by Ken Lahmers and Brent HoveyEditor and ReporterAurora -- For the third straight year, the Aurora Greenmen gridders have qualified for the Division III state playoffs and will host a first-round game Nov. 2.AHS (9-1) finished fourth in the Region 9 computer ratings and will host Cortland Lakeview (8-2) of Trumbull County.In the playoff matchups, teams which finish 1 and 8, 2 and 7, 3 and 6 and 4 and 5 meet each other in the opening round, with the top four schools as hosts.Aurora finished with 22.65 points to Lakeview's 21.9. Walsh Jesuit (9-1) was first in the region, followed by Rocky River and Lake Catholic. After Aurora and Lakeview came Ravenna, Hubbard and Field.Lakeview struggled in two of its three non-league games, losing to Howland 21-7 and Niles McKinley 17-0. The Bulldogs won their opener 37-33 over Painesville Harvey.The Cortland school then went on to post seven straight Trumbull Athletic Conference wins -- 34-27 over Champion, 28-13 over Hubbard, 33-20 over Brookfield, 28-23 over Liberty, 30-6 over Newton Falls, 24-20 over Girard and 48-7 over LaBrae.The Bulldogs scored 269 points while giving up 197. In comparison, the Greenmen tallied 313 points to their opponents' 106, including two shutouts.LAKEVIEW is coached by Tom Pavlansky, who is in his ninth season at the school. This is the last year it will be in the TAC-8, since that conference and the Metro Athletic Conference will merge to form the All-American Conference.Lakeview reportedly likes to stay on the ground as much as possible, and junior Ben Moody is its top rusher with nearly 1,2000 yards, 9 touchdowns and a 5.5 yards per carry average."They want to run and we're going to have to make them throw," said AHS coach Bob Mihalik. "They're very physical and very big up front."Other top running backs for the Bulldogs are Vinnie Elias and Justin Wazelle. Their leading rusher in 2006 -- Jon Biehl -- plays wide receiver this year, but occasionally carries the ball.Lakeview's signal-caller is junior Justin Clark. His other main pass targets are Michael Braunegg and Jarred Clark.Other key players are linemen Rylan Hardman, Nick Cohuth, Adam Lindsey and Steve Lane, and linebackers-secondary players Braunegg, Kyle Smedi, Elias, Moody and David Petrosky.Defensively, Lakeview will come after their opponents whenever they can."They're an aggressive, attacking defense," Mihalik said. "They'll blitz on every play from every angle. Our blocking has to be sound and our offensive line must communicate well."AHS has become a balanced offense, rushing for just over 1,800 yards and throwing for slightly less than 1,400. "If we continue to do that and be diverse, we can be successful but they're a very good defensive team and we're going to have to play well," Mihalik said.WHILE THIS will be Aurora's third straight trip to the playoffs, Lakeview is making its first appearance since 2000. Mihalik hopes AHS's experience will give the locals an edge."Also, playing at home will be an advantage. We hope for one of those crazy, loud crowds. We're going to need their help."Mihalik added this has the makings of a classic playoff game."They're by far the best team we've played this year," he said. "It's going to be a challenge on both sides of the ball. It could come down to the final seconds and we hope we're able to pull it off."On the injury front, leading rusher Steven Yung looked impressive rushing for 104 yards on 3 carries against Wickliffe, and Mihalik excepts him to be full go for Lakeview.Sophomore linebacker Eric Schultz will return after missing several games with a concussion.However, senior tightend/linebacker Rob Lajuenesse is out for the year with a back injury. Sophomore Mitch Knapp will fill in for him, and junior Brendan Connolly has filled in at linebacker.Mihalik said both have done a nice job and he expects that to continue.Tickets will be sold outside the office at the high school -- the same spot they were last year -- today (Oct. 31), Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.All presale tickets are $6. Tickets at the gate are $8. There are no special student or seniors prices.E-mail: klahmers@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3155