Jim Stoyle

Jim Stoyle graduated from Centerburg in 1986 and coached the Trojan high school football team from 2010-2015. He spoke with Knox Pages this week about the Centerburg-Fredericktown rivalry, which has been a back-and-forth affair over the last decade.

KNOX COUNTY – This week's special edition video focuses on Knox County's two biggest rivalry games, which are both played on the final night of the regular season: East Knox vs. Danville and Centerburg vs. Fredericktown. These rivalries span multiple generations and determine bragging rights for the following year.

But why do these rivalries matter? And what do they really mean to the communities involved? We sat down with former players and coaches from each school this week to find out.

This year, each rivalry game will carry different implications.

Danville (4-5, 4-2 KMAC) could potentially sneak into the playoffs with a win at East Knox (7-2, 4-2 KMAC) and some help from the rest of its region. The Blue Devils are currently rated 11th in Division VII Region 27 going into Week 10, two points out of eighth place.

If they beat East Knox and a few teams in front of them stumble on Friday, they could qualify for their eighth straight playoff berth – a feat that certainly seemed unlikely after starting the season 0-5.

East Knox was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention last week after falling to Highland, but the Bulldogs still have plenty to play for on Friday night. The Bulldogs haven’t defeated Danville since 2005, as the Blue Devils have won 12 straight Devil-Dog Games.

The last time East Knox won, current head coach Cody Reese was a senior linebacker and tight end for the Bulldogs. This year, with Reese at the helm and the county’s most potent offense at his disposal, East Knox will try to snap the streak and finish the regular season with eight wins.

Last year, Danville beat East Knox 21-14 on Tough Street. The Blue Devils hold the all-time series lead over East Knox, 39-18. Danville and East Knox have played at least once every year since 1960.

Meanwhile, both Centerburg (4-5, 2-4 KMAC) and Fredericktown (1-8, 1-5 KMAC) were recently eliminated from playoff contention. The Trojans and Freddies have struggled down the stretch; Centerburg has lost four of its last five games after starting the season 3-1, while Fredericktown has lost four straight after beating Mount Gilead in Week 5.

But records go out the window in rivalries like this, especially considering the recent history between these two teams. Fredericktown has won six out of the last 10 meetings, but in the last five years, the rivalry has alternated victors each meeting (it is split 3-3 since 2013). Five of the last six meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less, and two of those games went into overtime.

If history is any indicator, Friday night should be a dogfight in Centerburg.

Kickoff for both rivalry games will be at 7 p.m.


From Tuesday: Knox County High School Football Roundup: Week 9

From Wednesday: Do or die: Several area teams will fight for playoff lives in Week 10

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Staff Reporter

Grant is a 2018 graduate of Ohio Northern University, where he studied journalism and played basketball. He likes coffee, books and minor league baseball. He loves telling stories and has a passion for local news.