McDonald looks to impede Springfield

It’s been awhile since Springfield lost a regular-season game.

On Sept. 21, 2018, Springfield lost at home to McDonald 20-17. The Tigers since have won 17 straight regular-season games.

In fact, Springfield has won 28 of its last 30 regular-season games. The Blue Devils are to blame for both of the setbacks.

Tonight, the two rivals will square off in a key Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference (Scarlet Tier) game at Springfield. Both the Tigers and Blue Devils are 2-0 overall, and in league play.

McDonald coach Dan Williams says this year’s Springfield team is very similar to the 2019 edition of the Tigers, which played in the Division VI state title game.

“Springfield is running the same formations,” Williams said. “They’re playing the same style of defense. There are no secrets in what they do. It’s just that the do it so well. Right now that team is playing with a ton of confidence.

“They have everything going for them. A great group of kids, great coaching, and when you have a roster of 52, you have a lot of depth and you have quality players going against more quality players in practice.”

Williams said he is pleased with his own team, which had to battle through a COVID shutdown in mid-August.

“We were a little behind, especially with no scrimmages,” Williams said. “We had to use our first two games to sort of figure some things out. To be 2-0, we feel like we’re in a good situation.”

Jackson-Milton (2-0, 2-0), also perfect in the MVAC, hosts Sebring (0-2, 0-2).

In the gray tier of the MVAC, Champion (1-1, 1-0) looks to join Brookfield atop the league standings. All other Gray Tier teams already have suffered at least one conference loss.

South Range (2-0, 2-0) hopes to remain perfect in the Northeast-8 Conference when it hosts Niles (1-1, 1-1). After surviving a scare at Jefferson, Hubbard (2-0, 2-0) hosts Lakeview (0-2, 0-2).

West Branch (2-0, 2-0) won just two games a year ago. However, the Warriors already have equaled that win total with victories over Salem and Minerva. The Warriors look to make it three straight when they host Alliance (0-2, 0-1) in an Eastern Buckeye Conference tilt.

Leetonia (2-0, 2-0) hopes to start its season 3-0 for a third straight year when the Bears host Lisbon in an Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference clash.

Tonight’s non-conference slate is highlighted by the 85th meeting between Warren G. Harding and Massillon. The two longtime rivals will meet at Massillon’s Paul Brown Stadium.

Massillon owns a 56-25-3 edge in the series.

Harding (1-1) is coming off a 27-10 victory over Cardinal Mooney.

Massillon — playing its third of six straight home games — opened its season with a 24-23 loss to St. Edward. Last week, the Tigers defeated Columbus Bishop Sycamore 35-0.

Sycamore is a non-Ohio High School Athletic Association online charter school which provides a fifth year for high school graduates.

A pair of unbeaten teams meet tonight when Garfield travels to Brookfield. The G-Men opened the season with a come-from-behind win over Villa Angela St. Joseph, then cruised past Rootstown. Brookfield looked dominant in wins over Liberty and LaBrae.

Canfield, Austintown Fitch and John F. Kennedy look to move to 3-0. Of the three, Canfield appears to have the toughest task. The Cardinals will play host to New Philadelphia (2-0). A year ago, the Quakers finished atop the Division III, Region 9 standings while posting an overall record of 10-2. Fitch hosts Chaney (0-2), while JFK welcomes Conneaut (1-1).


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