Yellow Jackets face Avon Eagles in Round 1 of playoffs

Senior Bennett Westfall, left, celebrates after the Yellow Jackets beat  cross-river rival Maumee 55-26.  THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH

By HANNAH WEIKER
STAFF WRITER

The Perrysburg High School football team has earned the right to be in the playoffs — a rare feat for a Perrysburg team.

“Although we have never played in the postseason, we are very familiar with big games. This team has prepared well and practiced well all week,” said Coach Matt Kregel, whose team finished the regular season 8-2 and 6-1 in the Northern Lakes League.

So the players, fans, and coaches have their minds set on one thing — victory.

But to get that victory they will have to get through the Avon Eagles first Friday night.  Kickoff in the Division I regional quarterfinal is set for 7:30 p.m. at Avon High School.

Avon, 9-1, is a tough team, but what else would be expected in the playoffs.

Perrysburg’s last playoff game was in 2007 when Coach Kregel was in his second season. The Jackets lost that game to Macedonia Nordonia.

Unlike Perrysburg, Avon is no stranger to playoffs; this is the Eagles third straight year making it to state playoffs. Last year, the Eagles made it to the Division 2 state championship game. They would be runners-up in a loss to Trotwood-Madison.

Avon brings much to the field, such as their size and athleticism. The Cleveland-area team excels at offense, with one of their running backs committing to Michigan and a wide receiver heading to Ball State after graduation.

These facts will not discourage the Yellow Jackets, a swarm that is coming off a thrilling victory against rival Maumee. The Jackets want nothing more than to taste sweet victory once again.

“We are playing the best football that we have all year,” said senior Justin Richie, a special teams player.

Before the game can begin the players and fans face the biggest road trip of the season, an hour and 30 minutes to a town just past the city of Cleveland.

While this might be uncharted territory, the Jackets look to come out and continue one of the greatest seasons they’ve ever had.

“We have great senior leadership and I expect that to carry through this Friday,” said Coach Kregel, “I think we are going to win.”

Contact Hannah Weiker at: hweiks@gmail.com.

 

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