Johnstown opens Friday, Aug. 30, at home against Chillicothe.
The Johnnies have never played the Cavaliers, who finished 4-6 last season.
"Chillicothe has an up-and-coming program, especially with (former Amanda-Clearcreek coach) Ron Hinton down there," coach Mike Carter said.
"You know when he's coaching that his kids will be ready to play."
Chillicothe played in Division II last season, but has dropped to Division III in the new seven-division playoff format implemented by the OHSAA.
Johnstown remains in Division IV.
The Johnnies lost to Granville 39-20 in their opener last season. The teams now play in the LCL and meet Sept. 20 at Granville.
Johnstown finished 10-3 overall last season after losing to St. Clairsville 37-29 in the Division IV, Region 15 final. The Johnnies went 6-1 in the MBC to finish second behind Danville (7-0).
"(In an opener) you need to stress fundamentals and be prepared to play for four quarters of hard-nosed football," Carter said. "Plus, you have to remember that it's a game, and go out and have fun out there."