Southview and Ashland are familiar opponents in the football playoffs.
The two teams met a year ago in a Division II opening-round game.
So, surprises are not expected when the Cougars and Arrows line up across from one another tonight in a regional final showdown at Fremont Ross Paul Stadium at Harmon Field.
"I think they're very similar to what they were last year," Southview coach Jim Mayzes said. "It's basically the same kids as last year and they're even better this year."
Ashland outscored Southview 47-34 in a shootout in their last encounter. Ashland quarterback Taylor Housewright directed the Arrows to their first playoff victory in school history by passing for four touchdowns and rushing for another.
It was a defeat the Cougars apparently had not forgotten.
"I think it was a carry-over for us from last season after giving up 47 points that led to us getting three straight shutouts to start this season," Mayzes said.
Southview has avenged two of its four losses from last season by posting shutouts. The Cougars have defeated Start (43-0), Bowling Green (36-20) and Northview (16-0), all teams they lost to in 2006.
"We were fortunate to avenge three of the four losses and now we have
an opportunity to avenge the fourth,"Mayzes said.
The Cougars and Arrows are both 11-1 after successfully navigating their way through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Southview, the No. 2 seed in the region, knocked off defending state champion Piqua 21-14 in a regional semifinal. Ashland, the No. 4 seed, defeated top-seed Avon Lake 21-14.
Housewright, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior, was named D-II district player of the year this week. He has passed for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for more than 700 yards. He has thrown for 34 touchdowns and ran for 10 more.
"A good player you don't stop, you try to limit them and not let them go crazy," said Mayzes of Housewright.
Both teams have plenty of all-district players.
Southview's Griff Whalen, Alex Renner, Greg Thomas and Vinnie Meehan are first-team selections. Anthony Fairhurst, Gregg Berkshire, Cody Fast and Logan Kerr join Housewright as first-teamers for the Arrows.
Both teams reached this point in similar style and effort - prolific in scoring and tough to score against.
Southview has averaged 30 points while limiting opponents to 10 points per contest. The Cougars have not allowed an opponent to score more than 21 points.
The Arrows average 38 points an outing, while holding opponents to 16.5.
"Our kids will be tested and we think we have a good defense," Mayzes said.
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