Eight-man football has been talked about in the state of Ohio, and now it appears the Mahoning Valley will have its first team play the game in its season opener.

Mathews football coach John Protopapa tells 21 Sports that Ashtabula St. John does not have enough players for 11 man football and notified them Tuesday that they need to play an eight-man game. 

The Mustangs and Ashtabula St. John are scheduled to play August 30 at the Spire Center.

"I'm disappointed. We wanted to play a regular game. I feel bad for the Saint John's kids," said Protopapa. He added the game if played as an eight-man game will not count toward the postseason.

If the Ashtabula County school gets more kids added, the game will be an 11 man game, but at this time that probably won't happen.

Protopapa says adjusting to the eight-man game for one week will be different. 

"Offensively, I think you can take out both tackles, but I'll have to watch some tape," said the veteran coach.

Mathews Athletic Director Mike Palumbo says, "We're playing St. John in the opener later this month, whether it's a regular game or eight-man game.

Ashtabula St. John plays one other local team, Chalker in week ten.                 '