As the Whitmer Panthers push to keep their unbeaten football season alive for at least another week, a familiar postseason opponent awaits at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mansfield's Arlin Field in a Division I regional final.
The third-ranked Panthers (12-0) will meet Massillon Washington, one of Ohio's most storied programs.
"We're going to have to execute at a high level," first-year Panthers coach Jerry Bell said. "Our special teams are going to play a huge factor. We have to avoid turning the ball over, and we have to create turnovers on defense."
Last year's loss a reminder
A year later, Central Catholic gets another shot at Avon.
The Irish (11-1) were knocked out of last year's Division II playoffs by the Eagles in a game Central players, coaches and fans won't soon forget.
In the 2011 regional semifinal at Fremont Ross, Central seemed somewhat in control after taking a seven-point lead at halftime.
But that game quickly spiraled out of control, as the Irish fell prey to Eagles quarterback Paul O'Rourke and wideout Matt Eckhardt.
A look at other area playoff contenders:
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