The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

September 12, 2013

Points, pride, bragging rights on line

Madison, Perry can’t wait to get after one another in battle for Little Brown Jug

As usual, there is plenty on the line as ancient rivals Madison and Perry prepare to square off in the annual battle for the Little Brown Jug, which will take place Friday night at Alumni Stadium.

As the Blue Streaks (1-1) and Pirates (2-0) come into this one, the usual laundry list of rewards is up for grabs:

  • The chance to head into play in their respective conferences with a ton of momentum.
  • A ton of potential computer points.
  • Possession of the aforementioned Little Brown Jug.
  • And, perhaps most important of all, bragging rights in a matchup that Madison leads, 42-28-2, since 1939.

A year ago, the Blue Streaks edged the Pirates in a classic clash,  28-27.

And both coaches — Madison’s Tim Willis and Perry’s Matt Rosati — didn’t even attempt to mask the importance of this annual border war.

“It means a lot to the players, coaches and community,” Willis — who is 2-3 in his tenure in games against Perry since the series was resumed in 2008 after a 12-year absence, said. “We want to keep the Brown Jug in Madison.”

“It means a great deal to our community because it represents so much history,” Rosati, whose Pirates won their first three matchups with Madison but have dropped the last two, said. “It becomes very personal for all who have been involved.”

Both teams are coming off impressive Week 2 victories.

After losing a tough 27-21 verdict at perennial power Chagrin Falls to kick off the season, Madison (1-1) bounced back in fine fashion last week, annihilating visiting Collinwood, 54-0.

Willis played his entire roster in what amounted to a mercy-rule game. Madison limited the overmatched Railroaders to 42 total yards, while amassing 258 itself.

“We did correct some mistakes from Week 1,” Willis, in his typical understated manner, said. “It was very good to see all the seniors play significant time.

“Not to give up any yards with all those subs shows how hard every kid worked.”

Meanwhile, Perry (2-0) was outrushed and outpassed by Geneva, but hung in there, used a 90-yard opening-kickoff return for a touchdown by Kyle Beyer to record a hard-fought 34-27 triumph at Spire Stadium.

 “Overall we will take the win,” Rosati said. “We were happy with how we were able to get big stops when we needed them, but not real happy with our mental mistakes on the defensive side of the ball.

“We were able to get key stops in the second half and we did not make mistakes on offense in the second half. We only ran 31

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