GAMES TO WATCH
Preston (1-6) at No. 13 University (4-4)
UHS senior quarterback Logan Holgorsen made a quick return from a high ankle sprain to lead the Hawks to a 46-19 win over Buckhannon-Upshur last week. Holgorsen finished with 156 yards passing and four touchdowns.
“To come back and perform like that was amazing,” UHS coach John Kelley said. “That sets the offensive pace for us. Everything jells when he is in there.”
University had some of its best offensive balance of the season as junior running back Logan Raber rushed for 95 yards on 17 carries. Senior Amir Richardson — taking direct snaps — had 53 rushing yards on six carries. Richardson also have five receptions, including one for a touchdown.
Senior Evan Perow also pulled off the rarest of feats when he reeled in interceptions on consecutive plays from scrimmage. In the third quarter, Perow intercepted a pass and them fumbled when he was hit on the return. Buckhannon-Upshur recovered, only to throw another interception on the very next play. Perow laid out for a diving pick, his fourth of the season.
“I’ve never seen that in my 44 years coaching,” Kelley said. “And the way it happened was unique. He was headed for a touchdown on the first interception, when he got hit from the blind side. Then doing it again on the very next play with the dive. Then the best part was the turnover led right to points for us.”
Preston has lost back to back games to Fairmont Senior and Hedgesville by a combined score of 138-0.
No. 9 John Marshall (5-2) at Morgantown (3-5)
Morgantown will try and snap a three-game losing streak against a conference rival.
“We’ve got two more opportunities to get things right and maybe qualify for the playoffs,” MHS coach Matt Lacy said. “Two solid wins at the end of the season would probably get us in. But we’ve got to go 1-0 this week to have any chance.”
Morgantown has scored just 14 points during the losing streak.
John Marshall, meanwhile, has won two in a row, outscoring its opponents 76-14.
The Monarchs did lose leading rusher Justin Frohnapfel in last week’s win over Brooke. Frohnapfel has 536 yards and six touchdowns on the season.
Taking his place as the primary ball carrier will be senior Chas McCool. McCool has worked his way back from an early season injury to rush for 376 yards and eight touchdowns, including five last week.
“Their formula for success is to get in that I-formation and just come right at you,” Lacy said of John Marshall. “They are big and physical. They have physical running backs that just wear you down.”
Morgantown will host University next week in the annual MoHawk Bowl.
No. 1 Fairmont Senior (8-0) at No. 9 Grafton (5-1)
A powerful Fairmont Senior team will be even stronger down the stretch following the return of senior running back/wide receiver Caleb Walker. Walker, who suffered a broken jaw on the first play from scrimmage this season, returned last week against Preston and got back in the flow of the offense with three catches for 74 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown.
Grafton is hoping to have enough offense to stay in the game with the high-scoring Polar Bears. The Bearcats won their third straight game last week at Braxton County, 27-2.
Caleb Bish and Garrett Wellman continue to lead the Bearcats offense. Bish rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown, while Wellman threw for 157 yards and two scores last week.
Fairmont Senior and Grafton met last season for the first time since 2012. The Polar Bears won, 49-3.
No. 4 Bridgeport (7-1) at No. 7 Keyser (6-1)
Bridgeport senior running back Jake Bowen is closing in on a significant milestone as he is 235 yards away from becoming the school’s all time leading rusher. Bowen is at 3,490 career rushing yards.
Steve Stout, who played for the Indians between 1971-1973, is the all-time leader.
Bridgeport has dominated this series of late, having won five in a row against Keyser.
The closest game in the series recently came in 2016 when Bridgeport rallied from a 13-6 deficit to win 24-13 at Keyser.
The Indians have shutouts in the series in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
No. 8 Robert C. Byrd (5-2) at Liberty (4-3)
Liberty is healthier for the stretch run as running backs Seth McIntyre and Seth Davis returned last week in a 34-14 win over East Fairmont. Davis and McIntyre combined for 207 of Liberty’s 373 rushing yards in the win.
That duo will combine with Sayveon Beafore to give the Mountaineers great depth in the backfield as they face RCB, Lewis County and South Harrison down the stretch.
Robert C. Byrd is coming off a bye week.
The Eagles last played on Oct. 5 as they shutout Elkins, 21-0. Running back Ghovan Davidson is a pivotal piece of the RCB offense.
Other games: Brooke (0-7) at Buckhannon-Upshur (2-5); Oak Glen (4-4) at East Fairmont (0-7); Lincoln (3-4) at Elkins (2-5); Braxton County (0-7) at North Marion (3-4); Lewis County (5-3) at Philip Barbour (2-5); Webster County (4-4) at Notre Dame (3-4); Conotton Valley, Ohio (1-7) at Clay-Battelle (4-3)