Hartley vs. Lexington.jpg

Ethan Hartley scoots around end against Lexington in an Ashland victory at Community Stadium.

SHELBY — Shelby coach Rob Mahaney got his wish.

The Whippets earned the No. 2 seed in Division IV, Region 14 when the expanded football playoff brackets were released Thursday afternoon.

Shelby (5-0) will host either No. 15 Rossford or No. 18 Triway on Oct. 17. Rossford and Triway meet at Rossford on Oct. 10.

Mahaney had hoped the Whippets would get a first-round bye in order to give his injured stars an extra week to heal. Running back Owen Fisher has been nursing an undisclosed lower body injury the past few weeks while defensive end Marek Albert broke his collarbone in a Week 1 win over Ontario.

Last week’s 37-7 win over previously unbeaten Lucas was more than enough to convince the coaches from around the region to seed Shelby as the No. 2 seed in Region 14. The 24 coaches in the region voted after last week’s games.

“With a win over Lucas, we can get a (first-round playoff) bye and we can get healthy,” Mahaney said after last week’s win over the Cubs. “We can rest up Owen and … Marek comes back. All these kids get healthy and it could really help us in the postseason.”

Shelby was one of eight teams in the region to earn first-round byes.

Ashland was the No. 2 seed in Region 10 of Division III and could face a familiar foe in its playoff opener. The Arrows will host either Mansfield Senior or Sylvania Southview on Oct. 16. The 15th-seeded Tygers welcome No. 18 Southview to Arlin Field on Oct. 9.

If the Tygers (1-4) win, it would set up a rematch with the undefeated Arrows (5-0). The teams met at Ashland’s Community Stadium in Week 4 and the Arrows escaped with a 13-6 win.

“We definitely went into that game with a lot of confidence that we could do some things, but at the end of the day you’ve got to finish,” Senior High coach Chioke Bradley said. “I think we got more out of that loss than they got from the win.

“We don’t want to look past (Week 6 opponent) Mount Vernon or Southview, but we would welcome the challenge if we are fortunate enough to play them again.”

In Division V, Region 18, Wynford earned the No. 7 seed and will host either No. 23 Willard or No. 10 Indian Lake on Oct. 17. Willard and Indian Lake meet on Oct. 10.

In Division VI, Region 22, second-seeded Colonel Crawford will host either No. 18 Delta or No. 15 Seneca East on Oct. 17. Those teams meet at Seneca East on Oct. 10.

In Region 23 of Division VI, Centerburg earned the No. 2 seed and will host either No. 18 Loudonville or No. 15 Northmor on Oct. 17. The Redbirds and Golden Knights meet at Northmor on Oct. 10.

Despite last week’s loss to Shelby, Lucas earned the No. 2 seed in Division VII, Region 25. The Cubs will host either No. 18 Mapleton or No. 15 Cuyahoga Heights on Oct. 16. Mapleton visits Cuyahoga Heights on Oct. 9.

In Region 27 of Division VII, both second-seeded East Knox and No. 4 Danville earned first-round byes. East Knox hosts either No. 18 Tuscarawas Central Catholic or No. 15 Toronto, while Danville will welcome either No. 13 Cardington or No. 20 Lancaster Fisher Catholic to town on Oct. 16.

In addition to Mansfield Senior, several other area teams will host first-round games.

Mount Vernon earned the No. 16 seed in Division II, Region 7 and will welcome No. 17 Canal Winchester to Yellow Jacket Stadium on Oct. 9.

In Division IV, Region 14, No. 9 Ontario will host No. 24 Vermilion on Oct. 10. No. 16 Galion will host No. 17 Rocky River Lutheran West.

In Division VI, Region 21, No. 12 Hillsdale will host No. 21 Campbell Memorial on Oct. 10. In Region 22 of Division VI, No. 9 Crestview hosts No. 24 Metamora Evergreen.

In Division VII, Region 25, No. 13 Plymouth will host No. 20 Lisbon David Anderson.

The remaining area teams will be on the road in the first round.

In Division III, Region 10, No. 21 Madison is at No. 12 West Holmes on Oct. 9, while No. 20 Lexington is at No. 13 Rocky River.

In Division IV, Region 14, No. 20 Clear Fork will visit No. 13 Edison on Oct. 10.

In Division VI, Region 23, No. 21 Fredericktown is at No. 12 Marion Elgin on Oct. 10.

In Division VII, Region 25, No. 19 Buckeye Central visits No. 14 Wellsville on Oct. 9.

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.