High School Football Rivalries

M tots's picture
October 25, 2012 at 5:33p

In a lot of places, Week 10 is "rivalry week." I was just curious to hear about some of the rivalries you all have been a part of or are familiar with. Some of the more prominent ones that many of you are aware of would be Canton McKinley vs. Massilon Washington, St. Ignatius vs. St. Edward, etc. How about some other ones? Maybe they're not as well-known because the schools aren't as big, or aren't located near big cities.

One I know well is the third oldest rivalry in the state of Ohio between the Dover Tornadoes and New Philadelphia Quakers. The towns of Dover and New Philadelphia (both located in Tuscarawas County) share a border. Each has a population of roughly 15,000-20,000 people. The rivalry is so heated that during the week of the game, students on their lunch breaks are not allowed to eat at establishments in the other town.

The football teams will meet for the 109th time this Friday night. Time has shown the rivalry to be fairly even-- the 100th meeting featured the two teams deadlocked at an overall series record of 45-45-9. New Philadelphia won that game, but Dover has had some success the past few years, winning 7 consecutive games and now holds a 52-47-9 edge in the series.

A little bit about this year's game from the local paper, The Times Reporter: http://www.timesreporter.com/newsnow/x255957984/Dover-New-Philadelphia-fans-prepare-for-big-game-during-Spirit-Week

A book about the rivalry and some of its best games: http://www.amazon.com/The-Dover-Phila-Football-Rivalry-Tradition/dp/1596299916


What are some of the other great high school football rivalries?



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NoVA Buckeye's picture

Week 10 used to be rivalry week in NoVA, but for some reason it no longer is. Kind of disappointing, really. Some of the best games the area had to offer were played at the end of the season. Now it seems like powerhouses are scheduling cupcakes at the end of the year to prepare for the postseason. Lame.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

BED's picture

My Graham Falcons are playing the hated Hillclimbers (such a stupid mascot) from Urbana High tomorrow.

This is the big rivalry in Champaign County.

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

btalbert25's picture

I know they've played eachother a few times the last few years, but not sure it would constitute a "rivalry", but Louisville St.X and Cincinnati St.X play.  That should be a pretty nice matchup. 

cajunbuckeye's picture

It was Sidney vs Piqua in my neck of the woods. First time they met was in 1899. It's been steady since the 1920's. Hasn't been much of a game for about 20 years. It was "THE" game back in my day. Puck Fiqua! Some things never die.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

toad1204's picture

Actually Sidney is starting to turn it around from being the cellar dweller they've been.  I know they won some unexpected games this year. 

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

Bucksnut13's picture

North Royalton and Brecksville. Only it is normally week 1

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog

JasonBuck's picture

Clear Fork vs Lexington....country boys vs spoiled rich kids

M tots's picture

That's a very interesting dynamic... I can see that one being pretty heated.

btalbert25's picture

Conner, the school Barker plays for was the "little brother" of Boone County schools.  So, they and Boone County High School here in Kentucky have always had a nasty rivalry.  Boone County's Mascott is the Rebels.  My Unlce jumped the fence stole the rebel flag from the mascott and burned it on the field.  
After a basketball game, my dad was on his buddies shoulders cutting down the net.  Some guy knocked my dad's buddy down so dad was hanging from the rim cutting the net while some older lady was beating him with her purse. 
Hebron, where Conner is located, used to be VERY rural so Boone has always called Conner and people from Hebron Pig Farmers.  THere is still a lot of animosity, but the county now has 4 high schools with another planned to be built so I doubt the rivalry is quite as intense as it once was, but it's still a pretty big game .  
Conner's fans are pretty hilarious though.  One season, when I was still in high school.  Some of the Conner kids broke into Highlands field and spray painted the field with Conner really big on it, and spelled Cougars really big on the field.  Highlands destroyed them, but it was funny.  They get bonus points because Ft Thomas, where Highlands is located have cops like Nazis.  

Maestro's picture

I have lived in several places and some of the biggest high school rivalries I have been around are Midland Lee vs Odessa Permian TX and Jenks vs Union Tulsa, OK.  Lots of talent run through those programs.

vacuuming sucks

smith5568's picture

I was fortunate enough to play in the Louisville Trinity vs. Louisville St. X rivalry. It is a fairly well known rivalry but I know a lot of people still don't know much about it. It has taken place since the mid-fifties. Last time I heard it has the largest annual attendance of any high school game in the country (around 35,000-40,000 at PapaJohn's Cardinal Stadium). It is a part of the Great American Rivalry Series and has been named as one of the top 5 rivalries by USAToday and as the best prep school rivalry by sporting news. The winner of the regular season matchup wins the shillelagh, but the teams typically meet again in the playoffs/state championship.
The entire week is filled with activities including a car smash and a pep rally, although things may have changed since I was there. It was a very unique experience and an honor to be a part of. I am not sure if I have ever experienced the amount of anxiety and nervousness than I did prior to those games. I distinctly remember how quite the locker room always was and how all you could hear was the occasional vomit in the background.
My senior year we lost 41-14 in the regular season but met them again in the state championship and won 14-6. Remarkable time and taught me to believe in the improbable, even if nobody else does.     

Jurmah12's picture

Braxton's old place of rivalry!

"Where the no fly zone at!?"

Mike Thomas - 11/8/2014

bleedscarletpissmaize's picture

I was at the playoff game between these two teams Braxton and bennetts senior year. I believe it was 36-33 wayne in double over time. Excellent rivalry.

bleedscarletpissmaize's picture

How about some D-4 action brookville vs milton union. Not the biggest high schools, but i sure do hate milton union.

439LawDog's picture

Troy vs Piqua will play Friday for the 128th time. The schools have played each other since 1899 and have produced names such as Quinn Pitcock, Todd Denlinger,Brandon Saine and Bob Ferguson.

cajunbuckeye's picture

I don't think Piqua and Troy have played every year.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

439LawDog's picture

 There have been a few times where they have played each other multiple times in the season (playoffs). This is part of a story by the Dayton Daily News about the game....
The best of the best is Troy at Piqua. This will be their 128th game, dating to 1899. Troy leads the series 62-59-6.
Both teams are 4-5, meaning there is no title at stake or playoffs next week for either team. That’s a rarity.
“It’s going to be our Super Bowl,” first-year Trojans coach Scot Brewer said. “That’s why it’s special to play in Week 10. There is no tomorrow for both sides. That makes it really, really intense.”
Troy won 27-7 last season, its fifth straight victory in the series.
It’s not hard for Brewer or Piqua coach Bill Nees to get their troops fired up for this game. The only thing better than avoiding a losing season is winning this game.
“We’re not hiding that from the kids; this is our season,” Brewer said. “That’s how you have to look at it. There aren’t any special speeches for this week. We have to be sure we leave there with no regrets and we put everything on the line.”

cajunbuckeye's picture

Learn something new everyday. Piqua was always in the same league as Sidney. I don't remember Piqua and Troy playing. I guess it was early in the year before league games started. It says they've played continuous since 1911. Must have killed more brain cells than I realized back in the day!!

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

cplunk's picture

Anderson v Turpin in Cincinnati! The rivalry that means nothing to anybody not at those two schools.
When I was growing up, the whole district went to one middle school for grades 7+8, then split in two to go to highschool at Anderson and Turpin. Made for a great rivalry since you knoew everybody on the other side really well. 

buck-I.8's picture

Both of my roommates went to Turpin and live in Anderson. Turpin is playing really well this year

cplunk's picture

Yeah, I looked up the records right after posting. Ugh, my Anderson team blows this year.

Pbum32's picture

Smithville vs. Dalton in the Wayne County Athletic League. Just two small schools, a Division 5  and Division 6 school. Historically powers is the WCAL, this year it is a battle just to see who will escape the season without having a losing record with both teams sitting at 4-5.

buck-I.8's picture

Akron St. Vincent St. Mary and Akron Archbishop Hoban have had a pretty classic rivalry over the years, despite the fact that SVSM is all but dominating it of late. 

btalbert25's picture

Talking about and reading about these fun rivalries makes me realize how lame my school really was.  We didn't have football so fall sports rivalries were limited to Cross Country(we were a powerhouse) Soccer, and girld Volleyball.  You don't understand how horrible it is to have a homecoming SOCCER game.  My high school sucked lol

ArTbkward's picture

Just down I-77 from Dover/Philly, two very small schools- Ridgewood and Newcomerstown- play a rivarly game but it's by no means on par with big HS rivalries.  Newcomerstown is the hometown of Woody Hayes though.  When I was in high school, it was THE game, I'm not sure that it is now though.

We should strive to keep thy name, of fair repute and spotless fame...

(Also, I'm not a dude)

AGL's picture

Back in the day UA/ Massillon was cool,  think it was 74 or 75 when I saw it. 


bergy22's picture

Coldwater vs St. Henry. Battle of SR 118. Two small school powerhouses in the MAC.

ytownnut's picture

Youngstown Ursuline vs. Cardinal Mooney.  Just ask John Simon..

                     Those who stay wil be .......Diinner!!

                               Brady Joke

jarheadbuckeyefan's picture

I went/played for Lakeview, but definitely remember Ursuline/Mooney as the major rivalry in the Youngstown area

"The only meaningful statistic is number of games won."~ Woody Hayes

Chad Peltier's picture

One of my high school's biggest rivals was Cam Heyward and Bradley Roby's high school in GA, Peachtree Ridge. 

LouGroza's picture

The school that produced a few Buckeyes. Art Schlichter, Glenn Cobb (LB, Captain 1982), and Nathan Williams. Also had the QB that followed Art, get recruited and go to ND I believe. Anyway Miami Trace Panthers Vs Washington Court House Blue Lions. Fayette County dog fight for bragging rights. Art was an amazing 44-0 as starting HS QB. FWIW

D. Anthony's picture

Indiana vs Illinois, in the BIG

D. Anthony

Abe Froman's picture

I just had to comment on this one, since in Southeastern Ohio there exists two very small schools that are called Eastern and Southern.  Not only are there geographical reasons the schools dislike each other, but the schools also are closely tied through dominant families.  Each of the schools seem to have brothers and cousins that populate the games in football and basketball.  
How bad is the rivalry?  In consecutive years, the football games and the basketball games had to be cancelled due to fighting......in the stands!  If I recall correctly, once during a basketball game at Southern, the fans got into it with the players.  Typically, police action is required to settle things down.  
Just to be clear, I did not attend either school, but was fully aware of their disdain for each other.  My rivalry was the evil Golden Eagles of Belpre Ohio.  Surely, they threw children to the dogs and pillaged villages on weekends.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

MAJbucksfan's picture

Seriously?  No one has mentioned   St. Francis DeSales vs Bishop Watterson  Wow, might be the best rivalry in central OH!
Although I will say that I enjoyed the 2007 Hilliard Davidson vs Hilliard Darby game that was out at Crew Stadium.  Jeremy Eberts was QB for Darby and ran a tough to stop spread.  Had to cheer for Coach White though since I played for him his first years coaching HS after he got out of college.

Oyster's picture

The Battle for Broad St.
Licking Heights vs Watkins.  The winner gets Broad St (SR 16) in Pataskala named after them for a year.  It is the first game of the year becasue they are in different divisions, until next year when the old Licking County League starts back up.  Hopefully they will move it to the last game.
For those who are dying to know, SR 16 is officially Hornet Way for the next year!  I'm a tad biased though, and a proud father. 

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)