Week Eight features nine games including New York’s oldest rivalry game, one of Florida’s oldest rivalries, two Saturday games and two teams ranked in the National High School Football Top 100 (HSFB100).
Our staff is traveling Coast to Coast this week as we feature games in California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina and New York.
For the last four weeks we have carried a poll on our site for the rivals to partner up, gather their fans and join together to be the Voter’s Game of the Week. Last week we had a battle between a rivalry game in Pueblo and the famed Olive Branch/South Panola rivalry game. Though a close battle, the voters finally selected the Pueblo Centennial vs. Pueblo Central game as the VOTER’s CHOICE Game of the Week. Once again this week we have a heated battle between a huge historic rivalry in Texas and one of Florida’s oldest. Join the voting fun for Voter’s Rivalry Game of the Week HERE!
So far this season the Great American Rivalry has featured 48 games in 30 states and has passed out hundreds of Champions Hats, dozens of t-shirts and presented Scholar Athlete Awards, Hall of Fame Awards and MVP Awards to dozens of talented athletes.
“The Spartanburg City Showdown” – HSFB100 #10 – Spartanburg (SC) vs. Dorman (SC) – Oct. 9, 2015
Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, SC will be rocking as the nationally ranked and unbeaten Spartanburg Vikings (HSFB100 #10) tangle with their crosstown rival Dorman Cavaliers to take home both the Mayor’s Trophy and the 2015 Great American Rivalry Series Championship Trophy in a game presented by the US Army. For 59 years the entire town of Spartanburg, SC stops to witness this game. Spartanburg is on the Eastside and Dorman is on the Westside. Opposites in many ways, but the love of this rivalry is one that everyone finds common ground. No other town comes close to the intensity of this rivalry between schools that are only 5 ½ miles apart. No other pair of teams in South Carolina has faced each other 59 times in 51 years. In 1995 Spartanburg and Dorman faced off in the state championship game and again in the state semi-finals in 1999. The 2015 game represents the 60th meeting all-time between these two schools. The Vikings are ranked #10 in the country after coming off an impressive victory over nationally ranked Byrnes (#33) last weekend. The Cavaliers will certainly have revenge on their minds with this game. Last season the Vikings entered the game unranked and Dorman was undefeated and ranked #1 in the state. Prior to the game, fans had made it clear that every time the Cavaliers started off a season 8-0, they had reached the state championship game. However, the Vikings were not deterred as the won the game and went on to claim the 2014 state championship. Between the two schools there are 9 state championships (Spartanburg 7, Dorman 2). The 60th game of their series promises to be a classic!
HSFB100 #86 – Brentwood Academy (TN) vs. Montgomery Bell Academy (TN) – Oct. 9, 2015
Annually this is one of the top rivalry games in the state of Tennessee as two of the Top 5 teams in the state battle it out for Private School Supremacy. Both teams started the season off nationally ranked in the HSFB100 Nationally rankings. Currently, the home team Brentwood Academy Eagles are ranked #86 nationally and the Montgomery Bell Big Red are hoping to get back into the rankings in a game presented by HQ Insurance and Safeco Insurance. This is a bitter rivalry in which Brentwood Academy leads 15-10 and these two teams are considered 2 of the best 5 teams in the state of Tennessee. The Big Red have 14 State Titles and the Eagles have taken home 10. Brentwood is currently ranked #2 in the state and #86 nationally, while the unbeaten defending state champ Big Red are ranked 4th. This will be another classic event.
Osceola (FL) vs. St. Cloud (FL) – Oct. 9, 2015
The US Marines are sponsoring the historic 92nd rivalry game between the Osceola Kowboys and the St. Cloud Bulldogs in what is considered to the 5th oldest rivalry game in Florida according to the Osceola News-Gazette. This rivalry got its start in 1925 and the Kowboys lead the series 60-27-4 after a huge 49-17 win in 2014, continuing their streak of wins since 2005. In fact, the Kowboys have won 17 of the last 19 games. Both teams have great records this year and the Bulldogs are most certainly looking for a comeback in 2015.
“The Axe Game” – Victor Valley (CA) vs. Barstow (CA) – Oct. 9, 2015
California’s second oldest rivalry game takes place in Victorville, CA as the US Marines sponsor the traditional Axe Game between the Victor Valley Jackrabbits and the Barstow Aztecs. The Jackrabbits and Aztecs first met in 1932. Since that time, the “Axe Game” has been played 87 times and is the second longest high school rivalry game in Southern California. Barstow High School leads the series 48-39-4. The Jackrabbits have played in two CIS-SS Championships, both losing efforts in 1966 and 1987. Barstow had an impressive come from behind victory in 2014 to win 29-28, typical of the annually close scores in this hotly contested battle for the Axe.
Central Dauphin East (PA) vs. Harrisburg (PA) – Oct. 9, 2015
The US Army will sponsor this rivalry game which goes back to 1967 and has had numerous close contests over the years. The classic central Pennsylvania rivalry game between the Central Dauphin East Panthers and the Harrisburg Cougars has seen the final scores in the last two seasons come down to the final possession. Last year CDE won 20-19 on a Panther score with just a few minutes remaining. Harrisburg leads the series overall 27-21.
Battle of the Arroyo – Harlingen (TX) vs. San Benito (TX) – Oct. 9, 2015
The Great American Rivalry Series will feature The Battle of the Arroyo between the Harlingen Cardinals and the San Benito Greyhounds as the longest running football series in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. This game will be presented by the United States Marines. The game will be played on Friday, October 9 at Harlingen High School. San Benito is Harlingen’s neighboring community. The towns were once divided by the Arroyo Colorado. What was once the San Benito end of the arroyo is now within the Harlingen city limits. In some ways, that is symbolic of Harlingen’s domination of the rivalry. Although the Cardinals have dominated the series, the Greyhounds have enjoyed some pockets of success. Perhaps the most successful coach for San Benito in the storied series is Mario Pena, who coached the Greyhounds from 2003 to 2008. In those six seasons, Pena’s Greyhounds went 3-3. The game between each school has been played 81 times with bragging rights and many times (prior to the recent district realignment) playoff spots on the line. 2015 will be the 87th “Battle” with Harlingen leading the series 58-21-5 and 2-0 in playoffs. The Cardinals, who have had 32 state football playoff appearances, lost to San Benito in 2014. Down 21-3 with just under nine minutes remaining in the game, the Greyhounds never quit, and scored three times, the go-ahead touchdown coming with only :30 remaining on the clock. The Cardinals will certainly be looking for vengeance in 2015.
Battle for the Shield – Rocklin (CA) vs. Del Oro (CA) – Oct. 9, 2015
The “Battle for the Shield” rivalry game between the Rocklin Thunder and the Del Oro Golden Eagles will be presented by the United States Army and is played in honor of a fallen police officer. This rivalry has only been around since 1995, and in recent years has been called “The Battle for the Shield” in honor of a Rocklin police officer, Matt Redding, who died while on duty in October 2005 after being struck by a vehicle. The two neighborhood schools play for this great cause while also battling to win the rivalry game, which Rocklin leads 15-4. In 2013 Del Oro won by 1 point and in last year’s Great American Rivalry game, Rocklin won by 3 points.
Canisius (NY) vs. St. Joseph’s Collegiate (NY) – Oct. 10, 2015
One of New York’s oldest and well known rivalry games will take place on Saturday Oct. 10, as the Canisius Crusaders host the St. Joseph’s Marauders in a game sponsored by the US Marines. Started in 1921, this historic rivalry has been played 84 times since with a long hiatus between 1932 and 1947. The longest win streak was by the Marauders with 17 (1983-1998). The biggest upset occurred in 1999 with Canisius winning 17-14 ending a 17 game losing streak to St. Joe’s. Most recently, Canisius won their 4th in a row in 2014 with a 17-0 shutout, though the Marauders of St. Joseph’s still hold the overall lead with a 47-34-3 record.
Battle for the Erie Bell Trophy – Port Jervis (NY) vs. Middletown (NY) – Oct. 10, 2015
The “Battle for the Erie Bell” rivalry game between the Port Jervis Raiders and the Middletown Middie Bears will be presented by the United States Marines and Muscle Milk this year at Glennette Field in Port Jervis. This is one of America’s oldest rivalries and the oldest in New York with the first contest played in 1897 at “Skinners Grounds” in Port Jervis. The teams played each year from 1903 until 1970 and began again in 1971. Port Jervis won that first game 38-0. The 2015 game will be the 137th game and the 62nd Bell Game. The Erie Bell Trophy got started in 1953 with the Middies taking it home after winning 26-14. Since then it has been given to the winning school each year. In 2014 the Middies won what has since been dubbed “the Middletown Miracle” after trailing by 19 with only 5 minutes left, yet coming back to win 36-33 in a Great American Rivalry Series game.