YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Sometimes, through the ups and downs of high school football, it can all come down to Week 10.
“We’re in a position now where we face a team that will, if we win, we do get a lot of points and we’re definitely in the playoffs. If we lose, we might not be in,” Liberty Head Coach Joe Simon said.
“We want to continue the season as long as we can and with a win tomorrow should solidify us for that Week 11 spot,” Jackson-Milton Head Coach Nathan Brode said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow and we need to take care of business.”
For Valley teams Jackson-Milton and Liberty, they both could lock up playoff spots with big wins this Friday night.
The 6-3 Blue Jays head to McDonald, looking for their most wins since 2015 against a school they’ve had some trouble with.
“It’s nice to know that if you look back at the 2022 football season, the 2023 seniors were the one to guide us in that direction,” senior quarterback Alex Schiavi said. “Especially if we beat McDonald tomorrow because we haven’t seen them in 16 years. So it would mean the world to us.”
“It means my name’s here forever and I love that because I’m born and raised here. So to have my name here forever, it would mean a lot,” Blue Jays senior Owen McDevitt said.
The Liberty Leopards have seen a complete turnaround heading into Friday night on a four-game win streak, after starting the season on a four-game losing streak.
“A lesser team would have kind of fallen apart and everybody would have quit and hung their head. We were able to stick together and make this a reality,” Simon said.
The reality is a 7-2 Garfield team on the road, but this team has revenge on its mind after getting knocked out in Week 10 last season by this same Garfield team.
“It sits with me and I’m not happy about it. I still got a bad taste in my mouth from it,” Simon said. “I think a lot of these guys do too.”
“Actually, not a lot of seniors from here get to do that, so would be cool to be one of the first senior classes to go to the playoffs and actually go forward and keep playing more games,” Liberty senior Jayden Taylor said. “So it’s always fun to play more football — more football, the better.”
Both teams hope to set a standard and keep playing some more football.