AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The spotlight shone on two bitter rivals as Austintown Fitch hosted to Boardman Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The game aired live on MyYTV and was streamed live on WKBN.com and the WKBN mobile app. You can watch a rebroadcast tonight on Fox Youngstown after the 10 p.m. news.
MyYTV can be seen both over-the-air as well as on the following cable channels:
Over-the-air – 33.2
Armstrong Cable – Channel 13 and 108
Comcast – Channel 3
Direct TV – Channel 15
Spectrum – Channel 997 & 1008
Last November, both schools were shut out from competing in the playoffs.
Over the past 10 years (2010-19), the two teams have combined for 10 post-season appearances (Fitch, 6; Boardman, 4).
This will be the first season opener that Boardman and Fitch will play since 1966. The two rivals played each other in their respective lid lifters seven consecutive years (1960-66). In 1966, the Spartans shut out the Falcons 12-0 (special thanks to Gene McCalpin).
Last 5 Meetings
Oct. 25, 2019 – Fitch, 40-14
Oct. 19, 2018 – Fitch, 21-20
Oct. 20, 2017 – Fitch, 28-7
Oct. 21, 2016 – Fitch, 12-7
Oct. 23, 2015 – Boardman, 10-3
Fitch’s sophomore QB Devin Sherwood scored a total of four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) in the Falcons’ 40-14 win a year ago. Sherwood threw for a season-best 362 yards on 18 of 23. Todd Simons hauled in five balls for 181 yards.
Scoring Offense: Fitch, 28.1; Boardman 23.0
Scoring Defense: Fitch, 25.4; Boardman, 30.6
Total Offense: Fitch, 385.2; Boardman, 265.1
Rushing Offense: Fitch, 233.3; Boardman, 117.0
Passing Offense: Fitch, 151.9; Boardman, 148.1
Prior to missing out on the playoffs last fall, Boardman had advanced to the post-season in each of the previous two seasons (2017 and 2018). Their last playoff win came in 2007 when the Spartans got by Euclid on the road, 14-7, in the opening round.
Under coach Joe Ignazio (28-45 in seven years), Boardman has advanced to the post-season in three of the last five years. He’ll have seven starters back on both sides of the ball.
Boardman returns their tailback (Sean O’Horo) and their top two pass catchers (Terence Thomas and Cam Thompson). O’Horo gained 825 yards rushing as he scored five times. Thomas, a gifted athlete who can line up in the backfield as well as spread out, caught 43 passes for 554 yards, earning First-Team All-League honors as a sophomore. Thompson hauled in seven touchdowns of his 26 catches (for 269 yards). The Spartans will look to replace Zach Ryan as quarterback. Ryan threw for 17 scores and 1,261 yards passing. Look for Jason Triveri, a junior, to get a shot as the team’s signal caller.
Fitch has taken four straight in the series and 14 of the last 18 meetings. The Falcons have averaged 24.3 points per game while allowing just 11.5 during that stretch.
The Falcons return their dynamic junior quarterback Devin Sherwood. A year ago, he threw for 1,445 yards and ran for another 787 stripes. He threw just four interceptions on 149 attempts. He also completed 11 touchdowns. He ran for an averaged of 5.2 yards per carry while leading the team with 12 touchdowns. Tailback Tyree Mitchell is back in the fold after rushing for 365 yards a year ago. At receiver, the Falcons return a ton as they’ll welcome back Todd Simons (580 receiving yards, 8 TDs), Tyler Evans (14 catches), Donnie Ellis (24.9 yards per catch) and their tight end Jaden Murray (20.0 yards per catch). Not to mention, Nate Leskovac, who ran for 702 yards and also hauled in 17 passes for 20.
The defense returns 10 starters.
This will be T.J. Parker’s first game as the head coach at Fitch. In December, he replaced Jon Elliot, who served as the interim head coach following the untimely death of Phil Annarella in June 2019.
Sept. 4 – East
Sept. 11 – Ursuline
Sept. 18 – at Howland
Sept. 25 – Mooney
Oct. 2 – at Canfield
Sept. 4 – at Ursuline
Sept. 11 – Chaney
Sept. 18 – Harding
Sept. 25 – at Benedictine
Oct. 2 – Steubenville