Blue Devils, Tigers set for battle

WELLSVILLE-After two close home games with different results, the Lisbon Blue Devils football team get ready to hit the road.

The Blue Devils will get their first road test of the season this Friday as they take on the Wellsville Tigers at Nicholson Stadium.

Lisbon (1-1) looks to avenge from last week’s tough 21-17 loss to Mineral Ridge. Lisbon coach Jim Tsilimos noted the mistakes made from their fourth-quarter fallout.

“First, we need to just be able to play the whole ball game,” Tsilimos said. “We need to take care of the small things.”

Those small things that the team looks to change include their focus and assignments.

“We were missing tackles on the field,” Tsilimos said. “We need to get our focus back on these assignments.”

Another focus for the Blue Devils is their ability to maintain the lead. Tsilimos noted the team’s three-point lead that was lost in the fourth quarter.

“We were up in the third quarter 17-14,” Tsilimos said. “Then we had just lost it. We had chances to keep the lead. We had a number of different opportunities to improve.”

After running wild on Toronto and shutting out Southern Local, Wellsville (2-0) looks to continue its winning ways with a second home game in this four-game stand.

Wellsville coach Rich Wright focus on week-to-week improvement

“We got better from week one to week two,” Wright said. “We have improved on a lot of things and we get to work more as we get to them.”

As dominant as the Tigers have been, Wright also sees power in the Blue Devils, namely in sophomore quarterback Josh Liberati and running back Brandon Barnes.

“Barnes is a great player,” Wright said. “He’ll prove to be fast as will Liberati. That team was one touchdown away from being 2-0 last week.”

Tsilimos and the healthy Blue Devils look foward to the same healthy Tigers team that allowed only six points over the last two games.

“When you’re 2-0, there’s no need really to change,” Tsilimos said. “When you’re 2-0 you’re really successful, you’ll play the same game. We’re going to definitely be tested this week.”

Wellsville will deliver that road test, but Wright knows that Lisbon has kept their games close, and know that the Blue Devils will do their best to keep this one just as close.

“They have been battle tested,” Wright said. “They’re going to be good as they come.”

Wright and Tsilimos’ coaching relationship hasn’t always been about being adversaries. The two were on the same staff recently while Wright was in charge at Beaver Local.

“Tsilimos and I have history,” Wright said. “He has a state title, we’ve worked together. He is as good a coach as I’ve been around. I admire him greatly.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.