A Don McCormack column...
A Don McCormack column...
Paying our second Friday morning high school football visit to the variety store...
Tonight's matchup between the SS. John and Paul Heralds and the Conneaut Spartans at Municipal Stadium (7, WWOW, WFUN) will reunite two former Northeastern Conference rivals.
The game tonight will mark the first time the two Ashtabula County teams have faced off on the gridiron since the 1995 season.
In that matchup, played in Week 5, it was the Heralds who emerged victorious, claiming a 19-14 triumph.
When the Berkshire Badgers visit the Edgewood Warriors tonight, it will mark the ninth consecutive season the teams have played.
It's been all or nothing for the two schools - Edgewood won the first four meetings in the series, which began in 1998, while Berkshire has won the last four.
When the Beachwood Bison (and, no, there is not an S on the end of Bison) venture to Falcon Pride Stadium tonight to tackle coach Jimmy Henson's Falcons, it will mark only the second meeting between the two schools.
Beachwood won the first meeting, played on Sept. 15, 1978 (Week 3) at Beachwood, 14-0, against coach Glenn Sutherin's Falcons.
One-sided rivalry I
Based on the track record of the series, East Tech could be in trouble tonight when it comes to Lakeside Stadium to meet first-year coach Tom Bruney's Dragons.
The Scarabs and Dragons have played every year since Ashtabula and Harbor consolidated to form Lakeside in time for the 2001 season. Lakeside has won all five of the matchups, with an average score of 38.0-12.0.
One-sided rivalry II
When first-year coach Jason Root takes his Pymatuning Valley Lakers to Middlefield tonight to meet coach Eric Cardinal's Cardinal Huskies, it will mark the seventh straight season the teams have played.
And it's the Huskies who have dominated, winning all six of the previous affairs, including the infamous 91-0 demolition in 2001 at Laker Stadium.
Cardinal has won the six games by an average score of 46.5-6.0.
According to resident Geneva football historian Norm Potter (Geneva, Class of 1986), tonight's Geneva-at-Madison clash will mark the 76th meeting between the Eagles and the Blue Streaks.
Geneva leads the all-time series, 41-26, and
there have been nine ties.
However, since 1982, the Blue Streaks have won 17 of 23 games, including the last six.
Geneva, which will take a 29-game non-conference losing streak into tonight's game, last won against Madison in Week 8 of the 1997 season, 24-0.
The longtime series began in 1922 and Geneva dominated, going 35-9-3 through 1981, the Eagles shutting out the Blue Streaks 12 times in that span.
Second-year Grand Valley coach Tom Henson has restored the Week 2 rivalry with Mineral Ridge as the Mustangs and Rams will meet tonight in Mineral Ridge.
For eight straight seasons - 1996 through 2003 - GV and Mineral Ridge played in Week 2, the Mustangs posting a 5-3 edge in those games.
However, the Rams have won the last two matchups with the Mustangs, including a 62-0 whitewashing in their most recent clash, 2003, at Mineral Ridge.
The last two years, Grand Valley played SS. John and Paul in Week 2.
When first-year coach Devlin Culliver's Harvey Red Raiders host the Wickliffe Blue Devils tonight at Jack Britt Memorial Stadium in Recreation Park, they will be hosting a squad that has lost 12 straight regular-season games.
Wickliffe, coached by Ryan Beeler, a Chardon graduate and the son of longtime former Harvey athletic director Dick Beeler, last won in Week 8 of the 2004 season, a 12-6 triumph against visiting Perry.
Harvey and Wickliffe have played in Week 2 every season, starting in 1998, with the Blue Devils holding a 6-2 edge in those games.
The Red Raiders claimed an 18-8 win at Wickliffe a year ago.
Riverside will play Hudson for the eighth straight season in Week 2 tonight, having dropped the last five games in the series and winning only once, 21-18, in 2000 at Hudson.
The Explorers chewed up the Beavers, 37-7, last fall at Riverside Stadium.
Former Chagrin Valley Conference blood rivals Chardon and Kenston will play the fourth installment of their series that resumed in 2003 tonight at Kenston.
Chardon has won two of three since the series was resurrected, though the Bombers prevailed a year ago, 21-7, at Chardon.
Off topic, why were the Hilltoppers and Bombers ahem... excused... from the CVC, you ask? Basically, for being too good.
Tonight's Newbury-at-Ledgemont clash will mark the seventh straight season the Black Knights and Redskins have met on the gridiron.
Newbury has won four of those six meetings, though Ledgemont has won two of the last three, including a 37-28 verdict last fall at Newbury.
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.