WVMetroNews.com/Greg Carey

Ty Sturm and Parkersburg Catholic will try to stay unbeaten against Notre Dame.

— By Eric Little

It’s not a bad time to be a high school football fan in Wood County. All four schools are currently above .500, with a combined record of 20-6. They all won last week and will try to keep things rolling again this weekend.

GAMES TO WATCH

CLASS AAA

Morgantown (3-4) at No. 8 Parkersburg South (4-2)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last Week: Parkersburg South throttled Brooke 70-0. Morgantown fell 31-0 to Wheeling Park – the first time the Mohigans have been shut out this season.

Why It’s Important: A win would boost the playoff hopes for both teams. However, since Morgantown has played one more game — and comes in below .500 — the pressure is firmly on the Mohigans to get something done, and fast.

Who to Watch for Parkersburg South: Brandon Penn scored three times last week against Brooke – twice on the ground and once on a scoop-and-score return following a blocked punt. That was the first time the Patriots scored on special teams all season. Devin Gaines continued South’s interception trend, recording the seventh Patriot interception of the year and returning it for a touchdown. Gaines became the sixth different Patriot to record an interception this season.

No. 11 Parkersburg (4-3) at No. 13 Hurricane (3-4)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: Parkersburg won their third straight with a 32-7 victory over George Washington. Hurricane dropped a 34-21 decision to Huntington – their second straight loss.

Why It’s Important: Both teams desperately need to stack up wins to boost their playoff chances, but Parkersburg also wants to continue their hot streak. The Big Reds are getting healthy at the right time after having several key players miss time with injuries in the first half of the season.

Who to Watch for Parkersburg: Tyler Moler set a new Parkersburg High School single-game rushing record last week against George Washington when he toted the rock 31 times for 311 yards. That beats the old record by more than 20. Moler found the end zone three times — twice on runs of greater than 50 yards. 

No. 7 Ripley (5-1) at No. 12 Greenbrier East (4-2)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: Ripley won their fifth straight in a 40-18 triumph over Princeton. The win ensured Ripley’s first non-losing regular season since 2012. Greenbrier East picked up a 14-0 win over Alleghany, Virginia – their second shutout win of the season. In their wins, the Spartans have allowed just 13 points.

Why It’s Important: Both of these teams have battled to get back into the playoffs for a long time. Greenbrier East has been there more recently than Ripley, but both programs are building to become the type of programs that make perennial appearances. This is the type of showdown both teams want to play at this point of the season, and it’s the type that will tell us a lot about each team.

Who to Watch for Ripley: The offensive lineman. They cleared lots of running room for the Viking rushing attack in last week’s win against Princeton. Ripley piled up 372 yards on the ground as part of a 458-yard total offensive performance. RJ Evans ran for two touchdowns and caught another, while rushing for 196 yards. Three different Vikings ran for touchdowns in the win over the Tigers. 

CLASS A

Notre Dame (3-3) at No. 6 Parkersburg Catholic (7-0)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last Week: In their first ever on-campus home game, Parkersburg Catholic defeated Calhoun County 46-6. Notre Dame fell 31-6 to Fayetteville.

Why It’s Important: Notre Dame is the first team the Crusaders have played with a record of .500 or better since Week 2. Parkersburg Catholic will be looking to prove their mettle against a better quality opponent than the ones they’ve faced of late. It’ll also be a nice tune-up for their game next week against Williamstown.

Who to Watch for Parkersburg Catholic: As they’ve done all season, statistically and in the locker room, Ty Sturm and Jeb Boice led the Crusaders last week against Calhoun County. Sturm racked up 314 yards and three touchdowns on 27 carries on a hot Saturday afternoon. Boice contributed three more touchdowns as part of a 169-yard day. There may not be another team in the area, or too many others in the state with a more productive backfield tandem.

Warren Local, Ohio (1-6) at No. 8 Williamstown (6-1)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last Week: Williamstown won their sixth straight in a 51-18 blowout over Tyler Consolidated. Warren fell 21-20 to Oak Glen.

Why It’s Important: It’s a chance for Williamstown to tune up before next week’s clash with Parkersburg Catholic. Head coach Terry Smith will need to motivate his team to build a solid lead so he can rest his starters and get them ready for next week.

Who to Watch for Williamstown: Carter Haynes connected with Nick Bondi for two second-quarter touchdown strikes. Already building up a rapport with Eric Brown, Haynes now has another reliable target in a passing game that’s picking up steam as the leaves begin to change colors. 

Ravenswood (2-4) at No. 4 Doddridge County (6-0)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last Week: Ravenswood dropped their fourth straight in a 35-19 loss to Racine Southern, Ohio. Doddridge County picked up their sixth straight win to open the season — a 57-7 point triumph over Gilmer County. In their last four games, Doddridge’s defense has limited opponents to just 19 points, with two shutouts.

Why It’s Important: Because Ravenswood hasn’t won since Labor Day weekend and a season that started 2-0 is losing its promise. 

Who to Watch for Ravenswood: The linebackers. If Ravenswood can get to multi-talented Bulldog running back Hunter America in the backfield, or before he gets to the second level, then Doddridge will have to find another way to win on Friday. If that doesn’t happen, things could get ugly fast.

No. 13 Ritchie County (4-2) at Webster County (3-4)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last Week: Ritchie County returns to action after a bye week, while Webster County defeated Meadow Bridge 34-8 to win for the third time in their last five games.

Why It’s Important: Ritchie County is in good shape to make the playoffs with four games remaining. With three wins and a sub-.500 record, Webster County is still the best remaining team on Ritchie’s schedule. It’ll be important for the Rebels to both take care of business and show they can shake off any rust that might come from a bye week.

Who to Watch for Ritchie County: Quarterback Cody Wayne connected with tight end Tatem McCloy for two touchdown tosses two weeks ago when the Rebels defeated Ravenswood 32-14. All told, Wayne was 8-13 passing for 115 yards as part of an attack that’s beginning to round into life for the run-first Rebels.

Tyler Consolidated (3-3) at No. 16 Tolsia (4-3)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: Tyler Consolidated took their lumps in a 51-18 loss to Williamstown while Tolsia fell 6-0 to Mount View.

Why It’s Important: With a schedule that includes rivalry games against Magnolia and St. Marys, the time is running out for Tyler Consolidated to pick up the wins and points they’ll need to make the postseason. 

Who to Watch for Tyler Consolidated: Hunter Forrester doesn’t get the credit he deserves in the Tyler Consolidated rushing attack. Forrester reached the end zone against Williamstown last week and contributed huge chunks of yardage to drives that saw other Silver Knights reach paydirt. 

St. Marys (2-4) at No. 15 Magnolia (4-3)

When: Friday at 7 p.m. 

Last Week: St. Marys won their second game of the year, and their first by shutout, in a 43-0 win at home against Wirt County. Magnolia fell 36-21 to Crestview High School out of Columbus, Ohio.

Why It’s Important: There’s still a chance for St. Marys to record a winning season, and even as young as they are, it’s hard to count the Blue Devils out until it doesn’t happen. Magnolia will be looking to bounce back from a road loss, and with a schedule that ends with Wheeling Central, the Blue Eagles will be looking for every chance to pile up wins. 

Who to Watch for St. Marys: Everyone involved with the St. Marys running game. It’s been a tough season for Blue Devil ball carriers and lineman, but there were glimmers of hope from the running game last week against Wirt County. The Blue Devils ran for 245 yards on 28 carries, which has to instill some confidence into what’s been a sagging unit. This Magnolia team will provide a tougher test this week, though.

Other Games: Calhoun County (1-6) at Gilmer County (2-4); Vincentian Academy, Pa. (0-3) at Paden City (1-6); South Gallia, Ohio (1-6) at Wahama (1-6); Wirt County (1-6) at Tygarts Valley (3-3); Roane County (2-4) at Lincoln (2-4)

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