By David Fong
MIAMI COUNTY — High school football is back.
It’s been nearly 10 months since a Miami County football team last took the field, but all of that ends Friday night as all 10 area teams will open the season. Here’s a look at the Miami County matchups for the week:
Bellbrook at Tippecanoe
Tippecanoe will open the season on field turf, which was installed during the offseason. The Red Devils certainly won’t want to spoil that debut with a loss. In last year’s meeting between the two teams in the season opener, Tippecanoe won 21-14. The Red Devils went on to finish the season 4-6, while Bellbook finished 7-3.
Miami East at Milton-Union
These two county rivals have been opening the season against one another every year in a row since 2007. Milton-Union has won eight of those 11 meetings, although Miami East won last year’s game, 17-3. Following last year’s win in the season opener, Miami East went on to finish the season 9-2 and make the Division V playoffs. Milton finished the season 4-6. This game will feature the return of successful Milton coach Bret Pearce, who led the Bulldogs to multiple playoff appearances during his first stint.
Troy Christian at Dayton Christian
This will be the third year in a row Troy Christian opens the season against Dayton Christian. Troy Christian won 33-6 in 2016, while Dayton Christian won 28-13 last season. Troy Christian went on to finish last season 5-5, while Dayton Christian went 9-2, earning a spot in the Division VI regional playoffs.
Northridge at Bethel
Bethel enters the 2018 season on the heels of just the fourth playoff appearance in school history and its first since 2001. Bethel has been playing Northridge in the season opener every year in a row since 2006. Bethel has gone 8-4 against Northridge during that stretch, including last year’s 63-22 victory. Following that win, Bethel went on to finish the season 9-2, including that Division VI playoff appearance. Northridge finished last season 1-9.
Covington at St. Henry
Covington has played St. Henry every year in the season opener since 2013. The Buccaneers have gone 2-3 against the Skins the past five years, including a 37-7 loss to open last season. Covington finished last season 5-5 with a young team, breaking a playoff streak that stretched 12 years. Saint Henry went 6-4 last season.
Piqua at Chaminade Julienne
There is no recent history between Piqua and Chaminade Julienne, including no meeting last year. Piqua finished last season 6-4, while Chaminade went 9-4, falling 44-14 to eventual state champion Trotwood-Madison in the Division III regional championship game.
Fort Recovery at Lehman
These two teams have played one another in the season opener since 2015, with Fort Recovery winning all three contests, including a 27-21 victory in overtime last season. Lehman went on to finish the season 10-2, reaching the Division VII regional semifinals. Fort Recovery went 6-5, losing to eventual state champion Marion Local in the Division VI regional quarterfinals.
Triad at Bradford
There is no recent history between Bradford and Triad, including no game last year. Bradford went 0-10 last season, while Triad went 1-9 last season.
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong