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Mid-Ohio Valley Report


Growing up, I was always a big fan of the Road Runner cartoons. You know…the ones where Wile E. Coyote would cook up some harebrained scheme to try and catch the Road Runner and time and time again that scheme would fail? This would always lead to Wile E. Coyote’s return to the proverbial drawing board to figure out where things went wrong.

As the West Virginia high school football season works it’s way to the second week, I feel like there are a lot of coaches at all levels throughout the Mountain State that are headed back to that same drawing board. Preseason optimism and expectations have now been replaced by the stark reality of where each respective team’s shortcomings lie.

It’ll be neat to see which teams will catch themselves a Road Runner in Week 2 or who’ll be left digging through the ACME catalog for answers. And now, to this week’s games…all games Friday at 7:30, except where noted:

Parkersburg (1-0) at Cabell Midland (0-1)

In a statement game, the Parkersburg Big Reds exorcised the demons of two straight losses to the Brooke Bruins with a 33-22 win over Brooke in this year’s version of the 100-Mile War.

With a defense that held the defending Class AAA runners-up to 22 points, head coach Don Reeves got important contributions from his running game and passing attack. Quarterback Alex Ash hooked up with tight end Jeremy Bell for three touchdown strikes while Adam Lindamood fell a yard shy of a 100-yard game, but still picked up a pair of ground touchdowns. And again, how about that defense? They pitched a shutout in the first half and had one of the better quarterbacks in Class AAA flustered all night long. Bruins quarterback Alex Buchmelter completed just three passes the whole first half.

In Week Two, the Big Reds face a Cabell Midland team that lost a 28-20 decision to Spring Valley in their season opener last week, but will be pumped for this week’s home opener. In high school football, we often see home teams fail to respond in games where emotions run high leading into the contest (e.g. Homecoming, Senior Night).

I think the home opener may be the lone exception to that rule. Reeves will have to remind his Big Reds to stay within themselves and not play into the frenzy during their first road trip. Otherwise, they may be headed straight for a buzzsaw.

Ravenswood (1-0) at Poca (1-0)

Dick Sturm’s Ravenswood Red Devils picked up right where they left off last season with an opening week 35-18 win at home over Herbert Hoover. Quarterback Dustin Derito ran for a score and threw for two more while speedy running back Jeremy Lawrence ran for a 129 yards and a touchdown while returning an interception for a second TD in the contest.

Poca comes into what’ll be their home opener off a 44-22 win at Nitro. The Dots will be fired up, but again…take note of the ability of the defending Class AA runners-up to score on defense. In so many contests, takeaways and the points created from takeaways are the difference in the ballgame.

For Ravenswood to show the ability to do that in Week One, you have to give the Red Devils a slight edge in how far along their team has developed early in the season and tip your cap to a veteran coach that’ll have his Red Devils ready to play in Week 2.

Magnolia (0-1) at Williamstown (1-0)

The season openers for both the Magnolia Blue Eagles and the Williamstown Yellowjackets fell on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Williamstown took care of business in a 50-0 whitewashing of Tyler Consolidated.

Defending Class AA champion Magnolia – playing Wayne on a neutral field in Ripley – ended up behind the woodshed in a 66-30 loss to the Pioneers. The 66 points were just 16 shy of what the Magnolia defense surrendered ALL YEAR in their run to the Island in 2010. Trailing just 22-14 at the half, the Blue Eagles were outscored 44-16 in a nightmarish second half.

They’ll have a tough time trying to regroup against a Williamstown team that successfully debuted a new quarterback and primary ballcarrier. Tailback Trey King racked up 183 yards and three touchdowns on just 11 carries. Quarterback Jake Tracewell threw for two scores and ran for another.

Though it’ll be viewed as a big game with the Class A Yellowjackets hosting the defending Class AA champions, the Blue Eagles are a marked underdog and will have their hands full if they want to avoid falling to 0-2.

Parkersburg Catholic (0-1) at Pocahontas County (0-1) – Saturday

It’s never good to have to hit the road after a loss, but the Parkersburg Catholic Crusaders will have to do it on a long road trip as they face Pocahontas County on Saturday. New coach Jeff Campbell fell in his debut for the Crusaders on Saturday in a 20-12 loss to Buffalo.

The highlights for Parkersburg Catholic included the fact that they only surrendered 20 points in a season opener and that the passing game seems to be in pretty good shape. Parkersburg Catholic quarterback Daniel Collie found Mitch Davis for a pair of touchdown passes in the contest. The Crusaders will have to find a way to finish drives and put up more points this week.

They’ll also need to replicate their solid defensive effort, as they’ll face a Pocahontas County squad that put up just a single touchdown in a loss to Tucker County in their opener. If they can survive the length of the road trip, the Crusaders should be in good shape to even their record and make a winner out of Campbell for the first time.

Ritchie County (1-0) at Calhoun County (1-0)

With 22 points in the fourth quarter, the Ritchie County Rebels opened their season 1-0 for the first time in a decade – defeating the St. Marys Blue Devils in a result that led to Rebels fans storming the field. For first-year head coach Mike Dawson, its back to business this week as the Calhoun County Red Devils are waiting to be the first to pick off this year’s Rebels squad. Running back Reno Jackson battled cramps throughout to lead the Rebels with 167 yards on the ground. With quarterback Trevor Shepler sidelined late with a knee injury, the Rebels had to scrap their game plan and shift their offense to a Power-I with Andy Lipscomb taking the snaps.

This week, Dawson has time to install more of the Rebels core offense with Lipscomb under center, in case that’s the option the Rebels will be going with. They’ll also need to rely on a defense that forced six turnovers last week – five in the second half. Calhoun County – a winner in their season opener by a 59-21 score over Gilmer County – had two rushers eclipse the 100-yard mark last week. Cory Metz picked up 161 yards and three touchdowns while Nathan Cosgrove chipped in with 106 yards and four touchdowns. The Rebels did a good job to contain the St. Marys ground attack last week and this week, containing the running game might be the key once again.

This game can be heard locally on V96 Radio (96.9 FM).

St. Marys (1-0) at Wirt County (1-0)

It has to have been a long week in St. Marys, where the Blue Devils lost to next-door neighbor Ritchie County for the first time since 2001. The 38-22 loss was riddled with Blue Devil turnovers and the night ended with the Ritchie County student body rushing the field at Chuck Schofield Stadium in Ellenboro.

The task is much tougher this week as the Blue Devils face a Wirt County Tigers team that returns most of its key players from a squad that went to the Class A semifinals a year ago. Dalton Brindo proved why he’s an absolute beast on offense for the Tigers in their 32-25 win over Moorefield last week. Brindo ran for 267 yards and three touchdowns while catching two more from quarterback Taylor Campbell. Brindo also makes his presence known on defense – bad news for a Blue Devils team that committed six turnovers in their opener loss to Ritchie County. Five of those turnovers came in the second half as the Blue Devils squandered a halftime lead and allowed 22 Rebels points in the second half. It’ll take four solid quarters of football to beat a strong Wirt County team and as a result of the questions raised through their performance last week, St. Marys will come in as a marked underdog.

This game can be heard locally on Lite Rock 93R or online at


Other Games

Ripley (0-1) at Winfield (0-1)

Roane (0-0) at Tyler Consolidated (0-1) – heard locally on WXCR Radio (92.3 FM)



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