— By Fred Persinger

GAMES TO WATCH

CLASS AAA

No. 11 Huntington (1-1) at No. 15 Woodrow Wilson (1-2)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last week: Huntington was edged against George Washington, 31-30. Beckley lost to Parkersburg, 35-6.

Why is this game important: For Huntington, it’s a chance to bounce back after the tough and surprising loss to George Washington. With the remainder of the Highlanders’ games against teams that could factor into the Class AAA playoffs, this game becomes even more important. 

For Beckley, once again the Flying Eagles will try to put a complet game together after struggling in the second half against the Big Reds. For the second time this season, Beckley was in a one-possession game midway through the third quarter only to see the opponent run away with the victory.

Who to watch for Huntingon: Through the first two games, 93 of Huntington’s 121 plays have been keeping it on the ground. The Highlanders are led by Devin Jackson, who has rushed for 197 yards and Brocton Blair, who has rushed for 174 yards. Blair is also a prominent defensive player as a linebacker.

Who to watch for Beckley: Coming into the season, the strength for Beckley was supposed to be the offensive line, but  four of the lineman have dealt with an injury early on. On the positive side, the play of kicker and punter Joseph Wells has been great. Wells is averaging close to 50 yards a punt and is 3-for-3 on his field goal attempts, including two from 44 yards last week.

CLASS AA

Shady Spring (2-1) at Independence (2-1)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: Both teams posted shutout wins. Independence defeated River View, 28-0.  Shady Spring won its homecoming contest over Summers County, 40-0.

Why is this game important: A big rivalry game in Raleigh County, so bragging rights are always on the line. With 14 Class AA teams having a 2-1 record entering this week, the game becomes even more important for playoff positioning.

Who to watch for Independence: Atticus Goodson had a great game last week for the Patriots. He rushed for 244 yards on 19 carries and scored two TDs.

Who to watch for Shady Spring: Quarterback Drew Clark was 5-for-6 passing for 148 yards last week, and the Shady Spring defense played well and created more turnovers after a six interception effort in week 1.

James Monroe (1-1) at PikeView (0-3)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last Week: James Monroe defeated Greenbrier West, 42-27.  PikeView lost to Liberty Raleigh, 63-21.

Why is this game important: James Monroe will try not to have a letdown after a big home win last week over Greenbrier West. For Pikeview, the Panthers will try to pull the upset to start turning around their season.

Who to watch for James Monroe: Monroe Mohler scored about every way possible last week. He threw for two scores, ran for one and returned a punt for a score as well. Mohler finished the game 9-of-14 passing for 212 yards and rushed 12 times for 128 yards in the win.

Who to watch for PikeView:  The defense will need to contain Mohler to have any chance at pulling the upset. A week ago, the Panthers struggled to come up with stops and they’ve allowed 35 or more points in each of the first three games.

Other games: Princeton (1-1) at Class AAA No. 3 Parkersburg South (3-0); Class AA No. 8 Man (3-0) at Class AAA No. 11 Greenbrier East (2-1); Class AA No. 3 Wyoming East (3-0) at Oak Hill (0-3); Class AA No. 14 Nicholas County (2-1) at Class AA No. 14 Lincoln (2-1); Class A No. 3 Midland Trail (2-1) at Class A No. 15 Richwood (2-1); Westside (0-3) at Class A No. 7 Tolsia (2-1); Class A No. 10 Webster County (2-1) at Class A No. 10 Greenbrier West (2-1); Class A No. 15 Buffalo (2-1) at Sherman (0-3); Summers County (1-2) at Mount View (1-2)

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