Vikings-Lions start season with rivalry game Friday

High school football starts with cross-town matchup

Aug. 15, 2011

For those of you who are paying attention, the high school football season begins this weekend.

By now we know the WIAA moved the season up a week because of the playoffs, not wanting teams to play three times in 11 days like in the past. Next year the season will be moved back again, but teams will play one less scheduled game and everyone will probably make the playoffs.

If you are a New Berlin football fan, put on your colors because perhaps the biggest emotional game of the year occurs in the opener - New Berlin West at New Berlin Eisenhower.

Since this is my first year of covering the rivalry, I got some help from a local high school historian, Dave Haberkorn, and took a look at the series.

The Lions have dominated the series, winning 28 of 43 games, a .651 winning mark. They have outscored West, 732 to 494, the average score being 17-12, so the games have been close statistically over the years.

There have been 18 games that have been decided by a touchdown or less - five by six points, four by three, three by seven points, two by five, two by four and two by one.

However, Eisenhower had its five-game winning streak stopped last year, as the Vikings took out their frustrations and romped to a 42-7 victory. It was only the second West win in the last 10 meetings, as the Vikings also won 17-14 in 2004.

The most lopsided wins were 41 points by Eisenhower in 2008 (48-7) and 35 points by West in 1971 (41-6) and last year (42-7).

The Vikings had won the first two games of the series going back to 1970-71, but the Lions won the next two. West then won two of three to take a 4-3 edge through 1976.

The Lions went on a tear, winning six in a row to take a 9-4 edge in 1982. The Vikings won, 7-2, in 1983 to snap it, but then Eisenhower went on a 5-0 tear through 1988 to take a 14-5 series lead.

West then won four of six (1988-93) and Ike won 4 of 5 through 1997. The Vikings then won three straight (1998-2000) before the current run by the Lions.

I will be at the game Friday night to see the latest chapter in the rivalry.

And I can't wait.




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