Week 11 in West Virginia High School football always has a little bit of something for everyone. Fans get a mix of rivalry games and games with playoff implications while occasionally, you get both in the same game. And with some teams bowing out at the end of the week, you always get the emotions involved with games that feature seniors strapping on the pads for the final time ever. If ever there was a time to follow football at the high school level, this would be the week to do so. Here’s this week’s menu:
Parkersburg Catholic (7-2) at Williamstown (7-2)
With six straight wins, Parkersburg Catholic invades Williamstown on Friday night with some pretty solid momentum. Defense and the running game have been the catalysts for the recent Crusaders surge. With one of those wins a forfeit victory, the Crusaders have allowed just 38 points in their last five games and have shut out opponents twice in that stretch. The running game fought through early season injuries and has lead the way in an offensive attack that has scored 28 or more points in four of their five wins. Zach Romine ran for 196 yards and four touchdowns for the Crusaders in their 60-12 win last week against Gilmer County. The Yellowjackets responded to a recent stretch of slow starts by putting up 17 points in the first quarter against Ritchie County last week en route to a 48-34 win over the Rebels. Winners of six of seven themselves, Williamstown boasts their own prolific offense that’s scored 21 or more points in all but one contest this year. Matt Hendrickson and Trey King each scored two rushing touchdowns to pace the Yellowjackets attack. With Hendrickson’s speed and King’s size as their main assets, the backs each complement the other nicely. One of Williamstown’s two losses this season was a 13-7 home loss to Wirt that was the Yellowjackets’ first loss to an LKC opponent in over a decade. With Williamstown’s propensity to protect the home turf, it won’t happen again in the same season…though Parkersburg Catholic will give the Yellowjackets everything they’ve got to make this one a great game.
John Marshall (1-8) at Parkersburg South (5-4)
Like a well-oiled machine, the Parkersburg South Patriots offense racked up 450 total yards in a 41-14 win over Wheeling Park in the first of two must-win games last week. South’s backfield trio of Jacob Douglas, Jordan Quiocho and Jeff Kidder each ran for over 100 yards while quarterback Tyler Bolden threw for a pair of touchdown passes in the win. This week, Jon Bolen’s Patriots host John Marshall in another game South must win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The struggling Monarchs have lost four straight games and have allowed more than 30 points in six of their ten games this season. Four of John Marshall’s eight losses have been by ten points or fewer, so the Monarchs are a program that’s been close this year but just haven’t reached the apex they desire at this time. For the 16th ranked Patriots, it’ll be another chance to take care of business and hope for the best once the final points are tabulated over the weekend.
South Harrison (5-4) at Wirt County (7-2)
The Wirt County Tigers won their third straight contest in a 37-14 decision at Mount Hope last week. The Tigers got two touchdowns and 161 ground yards from Dalton Brindo in the win and will look to wrap up their second straight playoff season by hosting a very tough South Harrison team. It’ll be very hard for the Hawks to earn a playoff berth, needing a win and a lot of help to get in, but a winning season could still be in the cards for South Harrison and a three game winning streak would be a great end to the season. After their second straight win last week, the Hawks will bring their variation Wing-T attack into Elizabeth where the Tigers had better gear up for the run…and a lot of it. The Tigers may boast one of the stiffest defenses South Harrison has faced all year. Wirt County has allowed 14 points or fewer in all but three of their games this year. One of the best defenses Wirt County can use is ball control because with the tenacity of South Harrison’s offense, the Hawks have the ability to grind away at a defense late in games. If the Tigers can maintain the stamina needed to persevere, they should be headed into the playoffs with an eight-win season under their belts.
Ritchie County (2-7) at Roane County (7-2)
For the third time this season, the Roane County Raiders won in shutout fashion. Last week the Raiders rebounded from a one-point loss in a 31-0 win over Phillip Barbour. The Raiders racked up 491 total yards of offense while limiting Phillip Barbour to only 109 yards. A potent offense and a stingy defense are two fine muscles for any team to flex as they head to the postseason. This week the Raiders face Ritchie County – losers of two straight. Last week the Rebels scored 34 points in a loss to Williamstown, the second time this year Ritchie County scored 30 or more points in a loss. For Ritchie County interim head coach Brian Powell, a strong showing will help his chances at getting the head coaching job on a full-time basis next year. Though the Rebels don’t have a ton of results to show for it, Ritchie County’s offense moves the ball nicely despite troubles in the Red Zone. The Rebels will play hard for 48 minutes, but they’re no match for Roane’s rushing attack.
Doddridge County (3-6) at St. Marys (5-4)
The wheels are falling off quickly for St. Marys as the Blue Devils head down the stretch of their 2010 season. Though last week’s 27-7 loss to Ravenswood came to the team’s top-ranked team in Class AA, it still represented the second straight loss for the Blue Devils and their third in the last five games. As the 18th ranked team in Class A this week, St. Marys needs a win and some help if a postseason trip is in the cards this year. They’ll need to rely on their powerful backfield trio of C.D. Cox, Noah Spitzer and Derek Renner as well as the strong arm of quarterback K.D. Arnett to pick up a win against a Doddridge County team that’s better than their 3-6 record indicates. Bulldogs quarterback Cory Aichele moves the offense with efficiency when he’s fully healthy. If St. Marys head coach Jodi Mote has some magic words up his sleeves to motivate his ballclub to a win, this would be the time to break them out. This game might be a very strong example of the emotions involved when a senior class wants to win to go out in style in the last game they’ll ever play, and expect to see that in play a lot for St. Marys in this one. Aside from intangibles, the Devils will have to protect Arnett a lot better than in the loss to Ravenswood as he was sacked eight times. Takeaways will also be of key importance for St. Marys after snatching four interceptions against the Red Devils last week. This game can be heard locally on Lite Rock 93R (93.9 FM) and online at www.literock93r.com.
Ripley (2-7) at Ravenswood (9-0)
Toss the records aside in any rivalry game and this one’s no different. Though Ripley’s only two wins were by one point each, they can still place a positive imprint on their 2010 season with a win in The Battle for the Hatchet. Ravenswood overcame four interceptions last week in a 27-7 win over St. Marys that crippled the Blue Devils’ playoff chances. One of the keys for Ravenswood was a ferocious defense that picked up eight quarterback sacks. For the first time all season, Ripley has scored 20 or more points in consecutive games. Even with somewhat of an awakening in their offense, the Vikings will have their hands full against one of Dick Sturm’s strongest Red Devil teams in years and will be hard-pressed to match the speed of their offense and the tenacity of their defense.
Bishop Donahue (9-0) at Paden City (2-7)
Bishop Donahue is 48 minutes away from wrapping up an undefeated season in dominant fashion. Four of their wins have been shutouts while last week’s 21-6 victory was the only one that wasn’t decided by 30 points or more. Magnolia is the only team in the state – in any class – that has allowed more than the 53 points surrendered by Bishop Donahue this season. Paden City will lose just two seniors after this week’s season finale and though there are some bright spots on the Wildcats’ roster, the talent just isn’t there to prevent Bishop Donahue from wrapping up the unbeaten season.
Tyler Consolidated (2-7) at Weir (1-8)
Regular Season Over:
Parkersburg (6-4), Calhoun County (1-9), Gilmer County (2-8)