Lisbon euphoric after blowout win

LISBON – The Lisbon football team found itself in unfamiliar, but much welcomed territory with its 54-6 victory over East Palestine on Friday.

Fans and players may not be used to a lopsided win such as this, but there were smiles on the players’ faces, and perhaps a major shot in the arm for the team as a whole.

“It feels great since we haven’t had much success in the past,” senior linebacker Tyler Heverly said. “Now it’s time to get the ball rolling and hopefully get a win streak going.”

Senior wide receiver Jagr Groubert saw the win as a confidence booster.

“I thought it was a great way to set the tone for the rest of the season,” Groubert said.

Being ahead 33-0 at halftime was not something the Blue Devils have been accustomed to recently as they went on to claim their second victory in the last 49 league games.

“Initially we felt like we were just going to do our job, and then we’d all compete for the victory,” Groubert said. “We were looking to just handle them and really take advantage if there were any missed opportunities. Never did we think we would capitalize so much in so little time.”

The last time the Blue Devils capitalized that much in so little time was on Sept. 24, 2004, defeating Southern 48-0 at War Memorial Stadium.

Nine years later, the dominance that the Blue Devils displayed from decades past returned. Lisbon coach Jim Tsilimos enjoyed the win regardless of the margin of the score.

“Anytime you win, whether it’s by one or by how we did Friday night, it is a good night,” Tsilimos said. “We haven’t had a lot of wins in the last six or seven years, so it was a little giddyup in our step come Saturday morning.”

The team had many bright spots from the game, and Heverly was just happy the team was happy.

“It was nice just walking on the field seeing my teammates’ reactions,” Heverly said.

Groubert felt more pride in the team and hoped a Lisbon football renaissance was in the making.

“It was great going into the locker room at halftime with smiles on our faces,” Groubert said. “It’s knowing that we’re actually bringing back culture and tradition, and knowing that we’re playing the first 24 minutes of Lisbon football.”

The Blue Devils move forward from one dominance to another form of dominance as they battle state-ranked Crestview this Friday.

“We got to be physical,” Heverly said.

“They’re not a team to have just one loss and then totally collapse,” Groubert said. “I know coming into this game that we’re coming in hot, and they’re coming in looking to bounce back, so it’ll be an interesting football game.”

The Blue Devils also look to send a message to the rest of the Inter-Tri County League upper tier that this is a squad that has the potential to play with anyone on their schedule.

“We just have to show that we’re not going to back down,” Groubert said. “We have to show that we can play a full 48 minutes, and that last week was not a fluke, and go through the ITCL season opening people’s eyes this season in that we are to be dealt with.”

This may have been only the second win out of four games this season, but Heverly made his declaration for the rest of the season short and simple.

“Lisbon football is back,” Heverly said.

Kickoff at War Memorial Stadium is set for 7 p.m. Friday.