By Wes McKinney
Cabell Midland (1-0) at Winfield (1-0)
Fresh off of a 70-0 thrashing of MSAC foe Riverside last Thursday night, Cabell Midland will play on the road for the second consecutive week.
The Knights were led by senior running back Kasey Thomas, who racked up 149 yards on 11 carries and scored four touchdowns.
Despite the lopsided score, the Knights did commit 16 penalties in the contest.
“Some of the kids were playing on the edge,” head coach Luke Salmons said. “It wasn’t anything bad. We want our kids to play with an open mind. We have to clean up the penalties a little bit, but at the same time we took good care of the ball. We need to get better at the details. You’re not perfect on week one.”
Winfield, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive opening week win over Woodrow Wilson, 42-19.
“They run the spread,” Salmons said. “They run a system and they really believe in what they’re doing. I feel like they’re a solid team and they can beat us if we don’t play our best. I think it’s going to be a great game. They have improved drastically. It’s going to be a challenge and we have got to bring it.”
Spring Valley (1-0) at Huntington (1-0)
Both teams opened up week one with convincing wins. Spring Valley knocked off St. Albans 41-14 and Huntington held a high-powered Hurricane attack to 175 yards of offense last week, beating the Redskins 23-8.
After seeing spread offenses that like to throw the ball in week one, Spring Valley and Huntington will pit strength versus strength.
“They are absolutely enormous up front,” Huntington head coach Billy Seals said. “They are a big, physical football team.”
Spring Valley head coach Brad Dingess echoed the same sentiments regarding the Highlanders.
“They are very physical and very fast on defense,” he said. “They like to play ball control on offense. They get after you. It seems like every time we play each other it’s a hard-hitting, physical football game.”
Last year, Huntington shutout the Timberwolves 17-0, beating Spring Valley for the first time since 2004.
“We were fortunate enough to get some fourth down stops in our territory last year,” Seals said about last year’s game. “That was the difference in the game. We felt like we played pretty well on offense even though we only put 17 points on the board.”
The battle between Huntington and Spring Valley could go a long way in determining playoff seeding in November.
“Whoever wins this game gets a tremendous amount of bonus points throughout the season, because I think both teams will win a lot of games,” Seals said. “It could be the difference in being in a number one seed and a two seed regarding bonus points.”
One thing is for sure, Dingess doesn’t want his kids to forget the sour taste Huntington left in their mouths last year.
“Huntington is the closest school to us and there’s a lot of bragging rights on the line,” Dingess said. “Last year was the first time they had beaten us in a long time, so I’m hoping the kids haven’t forgotten about that.”
Ripley (0-1) at Point Pleasant (1-0)
Two old rivals will get together Friday night in Point Pleasant to play for the Oaken Bucket. The last time Ripley and Point Pleasant played each other was 2006 as the Big Blacks haven’t defeated the Vikings in a decade.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to play Ripley again,” Point Pleasant head coach David Darst said. “The fans are going to be excited about it, because Ripley is just up the road. It’s something to talk about and gives you some bragging rights. I’m sure there will be a big crowd on Friday night. For us being one of the smallest Class AAA schools, I think we need rivalry games like this throughout our season.”
Point Pleasant will carry some momentum into the rivalry game Friday night after a 70-14 drubbing of Lincoln County in week one. Despite the score, the Big Blacks didn’t play flawless football.
“Offensively, it was just one of those nights where we benefited from turnovers and had a short field several times,” Darst said. “We don’t have a flow yet.
“I felt like defensively we played real solid,” he continued. “It was the first chance for us to put together our defensive gameplan. Our scrimmages we don’t typically do that. I thought the kids really bought in the gameplan and did a nice job of executing it.”
Ripley could potentially create some matchup problems against the Big Blacks behind quarterback Trevor Tucker and wide receiver Jakob Harrison.
“Harrison is a weapon, we will have to know where’s he at the whole game,” Darst said.
Wayne (1-0) at Chesapeake, Ohio (0-1)
Wayne takes to the road for the first time this season after shutting out county rival Tolsia, 28-0 in week one.
Chesapeake, meanwhile, was shutout last week by Oak Hill, Ohio, 14-0.
Wayne held the Rebels to just 13 yards of offense in the second half. Despite the standout defensive performance from the Pioneers, head coach Tom Harmon was frustrated with his team’s slow start, leading just 7-0 at the half.
“We sputtered a little bit in the first half,” he said. “We didn’t make the most of scoring opportunities, but that’s football and we’re not the Green Bay Packers.”
As for the matchup with Chesapeake, two of the last three games against the Panthers have been decided by a touchdown.
“They won’t do a whole lot of things to hurt themselves, even though they did last week,” Harmon said. “It was kind of out of character for them.”
Last week, Chesapeake was 0-for-6 in the redzone and had nine penalties.
Mingo Central (0-1) at Tolsia (0-1)
Lincoln County (0-1) at Scott (0-1)
Hannan (0-1) at Hundred (0-1)