— By Shawn Rine for WVMetroNews.com
GAMES TO WATCH
No. 1 John Marshall (3-0) at Bellaire, Ohio (3-0)
When: Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Last week: John Marshall, the No. 1 team in the first installment of the WVSSAC ratings, rolled to its third straight victory at home to start the season, 47-14 against Preston. Bellaire knocked off rival Harrison Central, 14-7, in less-than-ideal conditions.
Why it’s important: A John Marshall victory would be its best start in more than a decade, and would keep it well on the way to a first-round home playoff game. This one is a big one to the neighboring Ohio River rivals.
Who to watch for John Marshall: Fullback/linebacker Jace Boggs made five tackles including one for a loss in limited action, while also carrying the ball twice for 21 yards and a score. Quarterback Jordan Wood has been steady in Coach Jason Willis’ offense, making key throws whenever necessary.
Who to watch for Bellaire: Trace Sechrest is a tackling machine for the Big Reds, having already registered 24 solos. Running back Cole Porter has 65 carries, 292 yards and four scores.
No. 4 Wheeling Park (2-0) at No. 8 University (2-1)
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Last week: Wheeling Park rested up during an early season bye week. University was busy dispatching Brooke, 40-20, in its first home game.
Why it’s important: It may only be Week 4, but this matchup will have a lot to say down the road in terms of playoff seedings. Both clubs are going to win a lot of games this season, making this particular matchup a points bonanza.
Who to watch for Wheeling Park: Running back Rapheal Bradley has burst onto the scene in a big way, racking up a pair of 100-yard games. Quarterback Alex Dunlevy has proven more than capable of filling the shoes of the graduated Cross Wilkinson.
Who to watch for University: Ethan Parow is flying under the radar as a receiver for the Hawks simply because of who he plays with. But he’s putting up monster numbers for coach John Kelley’s crew. Fullback/defensive lineman Ben Gribble has shown to be a force on both sides of the ball.
Keyser (1-1) at No. 6 Weir (3-0)
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
Last week: Keyser took its first loss, falling 20-14 to Robert C. Byrd. Weir narrowly escaped with a win against James Monroe on the final play of the game, 26-20.
Why it’s important: It’s the fourth straight home game to begin the season for the Red Riders. That’s a great start, but racking up victories now is paramount since they will have to do the majority of their second-half work away from the confines of Jimmy Carey Stadium.
Who to watch for Keyser: Jacob Biser (RB), Brady Clay (RB) and Carlton Shoemaker (QB) have all flashed ability to find the end zone.
Who to watch for Weir: A year after leading the state in rushing as a Class A player at Madonna, Donavan Kirby is proving that was no fluke. He’s coming off a 19-carry, 175-yard, three-TD effort against the Mavericks. QB/DE/LB Tyler Komorowski, who is headed to Army next season, is a man amongst boys on both sides of the football.
Other Games: Cameron (3-0) at Frontier, Ohio (1-2); Magnolia (1-2) at River, Ohio (1-2); Clay-Battelle (1-1) at Valley Wetzel (0-2); Grafton (2-0) at Oak Glen (1-2); Paden City (0-3) at Bridgeport, Ohio (0-3); Tyler Consolidated (0-2) at Calhoun County (1-2); Princeton (0-2) at Parkersburg South (1-2); Morgantown (1-2) at Brooke (0-2); Hundred (0-3) at Hannan (0-3); Beallsville, Ohio (1-2) at Madonna (2-1)