Wes Wilson Photography

Devin Hatfield and Mingo Central need a win over Wayne to avoid an 0-2 start.

 

— by Wes McKinney, For WVMetroNews.com 

Several ranked teams from the southwest region of the state clash with each other in Week 2.

GAMES TO WATCH

Class AAA No. 10 Hurricane (1-0) at Class AAA No. 4 Spring Valley (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Spring Valley jumped out to a fast start vs. Wayne on its way to a 49-8 win over its county rival. The Timberwolves piled up over 400 yards of offense in the contest.

“We came out and took of care business like we needed to,” Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess said. “We were able to get a couple of turnovers and capitalized on those. We scored every time we had the ball. I was very pleased to come out with some good intensity.” 

Hurricane pulled away from its own county rival, Winfield, to win the War on 34, 24-13. 

Why it’s important: Hurricane handed Spring Valley one of its two regular season losses last year as the Redskins used a balanced effort to win 41-21 in Week 5 of the 2017 season. 

“We made a lot of mistakes, and part of that was our fault,” Dingess said following that loss. “They did a good job of causing us to make those mistakes.” 

One team will be 2-0 before huge showdowns. Spring Valley takes on Cabell Midland, while Hurricane plays Capital next week.

Players to watch for Hurricane: Quarterback Nathan Roy and running back Christian Hill. 

“They run the ball exceptionally well,” Dingess said. “The Hill kid is a great running back. But they aren’t afraid to take shots deep in the passing game. They’ve been our Achilles heel lately. We always have problems with them.”

Players to watch for Spring Valley: Making his first start under center, SVHS quarterback Nate Ellis impressed by tossing two touchdowns to go along with 141 yards including an 87-yard strike to Graeson Malashevich.

“Nate had a good game,” Dingess said. “We got him involved early and he made good decisions in the pocket throwing the ball.”

Class AA No. 6 Mingo Central (0-1) at Class AA No. 8 Wayne (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Mingo Central was nipped in a shootout with Point Pleasant as the Big Blacks got a late score to win, 42-35. 

Meanwhile, Wayne had trouble sustaining any momentum against the firepower of Spring Valley in a 49-8 loss. 

“We weren’t quite ready to play at the level that Spring Valley is playing at right now,” Wayne coach Tom Harmon said. “We will have to continue to work our way towards that.”

Why it’s important: The loser of this game will be 0-2. Wayne didn’t suffer its second loss last season until it bowed out of the playoffs in the quarterfinal round against Fairmont Senior. 

Meanwhile, the last time Mingo Central lost two games in the same season was during the 2015 season — and it didn’t lose until a second game that season until Week 11. “Mingo Central has been one of the class teams along with Fairmont Senior, Bridgeport and Bluefield over the last couple of years,” Harmon said. 

Players to watch for Mingo Central: Devin and Drew Hatfield combined for over 300 yards receiving against Point Pleasant with Drew’s younger brother Devin recording 184 receiving yards in his first high school game. 

Players to watch for Wayne: Mikey Bartram will look to get on track after rushing for just 25 yards against a stout Spring Valley run defense. 

Class AAA No. 5 Cabell Midland (1-0) at Parkersburg (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Cabell Midland pitched a shutout against St. Albans as the Knights eased their way to a 62-0 victory in the opening week of the season. Ivan Vaughn ran for 192 yards on just seven carries while scoring three times on the ground and adding a receiving touchdown 

“It’s always good to get off to a good start,” Cabell Midland coach Luke Salmons said. “We’re going into the next week injury free. I think last year at this time we had six kids on crutches.” 

As for Parkersburg, the Big Reds were unable to hold a second-half lead against Morgantown, falling 45-35 to start the season. 

Why it’s important: Cabell Midland has a chance to get to 2-0 before a showdown with Spring Valley in week three. A playoff team a year ago, Parkersburg will have an uphill climb if its starts 0-2 in 2018. 

Players to watch for Cabell Midland: Ivan Vaughn wasn’t the only Vaughn brother to shine on Friday night. Ivan’s younger brother, Isaiah, scored two touchdowns in the win over St. Albans. 

Players to watch for Parkersburg: In the absence of Division I prospect tight end Brenton Strange, quarterback Jake Johnson paced Parkersburg’s offense as he threw three touchdowns against Morgantown. 

“He’s able to throw and run with the ball,” Salmons said. “You can tell he’s a tough kid. And you can also tell he knows the system very well. Anytime you’re going against a quarterback that knows the system, it’ll be a tough offense to stop.”

Class AA No. 4 Point Pleasant (1-0) at South Harrison (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Cason Payne took charge for the Big Blacks late on the road against Mingo Central as he scampered for a 40-yard touchdown with less than three minutes left to lift Point Pleasant to a 42-35 victory. 

“We were playing a bunch of young kids on defense, but I was very proud of the way we prepared ourselves to go on the road and get a win against a really good football program,” Point Pleasant coach David Darst said. 

South Harrison fell at home to an upstart Doddridge County team, 52-14. 

Why it’s important: Point Pleasant will have a chance to not only get to 2-0 after Friday night, but only two other teams in Class AA have a chance to win two road games to open the season: Fairmont Senior and Shady Spring. 

“These first two games of the year on the road are real critical for us,” Darst said. 

Players to watch for Point Pleasant: Point Pleasant quarterback Cason Payne accounted for over 350 yards of offense and four total touchdowns for the Big Blacks against Mingo Central. 

“He played an outstanding football game on both sides of the ball,” Darst said. “During the fourth quarter he was making plays all over the field on defense.” 

Players to watch for South Harrison: Landon McFadden scored one of the Hawks’ two touchdowns against Doddridge County and is capable of breaking long runs. 

Class AAA No. 3 Huntington (1-0) at Riverside (0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Huntington’s defense held a powerful Belfry, Ky., team to just nine points and 186 yards of total offense in a 17-9 Week 1 road victory. 

“It’s a positive that we didn’t play real well and still got the victory,” Huntington head coach Billy Seals said. “We still have a lot of work to get done.” 

As for Riverside, it fell 21-6 to Woodrow Wilson in week one. 

Why it’s important: With the Highlands still breaking in a first-year starter at quarterback and a first-time starter at running back, this is a chance to pick up a second straight road victory before the home opener with George Washington in week three. For Riverside, this game represents a chance to get on track offensively after being stymied and held to just six points against Woodrow Wilson last week. 

Players to watch for Huntington: The Huntington defense will look for a repeat performance against Riverside after its impressive work versus Belfry. 

“I thought if we were going to be lacking anyway early on, it was going to be on the defensive side of the ball just due to graduation,” Seals said. “In the linebackers and secondary, we lost six of seven guys. I thought our kids played really well.”

Players to watch for Riverside: Running back Caden Easterling was limited to minus-1 rushing against Woodrow Wilson after an outstanding sophomore season. 

“Easterling is a really good football player,” Seals said.  

Class AA No. 7 Sissonville (1-0) at Logan (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Last week: Sissonville scored 41 points in a convincing victory over Chapmanville, while Logan outlasted one of its biggest rivals, Man 20-14, last Thursday. 

Why it’s important: Sissonville has a chance to get out to an early 2-0 start in the Cardinal Conference. With a win, Logan would match its win total from all of 2017. 

Players to watch for Sissonville: Will Hackney led the aerial attack for the Indians in their win over Chapmanville as he threw for 200 yards and added three scores through the air. 

Players to watch for Logan: Chucky Felder was all over the field for Logan in its six-point over Man in week one. Felder rushed for two touchdowns, ran for another and halted two Man drive with a pair of interceptions. 

Other Games: Tug Valley (1-0) at Sherman (0-1); Tolsia (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1); Poca (1-0) at Chapmanville (0-1); Scott (0-1) at St. Marys (0-0); Roane County (0-1) at Lincoln County (0-1); Green, Ohio (1-0) at Hannan (0-1)