Three outright league champions — Perrysburg, Central Catholic and Liberty-Benton — have captured the poll titles in the final Blade football poll of the season.
In the combined Division I-II poll, coach Matt Kregel’s Northern Lakes League champion Perrysburg team (8-2, 7-0) edged out Three Rivers Athletic Conference runner-up St. Francis de Sales (8-2, 6-1) for the No. 1 spot.
The Yellow Jackets started out 1-2 in nonleague play this year, then ran the table in the NLL after losing the league title in 2012 because of a one-point overtime loss to last year’s champion, Napoleon.
Perrysburg’s defeats this season came against Whitmer and Central in Weeks 1 and 3.
St. Francis also has just two losses, and both came against teams that are 10-0 entering Friday’s playoff games — Michigan Division 1 power Bedford and Ohio Division III power Central Catholic.
Perrysburg and St. Francis will be competing in the D-II playoffs on Friday. Perrysburg outscored its 10 regular-season foes 376-178 and St. Francis 334-275.
Central (10-0, 7-0 TRAC), the 2012 Division II state champion, has dropped down to Division III this year under the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s new seven-division playoff format.
Coach Greg Dempsey’s Fighting Irish, winners of 15 straight games and 20 of their past 21, are ranked No. 2 in the Ohio D-III state poll. Central has outscored its opposition 428-109 entering postseason play Friday.
The Irish head up an outstanding grouping of teams near the top of the Blade’s combined Division III and IV poll.
Finishing No. 2 is two-time defending Northern Buckeye Conference champion Genoa (10-0, 7-0), which is ranked No. 3 in the D-IV state poll, and ending at No. 3 in the Blade poll is two-time defending Northwest Ohio Athletic League champion Bryan (10-0, 8-0), which is ranked No. 2 in the D-IV state poll.
If there is any dispute over the Ohio or Blade rankings of these two teams, that debate will be settled on the field Friday night, when Bryan travels to play its first-round playoff game at Genoa.
Genoa has outscored its foes 632-151, and Bryan has outscored its opponents 485-128.
Wauseon (9-1, 7-1 NWOAL), the No. 4 team in the final Division III-IV Blade poll, suffered its only loss in heartbreaking fashion by a 28-27 count at Bryan. That came on Oct. 4, when the host Golden Bears were successful on an impromptu two-point conversion pass, after a bungled snap prevented a one-point kick try that would have only forced overtime.
Wauseon outscored its regular-season foes 408-141.
Coach Tim Nichols’ Liberty-Benton Eagles (9-0, 8-0) led the combined Division V-VI-VII Blade poll from wire to wire while winning the Blanchard Valley Conference title.
The Eagles, who had a bye during the regular season, outscored their nine foes 420-63 (46.7-7 per game) and are ranked No. 2 in the Ohio Division V state poll.
Ending up at Nos. 2, 3, and 4 in the final Division V-VI-VII Blade poll are NBC runner-up Eastwood (8-2, 6-1), BVC runner-up McComb (8-2, 6-2), and Toledo Area Athletic Conference champion Northwood (8-2, 7-0), which has won eight straight games after and 0-2 start.