The 89th Delaware County Bowl kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday Sept. 8 at Jay.

There are a number of stories as to why there is such a big rivalry between the city schools.

Most have seem to stem from the change in the county seat moving from Grove to Jay.

Regardless of the reason this game has been a tradition of local high school football with records going back as early as 1928.

This year’s match up between the Grove Ridgerunners and the Jay Bulldogs is bound to be an exciting one.

Grove has been the dominate force in the last 89 years of play with 47 victories over Jays 26.

The Ridgerunners have won the last three bowl games and will look to add a fourth this year making the Grove seniors undefeated.

Last year the Ridgerunners walked away with a 42-17 victory over the Bulldogs.

Ridgerunners head football coach Ron Culwell returns for his second year as the head coach and 11th year on the coaching staff.

Grove started its season last week against the Eagles with a tough loss 46-28.

“We want to be more consistent and play better with a great attitude and we showed more energy in practice this week," Culwell said after last week's loss.

Davis Dills, the starting quarterback for the Ridgerunners agreed.

"We watched a lot of film of Jay this week and worked on formations," Dills said, adding he is growing into his role on the team.

“I need to be more outspoken and lead by example but we are all excited and think we got a good chance," Dills said.

Dawson Tanner, a junior with the Ridgerunners, said Jay has a, “pretty mobile quarterback who’s a big dude and a wide receiver with some speed.”

Tanner is referring to Bulldogs quarterback Gabe Simpson, a senior this year.

“Gabe’s a good trigger man, we have to work on containing him as he is a dual threat for passing and rushing," Culwell said. 

The Jay Bulldogs present a unique challenge this year. The team has started its season 2-0 with last week’s 41-20 win over Vinita.

Bulldogs quarterback Simpson, who also played last season’s bowl game, currently has 516 yards passing and 169 yards rushing for the 2017 season.

Ridgerunners quarterback Dills, who was out last season due to an injury, has only one season game completed this year. To date he has 185 yards passing and 44 yards rushing.

“To beat Grove we need to play well," Jay Bulldogs coach Warren Kirk said. "We are going to have to protect the football."

Kirk said the Bulldog offense, running backs and receivers are going to have to make plays when called upon.

"We need to be able to run the football against them," Kirk said. "We are going to have to be balanced on offense. Defensively we are going to have to read our keys.

"We are going to have to go and do our job. [We need to] be where we are supposed to be and play good sound football.”

Spirits are running high among the Ridgerunners explained Nick Estrada, a junior.

"We’ve done quite a bit to prepare for Jay both quarterback and receiver and should be able to get that W," Estrada said.

Tony Downing from the Delaware County Journal contributed to this story.

The Ridgerunners - Bulldog football rivalry dates to around 1928 the earliest records are available.

During the past 88-years games between the rival schools have ended in a tie twice. Grove has won the game 47 times with three back to back wins starting in 2014. Last year’s game in 2016 saw Grove win over the Bulldogs 42-17.

A Breakdown of the Scores

1928 - NO SCORE

1929 - 9-2 Grove

1930 - NO GAME

1931 - 36-0 Grove

1932 - 29-0 Grove

1933 - NO GAME

1934 - NO GAME

1935 - 6-0 Jay

1936 - 13-7 Jay

1937 - 13-7 Grove

1938 - 20-0 Grove

1939 - 12-0 Grove

1940 - 24-0 Grove

1941 - 6-6 TIE

1942-1948 - NO GAME

1949 - 24-7 Jay

1950 - 7-6 Grove

1951 - 7-0 Grove

1952 - 39-6 Grove

1953 - 28-24 Grove

1954 - 39-13 Jay

1955 - 32-12 Grove

1956 - 41-19 Grove

1957 - 34-0 Grove

1958 - 24-0 Grove

1959 - 40-0 Grove

1960 - 32-6 Grove

1961 - 8-6 Jay

1962 - 20-0 Grove

1963 - 30-12 Grove

1964 - 8-6 Grove

1965 - 54-6 Jay

1966 - 20-8 Jay

1967 - 40-0 Jay

1968 - 18-0 Jay

1969 - 18-6 Grove

1970 - 37-14 Grove

1971 - 6-6 TIE

1972 - 41-12 Grove

1973 - 13-6 Grove

1974 - 49-6 Grove

1975 - 7-0 Jay

1976 - 21-13 Grove

1977 - 40-0 Jay

1978 - 27-0 Grove

1979 - 37-0 Grove

1980 - 14-3 Grove

1981 - 21-10 Grove

1982 - 6-0 Grove

1983 - 14-0 Grove

1984 - 21-0 Jay

1985 - 28-0 Jay

1986 - 40-7 Jay

1987 - 35-12 Jay

1988 - 32-14 Grove

1989 - 28-20 Jay

1990 - 30-28 Jay

1991 - 13-0 Jay

1992 - 28-16 Jay

1993 - 20-18 Jay

1994 - 35-7 Grove

1995 - 17-6 Grove

1996 - 41-17 Grove

1997 - 14-7 Grove

1998 - 31-28 Grove

1999 - 34-24 Grove

2000 - 37-13 Jay

2001 - 36-32 Jay

2002 - 39-20 Jay

2003 - 14-0 Grove

2004 - 35-0 Grove

2005 - 40-21 Grove

2006 - 34-0 Grove

2007 - 42-17 Grove

2008 - 24-10 Grove

2009 - 29-21 Jay

2010 - 51-27 Grove

2011 - 23-21 Grove

2012 - 27-26 Jay

2013 - 13-9 Jay

2014 - 27-7 Grove

2015 - 39-34 Grove

2016 – 42-17 Grove


A Breakdown of the Quarterbacks

Ridgerunners quarterback Davis Dills: 

Passing = 185 yards

Rushing = 44 yards

Passing Touchdowns = 3

Interceptions = 1

Bulldogs Quarterback Gabe Simpson: 

Passing = 516 yards

Rushing = 169 yards

Passing Touchdowns = 5

Interceptions = 1