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Rivalry week in Neighbors towns

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Friday, September 21, 2012

It’s rivalry week in the four Neighbors towns.

By the time you read this, the results will be in from last night’s Friday night football games, including two big rivalry games between neighboring communities. No doubt, high school football fans were out in droves to cheer their teams on.

The Fitch Falcons took on rival Boardman on Fitch Hall of Fame night, when players from the past were honored. The night also included the Vindy’s Blitz Tailgate Party, complete with a cornhole competition between township trustees, a Madden football contest, as well as plenty of free hot dogs.

To my knowledge, the game doesn’t have a catchy name (correct me if I’m wrong). The towns are located on opposite sides of 680, so I was trying to come up with something involving that highway. But I couldn’t think of anything immediately. So then I thought maybe something with the word township, since both Austintown and Boardman are townships.

How about “Township Tussle”? Or, since since they are the two biggest townships in Mahoning County: “Big Town Showdown”? Hey, every good rivalry has a cool name, right?

I’m sure it turned out to be a great game this year, as Boardman entered the contest 3-1 and Fitch was 4-0. The Spartans had won two of the last three games, but Fitch claimed wins in seven of the last 10. Fitch leads the all-time series (it started in 1941) 33-31-1.

Another great rivalry was brewing in Canfield last night, when the Cards took on Poland. Both entered the fray 2-2 overall. This series already has a catchy nickname — “War of 224” — as the towns are located just miles apart, separated only by Boardman.

Going into last night’s contest, Poland held a 36-24-3 advantage in the series, which is believed to have started in 1921 with a 7-0 Canfield win.

In the last seven games, Canfield has won four and Poland has taken three. The Bulldogs won three of the last four.

You really can’t beat high school football rivalry games. The atmosphere is electric, the games are typically competitive and the display of school and community pride are at their peak. In an area where high school football is so popular, these rivalry games are the icing on the cake.

I wasn’t able to get out to either of these games last night. But I trust many of you braved the chilly weather to support your teams, bands, cheerleaders and community. I’m sure it was one of the highlights of the season — even if your team didn’t win.


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