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Published: Tuesday, 9/24/2013

'Huge' game Friday for Perrysburg football

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg High School football team had a chance last year to win the Northern Lakes League before Yellow Jacket quarterback Steve Slocum's pass was deflected by Bryant Schlade on a two-point conversion and Napoleon won 35-34 in overtime. 

While Oct. 12, 2012 was a long time ago, that overtime loss is fresh in the minds of Perrysburg players. This week, Perrysburg is preparing for a rematch with Napoleon at 7 p.m. Friday at Steinecker Stadium.

"We lost the league title to them last year. Everyone is smelling it," said Nate Patterson, Perrysburg senior tight end. He said the team has some revenge to take care of.

Perrysburg junior quarterback Gus Dimmerling was a running back in last year's game. He said the loss still stings.

"It's huge," he said about Friday's game. "It has become a rivalry already."

The matchup started just two years ago when Napoleon joined the NLL. But coach Matt Kregel said that, after two losses in Perrysburg's first two conference games against Napoleon, it is "huge" that the Yellow Jackets win. 

"This is really big," he said. "The first time we faced them, we had a better record and then they dominated the game. Last year, we were unbeaten in the NLL and they had one loss and it was for the league championship ... They won the league."

Napoleon, 3-1, is coming to Perrysburg Friday on a roll. The past two games, Napoleon has outscored Rogers and Northview 90-0. Perrysburg, 2-2, blew out Bowling Green 42-2 last week.

Kregel said Perrysburg last year was able to run the ball successfully against Napoleon, so this year he expects the opponents to try to take the run game away.

"We'll have to be able to pass, if we can," he said. "They are a sharp offensive team. They don't turn it over. They use I-formation with two backs and some spread. Their quarterback is a lot like Gus, so we have to keep him from getting out of the pocket and running."

Although it is only the second league game of the season for both schools, it could decide the NLL champion.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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