YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The excitement of high school football in the state of Ohio is upon us. Tonight, seven area teams will compete for the first time this season with a few old rivalry games on tap headlined by Niles and Girard. The Dukes of Marlington will travel to the Mahoning Valley to take on Poland at Dave Pavlansky Field. Western Reserve, seeking their eighth straight playoff appearance, will begin their trek towards November with a clash at Columbiana. Wellsville will begin year #1 under coach Derrick Spann at Toronto. Expectations are high in Lisbon, with 9 starters returning on each side of the ball. The Devils, were scheduled, to travel to New Philadelphia to take on Tuscarawas Central this evening but that game was rescheduled to Saturday..
Niles at Girard
…The Indians are 0-3 since 2012 in their home openers. The Red Dragons, on the other hand, have won five consecutive lid lifters away from the friendly confines of Bo Rein Stadium.
Marlington at Poland
…In the series’ 7th matchup, the win totals are even at 3. The Bulldogs have outscored the Dukes 111-31 in their last three meetings.
Wellsville at Toronto
…Last season, Wellsville and Toronto both advanced to the post-season. That marked the first time that both schools qualified in the same season. The Tigers have taken seven straight contests from the Red Knights.
Western Reserve at Columbiana
…The Blue Devils had dropped 7 consecutive matchups to the Clippers between 1991 and 2007. However, in their last two meetings, Reserve has outscored Columbiana by a score of 62-12.
***NOTE: The Lisbon at Tuscarawas Central Catholic game originally scheduled for Thursday has been rescheduled for Saturday August 29th at Dover High School
…Lisbon is seeking their first playoff appearance in 12 years. The Saints advanced to week eleven last season but are 0-4 in playoff competition. Last year, Tuscarawas Central knocked off Lowellville in week one at home (25-10).