Lisbon quarterback Lucas Francis scores Lisbon’s first touchdown of a 20-14 win over Oak Hill last year. (Sun Journal file photo)

Any self-proclaimed high school football connoisseur who hasn’t sampled the Lisbon-Oak Hill rivalry isn’t truly a connoisseur.

It’s not as celebrated as the city rivalries, and documentary filmmakers haven’t chronicled it. That seems fitting since it involves two programs that are all about blue-collar, knuckles-in-the-mud, no-nonsense football.

Another cliche, throw out the records when these two meet, also applies, and in more ways than one. The 7-1 Greyhounds eked out a 20-14 win over the 3-5 Raiders last year. In 2016, the 6-1 Greyhounds crushed the 5-2 Raiders twice, once in the regular season and once in the regional semifinals en route to the D South title.

A repeat of 2017 appears to be in the offing on Saturday (1:30 p.m., at Oak Hill High School). And not because the teams go into the game with the same records as last year (6-1 Lisbon, 3-4 Oak Hill).

Both teams are coming off of uneven Week 7 performances. Poland caught Lisbon flat-footed and jumped out to a 14-0 lead one minute in thanks to a couple of successful onside kicks. The Greyhounds regrouped quickly, scored the next 48 points and rolled to a 55-21 win.


Oak Hill had to climb out of an early 13-0 hole at Spruce Mountain to enter the fourth quarter tied 19-19 before the Phoenix made a couple of key stops and ran out the clock to hold on, 27-25.

After back-to-back subpar performances in a loss at Wells and a win against Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, Lisbon’s offense against Poland looked more like the Lisbon offense of the first half of the season. Isaiah Thompson and Lucas Francis rushed for two touchdowns apiece, and Francis threw for two more touchdowns. Oak Hill’s defense, led by Ethan Richard and Caleb Treadwell, will need to get off of the field on third and fourth downs to spoil Lisbon’s ball-control proclivities.

The Raiders probably wouldn’t mind burning a little clock with the ball, too, but they have quick-strike capability and won’t hesitate using it when there is an opening. Quarterback Gavin Rawstron makes the Raiders go, often with him moving the pocket by design, extending plays and either tucking and running for yardage or throwing downfield to receivers Treadwell, Sam Lindsay or Liam Rodrigue. Thompson, Francis, Hunter Job and Kane Strout will be keys to a defensive front that will have to keep the sophomore QB contained.

In terms of Heal points, the game means more to Oak Hill, which is in a dog fight with three other teams looking for the fourth seed and a home playoff quarterfinal. Lisbon is locked into the No. 2 seed, and could very well be hosting the Raiders again at the other end of Route 9 next week with a win Saturday, depending on how other action plays out Friday night.

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