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Sports

September 20, 2013

Moving The Chains: Electric talent; Pingree's Johnnie Spears is the best North Shore football player you've never seen

(Continued)

The Big Blue and Vikings have split each of the last 12 meetings. The series began in 1911 and has been played every single season since 1929, one of the oldest streaks on the North Shore.

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Looking at some of this weekend’s other matchups:

Peabody will renew acquaintances with Somerville in its home opener tonight (7 p.m.). The Tanners haven’t met their old Greater Boston League foes since 2006, the last year before they switched over to the Northeastern Conference. Peabody holds a commanding 28-5 series edge.

Since 2008, a nice rivalry has built up between Masconomet and Gloucester; the eighth such installment takes place tonight at Roberts Field in Topsfield (7 p.m.). Gloucester won the first five contests, including twice in the playoffs, in convincing fashion before the Chieftains won the last two meetings by 5 and 2 points, respectively.

The biggest thorn in Ipswich’s side for many years has been Newburyport, which hosts the Tigers tonight (7 p.m.) at World War II Memorial Stadium. The Clippers have won 34 of the 47 games between the two Cape Ann League schools; Ipswich’s last win in the series came in its Super Bowl season of 2006 (27-0). Since then, the Tigers allowed 34 or more points in four of the six meetings, including 47 back in 2007.

Two other schools battling tonight for the 48th time, Hamilton-Wenham and host North Reading (7 p.m.), has also been one-sided over the years; H-W holds a 33-12-2 edge. Starting in 2000, the Generals won 11 straight meetings before the Hornets snapped that dubious streak last year, 47-27.

One of the premier matchups in Eastern Mass. this weekend, St. John’s Prep at Central Catholic (tonight in Lawrence, 7 p.m.), expects to be another close battle, as has been the case recently. They’ve split their last four meetings, with three of those decided by a single point (including both Central wins). St. John’s still has a clear 23-12-1 series advantage and has won 10 of the last 13, but it’s evident the Raiders are no longer an easy ‘W’ on the Eagles’ schedule.

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