AA No. 2 Bridgeport (1-0) at AAA No. 6 Wheeling Park (1-0)
The defending Class-AA state champs make their return to Wheeling Island Stadium to play a contest that is always entertaining. This series dates back to 2008 and is tied at three wins each. In each of the last four years, the game has come down to a field goal attempt in the final seconds.
Last year, Liam Casey of Wheeling Park hit the game winner giving Park a 17-14 victory. Wheeling Park has won the last two games in the series by a combined four points.
Last week, Bridgeport had a pair of 100 yard rushers in a 38-7 season opening win over Buckhannon-Upshur. Dante Bonamico and Zack Spurlock combined for 303 yards on the ground.
Wheeling Park won its opener 30-13 over Taylor Allderdice of Pa.
AAA No. 9 University (1-0) at Parkersburg South (1-0)
UHS and Parkersburg South meet for the fourth time as Two Rivers Athletic Conference opponents. The Hawks have won two of the first three, including a come back win from a 17-0 deficit in 2012 in their last trip to the Erickson All-Sports facility in Parkersburg.
UHS is opening the season with back to back league games on the road. Last week, the Hawks got up on John Marshall 21-0 as Jeremy Eckels, Isaiah Utt and Jace Neville all scoring rushing touchdowns.
But the much improved Monarchs made a game of it late.
“I thought we have a pretty efficient offense but we didn’t have the ball very much,” said University coach John Kelley. “They managed to keep our defense on the field by playing field position.
“But our special teams played well as it came up with a turnover in a key situation,” said Kelley. “And they didn’t score on our defense until late when we had been on the field a lot.”
Eckels, who was the leading tackler on the team last year at middle linebacker, played offense only for most of the game as he is in his first season as the Hawks starting quarterback. Eckels was inserted at defensive end late in the game when the unit needed a spark. Eckels came up with a couple of huge sacks late to help seal the win.
Parkersburg South won just two games a year ago. But the Patriots are much improved in the second season under head coach Mike Eddy. South opened with a 35-27 win over Ripley last week.
AAA No. 5 Morgantown (1-0) at Brooke (0-1)
Morgantown dominated Anacostia, D.C. 41-0 in winning its opener.
“I was very, very impressed with the players effort,” said MHS coach John Bowers. “I was very impressed with their response to coaching. The product we received on the field is what we coached.”
The Mohigans broke in four new starters on the offensive line.
“They strained and worked hard,” Bowers said of the line. “It wasn’t perfect, but they were very physical and aggressive. It was a very impressive showing by those guys.”
The Mohigans had two quarterbacks — Ethan Goldcamp and Zayne Hern — throw touchdown passes. As for the defense?
“Our defense flew to the ball,” Bowers said. “It’s easy to tackle when you are gang tackling and that’s what they did.”
Elkins (1-0) at Hampshire (0-1)
Elkins raced out to a fabulous start to the season with 502 rushing yards in a season opening 50-20 win over North Marion. Seniors Caleb Riggleman and Caleb Watson were singled out by head coach Greg Hott for praise for their performances up front. The Tigers hope to keep it going against a Hampshire team that lost its opener on the road at Preston last week.
Liberty (1-0) at AA No. 4 Robert C. Byrd (1-0)
Liberty showed emotion early recovering an on-side kick on the first play of the game in a win over East Fairmont. It was Liberty’s first victory since the 2012 season and the first win for new head coach A.J. Harmon. Liberty managed to keep the ball away from the more experienced East Fairmont offense in the first half, running 42 plays to the Bees 16. Liberty had a 10-0 at halftime in a game the Mountaineers would win 22-8.
Now the challenge gets significantly bigger as the Mountaineers go on the road to face an RCB team that won its opener 28-7 over Fairmont Senior.
RCB tailback Ben D’Annunzio took the first carry of his senior season 54-yards for a touchdown as the Eagles beat a good Fairmont Senior team to open the season. D’Annunzio had missed most of his junior year due to in injured collarbone. He would finish the 2014 season opener with 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Grafton (1-0) at East Fairmont (0-1)
Grafton started the 2014 season well after not collecting a victory in 2013. The Bearcats rolled up over 300 yards rushing during a surprisingly easy 47-19 win at Philip Barbour on opening night. Senior Nate Moses made his presence felt with a rushing touchdown, a 60-yard reception for a score and a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown.
East Fairmont couldn’t get its offense going during a season opening 22-8 loss at home to Liberty.
Fairmont Senior (0-1) at North Marion (0-1)
Both teams had very difficult opening week assignments. Fairmont Senior played on the road at AA No. 4 Robert C. Byrd. North Marion took on a much improved Elkins team.
Sophomore quarterback Dom Smith was a bright spot for the Polar Bears in a 28-7 loss to RCB. Smith threw for 141 yards and a touchdown.
North Marion struggled to stop the run and fell behind early. The Huskies did show late life with a couple of big plays that led to fourth quarter touchdowns.
One was a 65-yard halfback pass and the other a 56-yard run by Justin Wheeler, who finished with 130 yards and two scores on the night.
Notre Dame (0-1) at Parkersburg Catholic (0-1)
Santino Cava become Notre Dame’s all time leading rusher early on in the game last week on the road at Class A No. 1 ranked Wheeling Central. Cava had a brilliant game with 220 yards on the ground as Notre Dame played even with the Maroon Knights in the first half. Wheeling Central, however, scored 26 points in the third quarter and 33 unanswered points in the second half.
The Irish will try and bounce back with their second consecutive road game.
Parkersburg Catholic lost its opener 13-12 on the road at Buffalo.
Tucker County (0-1) at Tygarts Valley (0-1)
A young Tucker County team had problems with turnovers in a season opening loss to Pocahontas County. The Mountain Lions could not overcome four interceptions and a fumbled snap in their own end zone. Tucker County was held to just 60 yards of total offense.
Other games around the region:
Preston at (1-0) Lewis County (1-0)
Gilmer County (0-1) at South Harrison (0-1)
Midland Trail (0-1) at Clay-Battelle (1-0)
Philip Barbour (0-1) at Lincoln (0-1)