— By Shawn Rine
GAMES TO WATCH
No. 1 Wheeling Central (2-0) at Linsly (2-0)
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Last Week: Wheeling Central rolled past visiting Steubenville Catholic Central, 39-12. Linsly came out on the right side of the scoreboard, holding off Martins Ferry, 14-13.
Why it’s important: This rivalry dates back a long time. For the winner, it’s normally the springboard to a big season. The squads have split the last two seasons, with each school winning on its home field.
Who to watch for Wheeling Central: Every week it seems like there’s a new face that steps up. Last week against the Crusaders, running back Jordan Waterhouse carried only eight times, but racked up 83 yards and three touchdowns.
Who to watch for Linsly: Filling in for regular starting quarterback Hunter Kelley, Kobe Hill acquitted himself well by going 8 of 14 for 131 yards and carrying 19 times for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Shadyside, Ohio (1-1) at Magnolia (0-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Shadyside allowed 21 unanswered points in falling, 28-21, to Mogadore. Magnolia was blanked, 27-0, by Williamstown. It was the first time the Blue Eagles have been shut out in a season-opener since 1978.
Why it’s important: Both teams are trying to get back on track following rare defeats. Looking down the line, each squad presents bonus-points opportunity for the winner.
Who to watch for Shadyside: Quarterback Rhys Francis threw for 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns in last Saturday’s defeat.
Who to watch for Magnolia: One of two seniors for Coach Dave Chapman’s club, James Stillwagoner registered a team-high 14 tackles to go with a forced fumble.
Hedgesville (1-1) at No. 8 Wheeling Park (1-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last Week: Hedgesville was stunned at home in the final minute by Brooke, which snapped an 11-game losing streak, 45-44. Wheeling Park rallied down the stretch before falling at perennial Ohio power St. Clairsville, 36-33.
Why it’s important: The Eagles were a playoff participant last season, but starting 1-2 would almost certainly dash any hopes of a return trip. The Patriots need to get off the mat quickly because they have some large showdowns looming on the schedule.
Who to watch for Hedgesville: Quarterback Owie Ash was responsible for four total touchdowns in the loss to the Bruins.
Who to watch for Wheeling Park: Receiver Carson Namack broke out in a big way, hauling in five passes for 78 yards and a touchdown against the Red Devils.
Other games: University (1-1) at Brooke (1-1); Athens, Ohio (0-2) at Parkersburg South (2-0); John Marshall (0-2) at Preston (1-1); Frankfort (2-0) at Weir (1-1); Buckeye Local, Ohio (1-1) at Oak Glen (2-0); Hundred (0-2) at Beallsville, Ohio (0-2); Madonna (2-0) at Strasburg, Ohio (1-1); Cameron (1-1) at Valley Wetzel (0-1); Paden City (0-2) at Van (0-2)