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Times changed for finals

COLUMBUS — In order to assist with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s 10 p.m. statewide curfew order, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has adjusted the game times for the football state championship games this weekend at Fortress Obetz in Columbus. The games will now kickoff at 1:15 p.m. and 6:15 on Friday and Saturday, instead of 2 and 7 as previously announced.

In addition, the games on Sunday will kickoff at 12:15 and 5:15 (instead of noon and 5) so that all six games have a consistent pregame timing format.

While teams and fans can still travel home after 10 p.m., the OHSAA’s goal is that the stadium is closed by 10.

“We want to support the Governor’s curfew order,” OHSAA Executive Director Doug Ute said. “Kicking off earlier will help ensure that everyone has left the stadium by 10 on Friday and Saturday nights. We’ll need a sense of urgency to leave the facility after those games, but we don’t want to take away from the postgame experience.”

The OHSAA is aware that the Franklin County Department of Health has also issued an advisory beginning Friday at 6 p.m., asking residents to stay at home due to the rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the city and county. At this time, that advisory does not affect the status of the football state championship games.

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