AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Emotions were running high during Friday night’s Fitch-Ursuline game.
The teams met for the first time following a 12-year break and the Falcons played without one of their leaders — late Coach Phil Annarella.
Annarella passed away unexpectedly in June.
Overall, Ursuline had won four of the past five meetings in the series and 11 of the last 12 since 1993.
“You know, with the Game of the Week, we’re excited to be a part of it,” said Ursuline Head Coach Dan Reardon. “We always like to be front and center. It’s not something that we shy away from. We hope that it’s something that our kids embrace and, like I said, we have a chance to make a statement.”
These two programs have combined for 30 playoff appearances, which set things up for quite a battle on high school football’s biggest stage.
“When they find out that it’s Game of the Week, I think there’s a little edge there,” said Austintown Fitch Head Coach Jon Elliot. “They get a little bit excited, and they’re happy to play and so am I. It gives us a chance to get our program out there, get it on TV and let people see what the Austintown Fitch program is all about.”