YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s a week unlike many others in the football world here in Youngstown.
“It’s a great rivalry, it’s historic,” Cardinal Mooney head coach Carl Pelini said. “Two really good football programs historically.”
“This week there’s always heightened excitement and passion and energy,” Urusline head coach Dan Reardon said.
Mooney-Ursuline, meeting for the 70th time, with the Irish riding a four-game win streak in this rivalry.
“It’s an intense rivalry, it’s something that every Urusline football player that’s ever played talks about their game against Cardinal Mooney when they were senior,” Reardon said. “You form lifelong memories, good or bad — and hopefully we’re on the good side of it.”
Even with the recent streak, the last 10 years its even at five wins apiece, with the Cardinals still leading all time by almost 20 wins.
“Our guys, look at Ursuline as that one game on their schedule they want to get every year,” Pelini said. “There’s a lot of emotion this week and and I think as a coach, you try to keep that tamped down and let that come out on Friday night. But Monday through Thursday, you know, we’re trying to just conduct business as usual.
There’s more than bragging rights on the line too, with Ursuline also entering with a perfect season in the works.
“This week it’s a bigger challenge, the deeper you go and you still have an undefeated record, it gets a little bit more challenging,” Reardon said. “When it’s a rivalry game with a 10-0 potential season on the line, you know, we’re already going to get Mooney’s best shot and then they’re going to have that much more incentive from their side to try to spoil what is so far a perfect season.”
As we saw last year in a 13-7 dog fight that went the way of the Irish, despite records, anything can happen when these two meet.
“They’re probably the best team in the area, from what I can see and we have our work cut out for us,” Pelini said. “We put in a hard work of hard work and we can plan on giving it our best shot tomorrow night.”
Cardinal Mooney hosts Ursuline at Stambaugh Stadium with a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Oct. 20.