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Time to play some ball

August 27, 2009

There was a time when a Big Red and Indian Creek matchup was possible only when playoffs dictated.

For whatever the reason - and I've heard at least 20 - these schools just did not play.

They didn't play in soccer. They didn't play in basketball. They didn't play in baseball.

And they certainly didn't play in football.

That all changed three years ago when the Redskins and Big Red put the past, along with the excuses and the blame, behind them.

It no longer mattered why they didn't play.

All that mattered is that they would play.

And so they did by opening the 2007 football season opposite each other at Harding Stadium.

Big Red won that first contest, 49-0.

It was the initial win in Steubenville's 12-1 season which ended with a Division IV Region 13 final loss to Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.

Last season, things didn't get much better for the Redskins.

Harding Stadium wasn't any kinder and the result wasn't that much different as Big Red won a 34-0 decision.

Tonight, a rematch will be played, as these neighboring rivals face off at Harding in the third installment of their backyard brawl.

For the Redskins, a win, though not impossible, will not be easy. While their dedication is up, their numbers are down.

They return a talented crew including the Gavin Smith, Doren Thomas, Dalton Anderson and Nate Titi (to name a few) and have the tools to be successful in 2009, but being successful against Big Red is another story entirely.

Steubenville has not lost a regular-season game since 2002.

Big Red's streak stands at 60 and last season finished as Division IV state runners-up.

Like the Redskins, Big Red returns a talented group and that includes three-year starting quarterback and All-Ohio First Teamer Dwight Macon, Trey Wiggins, John Elder and Jamey DeVaul (to name a few).

I think tonight's game will be a little closer than what we've seen, but the Redskins still aren't there quite yet. Not only does a team have to bring their "A" game to beat Big Red, they have to play a perfect game.

Season-openers aren't none for perfect executation. Kinks are still being worked out. Adjustments are still being made. Questions are still being answered. Mistakes are made.

Big Red won't play perfect either, but they will play to victory.

Steubenville will earn its 61st-straight regular season win by outdoing Indian Creek, 35-14.

(Elverd, a resident of Toronto, is a sports writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times)

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