Blue Jays look to fly high against MVAC rival

The Jackson-Milton Blue Jays have been here before.

A year ago, the Blue Jays were 3-0, then hosted a 2-1 Western Reserve team which resulted in a 52-6 win for the Blue Devils. The loss was the first of five straight for Jackson-Milton. The Blue Jays rebounded to win their final two games of the season, finishing 5-5.

Tonight, Jackson-Milton (3-0, 3-0) travels to Western Reserve (2-1, 2-1) in a key Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference, Scarlet Tier match-up.

“Last year we were really humbled in week four, and I think because of that experience our kids will go into this game much more prepared and much more focused,” said Blue Jays coach Nathan Brode. “We know what to expect from Reserve. They are physical, they’re fast. They are disciplined and well-coached. They very much resemble the Reserve teams of the past.”

Jackson-Milton averages 43 points per game.

“I’m really proud of our team, of how hard this group worked in June, July and August,” Brode said. “Our skilled players are a year older. That’s a huge part of our success. But we also have three new starters up front. We’re still working to get better.”

Springfield (3-0, 3-0) look to remain perfect in the MVAC when it hosts Lowellville (1-2, 1-2).

Mineral Ridge (1-2, 1-2) visits McDonald (2-1, 2-1) in what will be the 76th meeting between the two schools. The Rams and Blue Devils will play for the 60th consecutive year, making this the longest continuous current series between a pair of Trumbull County rivals. McDonald leads the series 51-20-4, including a current seven-game winning streak.

Two teams will look to remain perfect in the MVAC Gray Tier standings. Champion (2-1, 2-0) travels to LaBrae while Brookfield (2-1, 2-0) visits Newton Falls (0-2, 0-2).

Hubbard (3-0, 3-0) looks to stay unbeaten in the Northeast-8 Conference when travels to Girard (1-2, 1-2). On paper, South Range (3-0, 3-0) has the upper hand when it visits Jefferson (0-3, 0-3). In 10 league games since the formation of the NE-8, Jefferson is 0-10, having been outscored 410-79.

Leetonia (3-0, 3-0) started out with three consecutive wins in both 2018 and 2019. Both times they lost in week four. Tonight, the Bears look to start out 4-0 for the first time since 2008 when they visit Wellsville (1-2, 1-2) in an Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference tilt. United (3-0, 3-0) also looks to remain perfect when it hosts Valley Christian (1-2, 1-2).

West Branch (3-0, 3-0) hopes to stay undefeated when it meets Eastern Buckeye Conference foe Carrollton (2-1, 2-1). In the Northeastern Athletic Conference, a pair of unbeaten teams clash when Pymatuning Valley (3-0, 2-0) travels to Fairport Harding (3-0, 3-0). Pymatuning Valley has outscored its three opponents 154-0. Fairport Harding has outscored its opponents 105-7.

The non-conference slate is highlighted by a match-up between Warren John F. Kennedy (3-0) and Garrettsville Garfield (3-0). A year ago, the G-Men defeated the Eagles 42-28 at Mollenkopf Stadium. Tonight’s game will be played in Garrettsville.

“Some of the names have changed, but we’re both similar to what we were a year ago,” said Garfield coach Mike Moser. “JFK has the same strengths it had last year. A very explosive team that is well-coached.”

Last week Garfield defeated previously-unbeaten Brookfield. Next week the G-Men travel to Mogadore (2-0), then host Southeast (3-0) before the start of the playoffs.

“We came into the season with some experience, which obviously helps,” Moser said. “Now, we’re getting tested this year from start to finish. Our schedule certainly will help prepare us for the playoffs.”

Warren G. Harding (1-2) hopes to rebound from its loss to Massillon when it visits Austintown Fitch (3-0). The Raiders and Falcons are meeting for the 31st time, with Harding owning a slim 16-14 edge in the series. The series has been equally close in scoring, with the Raiders holding a 541 to 532 edge in points scored.

Canfield (3-0) looks to remain perfect when it visits Dover (1-2). The last two meetings between the two clubs both resulted in three-point wins by the Tornadoes.


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