With 16 players from central Ohio on its roster, the Notre Dame College football team has emerged as a power in NCAA Division II this season.

The Falcons, who are in just their ninth season of playing a full schedule, travel to Georgia to play at Valdosta State in a national playoff semifinal at noon Dec. 8.

The winner plays Minnesota State-Mankato or Ferris State for the championship Dec. 15.

Notre Dame, which is in South Euclid, beat Slippery Rock 21-17 on Dec. 1 in a quarterfinal to improve to 13-0.

Three Gahanna Lincoln High School graduates have been among the contributors.

While Vasean Davis is a key running back and Ron Robinson is the holder on place-kicks, Tanner Harding punted five times for a 36.2-yard average, ran for a 19-yard first down on a fake punt and made three extra points against Slippery Rock.

St. Charles graduate Davionn Johnson, a defensive back, had eight tackles and one interception against Slippery Rock.

Grove City graduate Austin Treneff starts at center.

Others contributors from central Ohio have included Franklin Heights graduate Dylan Akers (QB) and New Albany graduate Jalen Ward (DB).

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek