Clippers and Blue Devils clash in Columbiana County showdown - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Clippers and Blue Devils clash in Columbiana County showdown

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LISBON, Ohio -

Lisbon's Jim Tsilimos is in his 25th year overall as the head coach of the Blue Devil football program. 

He's in his seventh year of a second stint after 18 years in his first venture.  Over that time, he won a state championship in 1995 and has the program knocking on the door of another playoff appearance. But don't tell him that.

"I don't know where we are and I'm not going to worry about it until week 10," said a laughing Tsilimos. "I tell that to everyone and they think I'm crazy. But if we're good enough, we'll win and get in and see what happens."

The Blue Devils are fourth in this weeks computer rankings in Division VII Region 25.  They've won four in a row and play Columbiana. The 5-2 Clippers are fighting for a playoff spot in Division VI Region 21. They've won four straight and veteran coach Bob Spaite knows where they stand per the playoffs.

"Let me tell you, we're all looking at it sideways and I say the same thing that we don't look, we look," said an emphatic Spaite when told his close friend Tsilimos doesn't pay attention to the weekly playoff rankings.

Over the last four games, the Clippers and Blue Devils have split.  Lisbon won last year, 33-13 and in 2014, while the Clippers won in 2015, 34-28 in overtime and in 2013.  The teams did not play in 2012, but in the 10 previous games prior to that Columbiana won nine times.

Spaite calls Lisbon a physical team and says they play every down and are playing their best football right now.  "Cameron Summers is one of the more physical players we're going to face and I don't think I've seen him take a down off," the coach said.

"I think Columbianas got it going right now. They have four or five fast kids and force you to defend space, " said Tsimilos. "That's going to be a stress on our defense because we're going to have to tackle in space."

Kickoff from Lisbon High School, Friday at 7:00 pm


PERFECTION:  Four teams, Poland, Canfield, Girard and South Range are still undefeated.  Based on remaining schedules, the Raiders have the best chance to reach perfection.  Their three opponents remaining, Kenmore-Garfield (0-7), St. Clairsville (6-1) and Sharpsville, Pa. (4-3) are a combined 10-11.  Girard's opponents, Newton Falls (3-4), LaBrae (4-3) and Liberty (5-2) are 12-9. Canfield's opponents are 12-9 as well, East (1-6) Howland (4-3) and Poland (7-0).   Speaking of the Bulldogs, they have the toughest remaining schedule to seek perfection.  Their combined opponents are 17-4, Lakeview (6-1), Hubbard (4-3) and Canfield (7-0).

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Ursuline, arguably has the toughest schedule of any area school.  The Irish are 2-5 with wins over East (1-6) and Harding (1-5).  The combined record of their opponents is 30-17.

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