No. 3 Brooke (5-1) at No. 8 Morgantown (6-1)
Brooke returned eight senior starters on defense, four senior offensive lineman plus receiver Joey Dinardo and running backs Ian Morris and Pat Lazear from last year’s team that reached the state championship game. And the Bruins have looked like a title contender again in 2010. Brooke came off a bye week to win at University last week 28-21. It was the first loss of the season for the Hawks.
"We chose ‘unfinished business’ as our motto this year," Brooke coach Tom Bruney said. "It was an attitude thing last year. Once the players realized what the expectations were, we just kept getting better.
"Coming back with as many guys as we have the carry-over has been very solid this year," Bruney said.
Brooke and Morgantown are both unbeaten against West Virginia competition so far. Both teams suffered a road loss at Ohio power Steubenville.
Last week in the University win, the senior Morris was Brooke’s stand out player as he had touchdown runs of 28, 32 and 70 yards. A big third quarter in which Brooke out scored University 15-0 allowed the Bruins to rally from a 21-6 half time deficit.
"We usually fall behind in the first half and then play better in the second half," Morris said following the game. "I don’t know why. I guess it takes the other team scoring some points to get us mad."
"We just want to get back to that (championship) game again and win it this time." Morris continued. "Beating University was a big step toward that because it gives us great momentum following a week off."
Morgantown is ready for a challenge again after rolling up 520 rushing yards in a 49-13 win over North Marion. The Mohigans are home for the first time in over a month. The Mohigans played for consecutive games on the road. The MHS athletic department got a large payment to switch the game with Steubenville from a home game to a contest as part of a showcase event at Steubenville. The Mohigans did score a combined 156 points in road wins at East Fairmont, Preston and North Marion during that stretch.
Last year at Brooke, the Bruins beat Morgantown 27-20 as Lazear rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns.
No. 7 University (6-1) at John Marshall (1-5)
"We proved to ourselves that we can play with the elite teams in West Virginia," UHS coach John Kelley said after the loss to Brooke last week. "We had a chance to win, but we didn’t because of things that we believe are correctable."
"This is a trap game," Kelley continued as he looked ahead to this week’s road trip to John Marshall. "We are coming off a disappointing loss. They have a disappointing record although they’ve been in every game."
The Monarchs have played just two West Virginia teams as they’ve lost by nine to Wheeling Park and by six to Woodrow Wilson at home last week.
"They are entering a stretch against very good teams," Kelley pointed on John Marshall’s schedule which has University, Morgantown and Brooke consecutively. "The best thing they can hope for now is to knock someone off and salvage their season. "
John Marshall has a massive offensive line led by 330 pound junior left tackle Justin Wade, 295 pound senior right tackle Michael Berardi and 385 pound senior center Chris Williams.
"They are the biggest football team we’ll play," Kelley said. "They are big and those big guys can move. They protect the quarterback (junior Aaron Fonner) very well.
"On offense, our line has to play better," Kelley said. "It hasn’t been were it needs to be over the past few weeks. The mental part is what we are working on now. It becomes a grind. We always play ten games in ten weeks and the fatigue sets in. This is the stretch run and the toughest part of our schedule. We’ll know coming out of it if we are a contender or not."
No. 10 Bridgeport (5-1) at Grafton (3-3)
The Indians had a season best 60 run plays as the dominated time of possession in a 28-7 win over Liberty last week. Up back Ryan Echard scored his first touchdown of the season. Linebacker Zach Randolph had an interception to set up another score for Bridgeport.
Grafton had a much needed week off last week. As many as seven starters had been out of the lineup.
No. 11 Robert C. Byrd (5-2) at AA No. 5 Magnolia (6-0)
The combination of Adam Secret to Anthony Abston was key in RCB’s 27-14 win over East Fairmont last week. Secret threw for 282 yards and two scores. One of those touchdown passes went to Abston who finished with eight catches for 131 yards. RCB overcame 131 yards in penalties to win. Now it’s a road trip to face one of the top AA programs in the state. Magnolia has allowed a total of just 34 points in six games. Four of those games were shut out performances by Magnolia. Magnolia has out scored its opponents by an average of 44-6.
No 18 Elkins (3-3) at No. 13 Fairmont Senior (4-2)
Fairmont Senior performed well in all three phases in winning on the road 41-14 at Buckhannon-Upshure last week.
Quarterback Trevor Malnick had 244 yards total yards as the Polar Bears finished with 438 yards of total offense. The Polar Bears defense pitched a shut out for three quarters. And Marcus Jacquez had a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Elkins needs a strong push to get into the playoffs. The Tigers snapped a two game losing streak with a win over rival Philip Barbour in the Forrest Festival game last time out. The Tigers have back to back games against teams with winning records in Fairmont Senior the Lewis County.
No. 15 Lewis County (5-2) at Philip Barbour (2-4)
Lewis County running back C.J. Rahming needs 34 yards to go over the 4,000 yard mark for his career. Rahming gave way to freshman Mark Metzgar early in last week’s game against Preston. Metzgar rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns. The Lewis County defense also played well against Preston as it rolled up eight sacks.
AA No. 15 Liberty at South Harrison
Liberty had its five game winning streak snapped as it lost to AAA rival Bridgeport last week. Liberty will begin a playoff push as it faces South Harrison, Lincoln and Grafton down the stretch.
Turnovers cost South Harrison in a 17-12 loss to Parkersburg Catholic last week. The Hawks had 300 yards of total offense, but an interception on the first play from scrimmage set up one PC touchdown. A fumble later led to more points for the Crusaders.
Cameron (1-6) at Clay-Battelle (2-4)
The Cee-Bees missed a pair of extra points in dropping a 20-18 decision at Valley last week. Clay-Battelle scored with :30 remaining in the game to pull to within two points, but a two point conversion attempt failed.
Cameron started the season 0-6 before earning a win last week over Hundred.
Also this week:
East Fairmont (0-7) at Preston (0-6)