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Perrysburg preps for Maumee in 'craziest rivalry' coach has seen

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Perrysburg football Coach Matt Kregel wants to win the Northern Lakes League title outright.

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Perrysburg head coach Matt Kregel went to school at Central Catholic, and thought its rivalry with St. Francis was big growing up -- until he came to Perrysburg.

"I had heard about the Perrysburg-Maumee rivalry and I thought it can't be as big as ours," he said. But after eight years as Perrysburg coach, he's changed his tune.

"It is the biggest, craziest rivalry I've ever seen."

Kregel said because Perrysburg and Maumee tend to have residents stay put for so long, the rivalry stays alive and people hear stories passed down from their parents and grandparents. Senior linebacker and running back Mark Delas said he grew up watching the game.

The rivalry continues at 7 p.m. Friday at Maumee High School when Maumee (2-7) tries to spoil Perrysburg's (7-2) chances at the Northern Lakes League outright title. Perrysburg already clinched at least a share of the NLL, but a Southview win Friday and Perrysburg loss would keep the Yellow Jackets from winning it by themselves.

"The big thing is we don't want to share it with Southview," said safety Matt Mesker. "That means a lot."

Maumee runs a similar spread offense and 4-2 base defense as Perrysburg. Kregel said that, for Perrysburg, his players will be seeing a lot like what they see in practice. 

"They should know how to attack," Kregel said.

Even though the records show this rivalry game might get lopsided, Kregel said you throw the records out the window for this game. He mentioned how twice in his tenure Maumee had a team going to win the league when Perrysburg was down, but the Yellow Jackets knocked them off.

Kregel said Maumee has two good receivers and a solid quarterback.

Perrysburg has played in two playoff games, and lost both (2007 and 2012). Kregel said they have an outside chance of hosting its first playoff game if the team wins, and teams ahead of it lose.

"It'd be huge for the community," Delas said of the possibility of hosting a playoff game. "We'd have to bring in extra stands."

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

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