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Media Release: Defiance (OH) vs. Napoleon (OH)

August 26, 2015

DefNapToledoBladeThe Great American Rivalry Series is proud to announce that it will feature Northwest Ohio’s Maumee River Rivalry game between the Defiance Bulldogs and the Napoleon Wildcats in the Series’ second weekend of games for 2015. This longstanding rivalry between the two Maumee River towns will be presented by the United States Marine Corps and played on Thursday August 27 in Defiance, OH.

For the 12th year, the Great American Rivalry Series has selected an exclusive collection of top-notch rivalries across the country, covering 40 states and over 100 cities throughout the country. Wrapped in tradition, these annual battles excite entire communities, while celebrating the schools, their teams, and their fans. We Know Friday NightsTM

Defiance-Napoleon-Syler-AndersonThe annual season opener for the 2 teams is dubbed the “Maumee River Rivalry” because the 2 towns are located approximately 15 miles apart with both situated on the Maumee River. The schools have played for the “River Rock”, an actual rock found on the river bed between the cities of Defiance and Napoleon since 2009. The early part of the series was dominated by Defiance, who won 15 of the first 18 meetings. However, a 15-game winning streak by Napoleon from 1965 to 1980 changed the series into their favor. In recent years, the series has been known for the winner making the playoffs, with the winner qualifying every season from 1999 to 2009 (but never the loser in these years). This streak was broken in 2010, when neither team made the playoffs, and again in 2011 when Defiance won but Napoleon made it. In 2012, Napoleon won and made the playoffs again. The series has been played every year since 1932, with the exception of 1973 when Defiance joined a new league which took up their entire schedule (then 9 games).

The Defiance-Napoleon game was selected as one of the top 100 must-see match ups for the 12th Annual Series and is always a highlight in northwestern Ohio at the start of the football season. The Bulldogs and Wildcats will both be ready to battle for the coveted River Rock as they attempt to start the year off on the right track with a big rivalry win.

RiverRockThe winning team earns year-long bragging rights and will take home the River Rock Trophy, along with the Great American Rivalry Series Champions trophy, presented by the Marines. The game’s Most Valuable Player and the top student-athlete from each school are also recognized as part of the Series. Along with these awards, an alumnus from each school will be inducted into the 12th class of the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame.


You can find more information at or through the Series’ Twitter (@AmericanRivalry), Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. To post about the series you can use #greatamericanrivalry. Previews and past results will be posted throughout the season with details of the teams and the history of the rivalries, and after the game. Fans can relive the excitement with photo galleries and game recaps.


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What is the Great American Rivalry Series?

Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.