By Dave Morrison
Wheeling Central, rated No. 2 in the MetroNews Preseason Power Rankings, dodged the proverbial bullet in Week 1, holding off Harrison Central (Ohio) 7-6.
Harrison Central scored with under two minutes left, and went for two and the win. Nate Olmstead was ruled to have fumbled before he crossed the goal line on the conversion, allowing the Maroon Knights to hold on for the win.
It doesn’t get any easier for Wheeling Central.
The Maroon Knights host Pittsburgh city school Westinghouse, which is coming off a 40-0 win over Buckeye Local (Ohio).
That caught the eye of Central coach Mike Young.
“Putting 40 points on the board and holding their opponent, which is twice, maybe even three times our size, scoreless, that says a lot for them,” he said.
Westinghouse can score by land, or by air, illustrated by Raphael Drummond’s three touchdowns and Troy Smith’s two touchdown passes that covered 16 and 66 yards.
The Harrison game featured the return of quarterback Parker Henry for the Maroon Knights, who missed 2012 with an injury.
The rust was evident. Henry completed just one pass, though it was a big 22-yarder to C.J. Buch on fourth down that allowed Central to continue its lone scoring drive, ahead of Harrison’s score.
Henry also had 55 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Burch, who played quarterback in Henry’s place, led the Knights with 72 yards and the lone touchdown.
The Knights hit the road for the first time Saturday, Sept. 14, to take on Madonna.
Class AAA No. 4 Wheeling Park (1-0) at Class AA No. 2 Bridgeport (1-0)
If the Patriots wanted to make a statement in their season opener, consider it delivered emphatically.
Wheeling Park dispatched Class AA runner-up Keyser with efficiency last week, 45-22, and the game wasn’t that close.
At one point, Park was up 45-6 in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots go on the road to face Bridgeport,which is coming off a similar 47-28 demolition of Buckhannon-Upshur.
Bridgeport traditionally does one thing, and does it well – run the football.The difference now is it will now do so from myriad formations, including shotgun and pistol formations.
The stat sheet was huge on the side of the Patriots in the week one opener, a harbinger, perhaps, of things to come. Sophomore Savion Johnson made his debut memorable with 100 yards rushing. Quarterback Zach Phillips threw three touchdown passes and Eric Banks had 99 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Park is off next week.
Bellaire (0-1) at John Marshall (0-0)
Contrasting styles will be on display as John Marshall opens its season in Moundsville against Bellaire (Ohio).
While Bellaire will air it out behind a no-huddle offense and try to score quickly (it put up 35 points in a season-opening win 53-35 loss to Steubenville Catholic last week), the Monarchs will be content to ground it out.
Expect a high dose of Cambridge transfer Trevor Hardesty at JM this season.
Last week Bellaire surrendered over 400 yards of offense in its season-opening loss.
Linsly (1-0) at Parkersburg South (1-0)
The Cadets of Linsly take to the road for the second week, this time taking on a bigger opponent, Parkersburg South.
Linsly’s Chimechi Oparanozie rushed for 102 yards and the game-winning touchdown in the Cadets 14-7 win over Magnolia a week ago.
This week Linsly, knows it will have to grind out another one.
South’s Brendan Schwendeman rushed for 407 yards and five touchdowns in South’s 47-35 win over Ripley.
“He made some long runs and he looks like he has excellent speed,” Linsly coach B.J. Depew said. “A lot of that had to do with their line, which is a real strength. We are very aware that he is a real threat.”
Paden City (0-1) at Van (0-1)
Paden City makes the long trek south Friday to Boone County, coming off a 41-6 loss to Clay-Battelle.
Wildcats coach Brent Croasmun is looking forward to it, though, especially after the second half of his team’s loss Friday night.
After spotting the Cee-Bees a 35-0, the Wildcats played even with the Class A playoff qualifier of a year ago.
“I think the players walked out of the lockerroom after that game with a lot of confidence,” Croasmun said.
In Van, Paden City encounters a team that last week saw 2012 state rushing leader Jake Parker, of Meadow Bridge, run for a Week 1 best of 447 yards and six scores. All told, Meadow Bridge rushed for close to 600 yards.
Croasmun said Paden City will try to do the same, with its backfield foursome of Kane Pyles, Brandon Cross, Hayden Hizer and Devon Price, as well as quarterback Zach Heasley.
River (0-1) at Bishop Donahue (1-0)
Bishop Donahue keeps it up, and they will be in the thick of things. The Bishops are coming off an impressive 48-12 win over Cameron, riding the hot hand of quarterback Jesse Padlow, who finished the game 18 of 23 for 258 yards (the most by a Class A player in week 1) and four touchdowns.
They face a River team that fell to Fort Frye by a narrow 23-17 margin. River is led by Jordan Sapp, who had 150 yards rushing last week.
Allderdice (1-0) at Brooke (0-1)
Doddridge (1-0) at Tyler Consolidated (0-1)
Cameron (0-1) at Valley Wetzel (1-0)
Madonna (1-0) at Tusky. Catholic, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.