(Mechanicsburg awaits their biggest game in school history)
This is what we’ve all been waiting for. This is the matchup that was anticipated in August.
Now, it’s finally here.
The Region 22 Finals will take place Saturday night at Bellefontaine High School. The #1 Marion Local Flyers take on the #2 Mechanicsburg Indians in a fight for the final four in Division VI.
Marion Local sits at 11-1 and took its only loss to Division V Coldwater.
Mechanicsburg is yet to lose a game this season, winning all 12 of their contests.
The majority of high school insiders saw this matchup coming. Marion Local has moved up to Division VI this season, and when it was announced, many anticipated this matchup occurring sometime in late November.
Marion Local has ended their season as state champs in each of the last four seasons.
The Mechanicsburg Indians are entering their second regional final in three years.
Mechanicsburg took a clean sweep of the major Southwest District awards. Kaleb Romero took home the Offensive Player of the Year, Dylan Hartley was crowned the Defensive Player of the Year, and head coach Kurt Forest was awarded the Coach of the Year.
Marion Local did not earn any awards on that scale, but did receive three first-team bids.
The two teams share one common opponent over the 2015 season. Mechanicsburg defeated West Liberty in week six of the season by a final tally of 44-0. Marion Local advanced in the playoffs last week with their 34-0 shutout of West Liberty.
Marion Local’s biggest threat has been senior receiver Hunter Wilker. Wilker earned All-District honors and has 28 receptions for 466 yards and five touchdowns through the first ten games of the season.
The Flyers also own a lot of size on the offensive line. Sophomore guard John Dirksen stands at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, and is a “sure-fire D1” player according to scout.com. Marion Local’s starting center, John Schwieterman, was named first-team all district and is 6-foot-5, 205 pounds.
Linebacker Cole Unrast earned first-team honors on the defensive side of the ball, and will surely make an impact on the game.
Mechanicsburg’s star quarterback Kaleb Romero will surely impact the game. He’s been a touchdown machine due to his dual-threat abilities as a runner and passer.
Marion Local will also have to deal with Phil Cook, who was named to the second-team in the AP’s Southwest District team. Cook and Romero provide the Indians with enough speed and firepower to beat any team in the state.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive lineman Dylan Hartley dominates his opposition. Hartley will lead a solid front for Mechanicsburg on Saturday.
The Indians have finished each game of the season with a running clock, proving their dominance even in the playoffs. Their average score is an astounding 46.4-5.7 victory. The Indians are yet to give up three touchdowns in a game, and have not allowed more than 14 points in a game this entire season.
Marion Local’s offense is about ten points behind Mechanicsburg’s, as they average 36.7 points per game. The Flyers keep pace with the Indians defensively, allowing just nine points per game.
This game is the most anticipated game in Division VI this weekend, and is at the top in the entire state.
Many high school pundits think the winner of this game will win the state championship.
The game will be packed, as thousands of fans from across the state will be in attendance to watch a game that has the makings of an instant classic.
The Region 22 championship battle begins at 7:00 P.M., and seats will be limited.