League showdowns decide who gets the trophy

COLUMBUS — Springfield and Poland are the only teams from Mahoning and Columbiana counties in the latest Associated Press high school football poll.

Springfield (8-0) climbs two spots to second in Division VI, while Poland (6-2) is tied for 13th in Division IV.

The Tigers — who have already clinched a playoff spot — are heading into one of the most-anticipated games of the season as they host Western Reserve on Friday in a game that will decide the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference.

Both teams are 5-0 league play with McDonald a game back. Springfield has won a league title two of the last three years, while Western Reserve has done so three of the last four years.

Springfield leads the area in scoring offense (45.6), while Western Reserve is tops in scoring defense (7.0). Both are winning by an average of more than 34 points a game.

Neither team is used to losing. Springfield has won 13 straight games and 22 of their last 23. Western Reserve has won seven straight and 29 of its last 34 regular-season games.

The Tigers have outscored their last six opponents a combined 293-29.

Poland –which has reeled off five straight wins –is 5-0 in the Northeast 8 Athletic Conference, a game ahead of Hubbard and Struthers. Poland will close out the regular season at Hubbard on Friday and will host Struthers on Nov. 1.

Southern Local dropped out of the Division VI poll despite a 65-0 win over United on Friday to move to 8-0.

The Indians have won 11 straight regular-season games and 18 of their last 19.

Southern tops Columbiana County in scoring offense (43.3), scoring defense (9.5) and scoring margin (+33.8).

The Indians can clinch a share of their second straight Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference title with a win at Wellsville on Friday.

Wellsville (5-3) gave up only 51 points in its first six games, but 87 points in the last two in losses to United and Columbiana.

Indian Creek (7-1) jumped six spots to 10th place in Division IV after a 37-7 win over Beaver Local.

Indian Creek can clinch at least a share of the BUckeye 8 Athletic Conference North Division title with a win over at Harrison Central on Friday.

See page B2 for the complete state football poll.