CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the third week of the high school football season arrives, it’s becoming clear there is very little middle ground in the Kanawha Valley. The region is becoming the land of the “haves” and “have-nots” in high school football. The disparity was never more apparent than last Friday night’s scoreboard.
Dave Jecklin delivered score rundowns which seemed almost too much to believe on MetroNews High School GameNight. Capital blew out Riverside 68-7. South Charleston put 75 on the board, while St. Albans could manage only 16. Hurricane blasted Nitro 70-7. Winfield suffered a 63-19 loss at the hands of Cabell Midland. Sissonville shut out Liberty-Raleigh 48-0. Competitive games were hard to come by, but every Friday offers the chance for glory in high school football.
Princeton at Class AAA No. 5 Capital
The Princeton Tigers are much improved over their recent teams, and bring high hopes into Laidley Field on Friday night. The level of improvement promises to be tested by a young, but extremely talented Cougar squad led by sophomore quarterback Tyrhee Pratt.
Not only is Pratt showing more poise with a year of experience under his belt, he’s showing he has a range of options to cause major damage to opposing defensive units. During the opening night blowout of Riverside, no Cougar rusher carried the ball more than four times and no receiver caught more than two passes.
George Washington at St. Albans
The Reds Dragons continue to experience growing pains. They probably will feel a few more this Friday night as they contend with G-W’s new and punishing running game. Patriots’ running back Draven Riffe continues to be impressive in his first season on The Hill.
Riffe helped GW grind out a win on the road at Paul Blazer High School in Ashland, Kentucky last week. Look for him to light up the scoreboard at Crawford Field Friday night. Blocking ahead of him are Zach Malone and Mason Blake who add to a surprisingly advanced offensive line for George Washington. Those who thought G-W’s hopes for a playoff run headed off to Chapel Hill with Ryan Switzer are in for a surprise when the Patriots come up on the schedule.
Hurricane at Riverside
Despite a lopsided win over Nitro last Friday night, Hurricane head coach Jeremy Taylor remains aggravated. As the scoreboard glowed a final score of 70-7 last Friday night, Taylor was still unsatisfied with the production of his offense. He credits last week’s success to the ability of big time players like Zach Pate and Austin Hensley to make plays.
Conversely, through two games, Taylor believes the Redskins’ defense has performed solidly. Riverside will face a tall challenge as they endure murderers row. The Warriors opened at home with a crushing loss to Cabell Midland and another blowout last week against Capital. The Warriors will need a gut check this week and the resolve to not endure three straight blow outs.
South Charleston at Spring Valley
Although their record is 1-1, the Black Eagles have proven through two games they are loaded with talent. Coach Donnie Mays says the key is to get the talent to work in unison and avoid mistakes.
This Friday’s game against Spring Valley promises to be a black-and-blue matchup with the Timberwolves’ running game and physical line play. Look for Brad Dingess to play ball control offense to keep South Charleston’s playmakers on the sidelines as much as possible.
Tolsia at Sissonville
Sissonville is starting to make noise in the Class AA ranks of high school fotoball. The Indians are 2-0 with wins over Chapmanville and Liberty-Raleigh. They’ll host Tolsia, which is looking for its first win.
A year ago, the Rebels beat Sissonville. The loss hasn’t been easily forgotten by the team from Tuppers Creek, and they’ll be playing hard Friday night to keep the record intact and the 2013 payback tour ongoing.
Other Games in the Kanawha Valley:
Ripley at Winfield
Lincoln County at Logan
Hoover at Lewis County
Poca at Buffalo
Nitro is OPEN