground game of the Golden Eagles.

The winner will either travel to No. 4 Wapakoneta or play host to No. 13 Wilmington next week.

No. 12 Cedarville (5-5) at No. 5 New Bremen (7-3)

Cedarville is back in the playoffs. The Indians’ 12th postseason appearance could be considered an unexpected one before the season began with a young roster on hand and the team not having finished with a .500 record in eight years.

A new passing game led by Jackson Pyles has made Cedarville a formidable opponent and early wins provided a boost in confidence they carried through the season.

New Bremen hails from the powerhouse that is the Midwest Athletic Conference and won the state championship in 2020. The Cardinals coming out of that league with an above .500 record should be the first indication of the quality they possess, if being ranked No. 7 in the final state D-VII AP poll didn’t already indicate it.

David Homan at quarterback was one of the more dynamic players in the league and has multiple receiving options for a difficult to stop offense. As an example, undefeated Marion Local has allowed 30 points all season and 16 of those points came from New Bremen.

The winner will either travel to No. 4 De Graff Riverside or play host to No. 13 Lehman Catholic next week.

No. 10 Preble Shawnee (7-2) at No. 7 Greeneview (9-1)

A rough draw for Greeneview following a 9-1 season with an OHC South Division title. Region 20 is loaded full of good teams with eight of them finishing with two losses or fewer and the Rams being the No. 7-seed as evidence.

Greeneview is in the playoffs for the eighth time in the last nine seasons, but this will be just their third home game in that span. They’re 2-0 so far including last year’s shutout victory.

The Arrows make the trip from Camden with a load of postseason experience coming with them after getting to the regional finals in D-V last season. Preble Shawnee finished third in the Western Ohio Athletic Conference this year and split games against the two co-champions.

Brayden Doran and Malechai Stephenson are the team’s leading rusher and receiver, respectively, and both did the same for their squad a year ago. Play selection leans toward the run, but balance is shown through yardage gained while averaging five touchdowns per game.

The PS defense averages almost two forced turnovers and six tackles for loss per game, and has seen 14 different players make at least 20 tackles this year with shutouts produced two of the last three times out. It should be a challenge for the Greeneview run game averaging more than 320 yards and rarely gets pushed backward.

The winner will either travel to No. 2 Milton Union or play host to No. 15 Greenon next week.
Xenia seeking first ever home playoff win

By Steven Wright

[email protected]

Postseason football ticket buying guidelines

Xenia High School has released the following information regarding ticket sales and attendance for Friday’s home football playoff game against Little Miami. Similar ticket buying procedures are in place for the Bellbrook, Cedarville and Greeneview games as well.

  • Gates at Doug Adams Stadium (and others) will open at 5:30 p.m. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
  • There will be NO Presale ticket sales at Xenia High School or Warner Middle School.
  • All tickets must be purchased online and no cash will be taken at the gate. The ticketing website is different than what has been used during the regular season. Adult tickets are $10 and student tickets are $8.
  • Online ticket link:
  • When purchasing tickets: Xenia is located in Division II, Region 8. Bellbrook is located in D-III, Region 12. Greeneview is located in D-V, Region 20. Cedarville is located in D-VII, Region 28.

  • No MVL, OHC, or SWBL All-Sports Passes, Employee Passes, or Senior Citizen Passes will be accepted! Everyone in Kindergarten or older must have a ticket to get in. This is an OHSAA playoff rule.
  • Regular Season Reserved Parking Passes will be accepted in both lots at Doug Adams Stadium.
  • You can print off your electronic ticket or keep it on your phone, please have your QR code or paper ticket ready as you approach the gate this will allow for quicker entry, if entering with a paper ticket.
  • The Xenia athletic department will be offering a free shuttle from Xenia Town Square to the stadium beginning at 5:15 p.m. To help with parking, the city has provided permission to utilize this lot. The shuttle will run to the stadium every 15 minutes until 7:15 p.m. and then will run back and forth for 60 minutes following the game.
  • If you can’t make the Xenia game, follow all the action on Twitter through the Xenia athletic account @XeniaAthletics and Xenia Daily Gazette writer @Steven_Wright_.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

No posts to display