This is the final week of high school football in Ohio and its Championship weekend.
We here at Eleven Warriors are here to preview each state championship matchup and the future Buckeyes that will be a part of them.
Along with the preview of each game, all members of the Eleven Warriors recruiting staff will provide their predictions of who will win the three games featuring Ohio State commitments.
Massillon Washington vs. La Salle
- Date and Time: Thursday at 7 p.m. ET
- Future Buckeyes: Jayden Ballard (Massillon), Jake Seibert (La Salle)
- Targets: Andrew Wilson-Lamp (Massillon), Jaylen Johnson (La Salle), Devonta Smith (La Salle), Gi'Bran Payne (La Salle)
In all honesty, this has been the matchup we have been waiting for all year because of Massillon's vaunted passing game against La Salle's suffocating pass defense.
Massillon features 2021 four-star Ohio State wide receiver commit Jayden Ballard and 2021 three-star wide receiver Andrew Wilson-Lamp – both of whom have both been dominant this year.
As for that La Salle defensive backfield, it features four 2021 three-star prospects that all have offers to play Division I football. At cornerback, they have Jaymar Mundy and Iesa Jarmon with Devonta Smith and Jaylen Johnson manning the middle at the safety position.
Both teams have obviously worked very hard and traveled a difficult path to get here making this a great game. As for the game within the game, it will be whether or not Ballard and Wilson-Lamp can get behind these defensive backs, who are undoubtedly the best they’ve seen all season.
Here are our predictions for how we see this game playing out:
- Andrew Ellis- Massillon
- Zack Carpenter- Massillon
- Mick Walker- Massillon
Pickerington Central vs. Elder
- Date and Time: Friday at 8 p.m. ET
- Future Buckeyes: Jakob James (Elder), Joe Royer (Elder), Ty Hamilton (Central)
This is another great matchup between two teams we saw this season bewteen local Pickerington Central and Cincinnati powerhouse Elder.
Pickerington Central is back in the state championship game for the second time in three years after winning the title in 2017. As for Elder, they are back in the title game for the first time in over ten years.
Both teams feature a run game that is built for cold weather playoff football along with a go-to pass catcher that can take over games.
Central has a talented running back in Nick Moesly but quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw has been their most productive runner this postseason and that will likely continue. The same can be said about Elder and their quarterback Matthew Luebbe who has run through teams all season but 2020 Ohio State defensive line commit Ty Hamilton will look to slow him down.
As for those pass-catchers, 2020 Ohio State tight end commit Joe Royer is Elder's go-to guy and 2021 four-star Norte Dame wide receiver commit Lorenzo Styles does the same for Pickerington Central.
Both teams have very good coaches and talented teams which will make this a great game.
- Andrew Ellis- Pickerington Central
- Zack Carpenter- Pickerington Central
- Mick Walker- Elder
Ironton vs. Kirtland
- Date and Time: Saturday at 8 p.m. ET
- Future Buckeyes: Reid Carrico (Ironton)
There are two key components to this game. The first is that Kirtland is the defending division VI state champion and moved up a division following its title. The second is that Reid Carrico has put the Ironton team on his back, leading the team in rushing yards and tackles.
If Ironton wants to win this state championship, they are going to need Carrico to keep up what he has done all postseason. However, Kirtland will put all hands on deck in order to stop him, on both sides of the ball.
This game may not have the depth that the previous two did, but it might have the biggest star with Carrico doing a little bit of everything.
- Andrew Ellis- Kirtland
- Zack Carpenter- Ironton
- Mick Walker- Ironton