Notre Dame (5-1) at Madonna (6-0)
The Irish begin a very difficult final stretch of the season as they will face Madonna, Philip Barbour, Clay Battelle and Tucker County in consecutive weeks. That group has a combined record of 19-5. Notre Dame will need a continued defense effort like it delivered in last week’s win over Liberty when it came up with three crucial fourth quarter stops. The Irish locked the game up after stopping Liberty at the Notre Dame 21 with under five minutes to play.
Madonna has won six in a row in the series. Notre Dame’s last win came back in 2006 as the Irish prevailed 18-5.
Musselman (4-2) at Morgantown (6-1)
Morgantown’s miracle comeback win over Wheeling Park was punctuated by another All-World performance by senior running back Chazzy Thomas. Thomas had a career high 43 carries as he rushed for 396 yards and all six morgantown touchdowns. He broke the school record he set the previous week of 386 yards rushing. Morgantown trailed at one point in the fourth quarter 35-19. Morgantown rallied with two touchdowns along with a pair of two point conversions to tie. The Mohigans won on a Thomas 12-yard run in overtime.
“I thought our team had quit,” said Morgantown coach John Bowers. “During the second and third quarter, we didn’t block anybody. Chazzy was getting ripped. I thought we had given up.
“Chazzy willed us to win. He threw a couple of tough runs in there and we moved the ball,” he continued. “Then the offensive line followed suit. Midway through the third quarter I thought our guys had cashed it in. But I was wrong about that. I didn’t say anything to our guys. It was all No. 6.”
Morgantown hopes to take the momentum into a match up this week with Musselman.
“These kids showed a lot of heart,” Bowers said about his team. “They proved me to be completely wrong. They displayed the heart of a champion.”
Thomas will go over the 2,000 yard rushing mark for the season early in this week’s game. Thomas has scored 30 touchdowns.
Musselman is coming off a 42-34 win over Hedgesville from last week in a game that was played in a downpour. Cameron Shade, playing in place of injured Trevon Wesco at quarterback, guided the Applemen on a 65-yard drive that ended with Deonte Glover taking a direct snap and running in from the 4-yard line for the go-ahead score.
John Marshall (3-3) at University (6-1)
The Hawks continue to rely on their depth as they dig further into the play book. UHS used nine different players to rush the ball during last week’s 49-20 win over Logan. Six of those players had at least 15 yards. The Hawks scored one long touchdown when Jack Armstrong took a toss and threw down field to Tony Richardson.
Depth on the line and at the linebacker position will be tested now. The Hawks have lost center Nick Lambert and lineman/linebacker Nick Fisher to injury this week for the John Marshall game.
UHS has won three in a row and has scored at least 49 points in each of those game. The Hawks are averaging 43 points per game this season.
John Marshall has played just one of its Two Rivers Athletic Conference contests. The Monarchs lost their league opener 42-32 at Parkersburg South last week.
Buckhannon-Upshur (2-5) at Philip Barbour (5-2)
The Colts have their playoff push on as they’ve won two in a row. Philip Barbour will wrap up a stretch of four consecutive home games Friday night against Buckhannon.
Buckhannon and Philip Barbour renewed their series in 2011 following a five year hiatus. The Colts have won the games in both 2011 and 2012. Buckhannon’s last win the series came back in 2005.
Last week, Philip Barbour won a wild one at home over Elkins. A Tyler Titchnell pass intended for Elijah Matlick was deflected into the hands of Colts receiver Justin Cox at the 14 yard line. Cox, making just his second career reception, raced into the end zone with under a minute to play to tie the game. A Saige Cline extra point served as the game winner in a 29-28 victory.
Lewis County (5-1) at Oak Hill (5-1)
The Minutemen won their fifth straight 34-7 at North Marion. It was just the second win for Lewis County in Rachel since 2000. The tough Minutemen defense scored a touchdown again as Skyler Carlton scooped up a fumble and returned it 23 yards into the end zone on North Marion’s first play from scrimmage. Lewis County rushed for 263 yards on the night including 100 from fullback Mark Metzgar. Metzgar scored two touchdowns on the night.
Oak Hill was knocked from the ranks of AAA unbeaten teams last week with a 49-15 loss at Point Pleasant.
Braxton County (1-6) at Fairmont Senior (4-2)
Fairmont Senior has dropped back to back games to a pair of top Class-AA teams in Bridgeport and Frankfort. Those two opponents are a combined 12-1. Last week, the Polar Bears fell victim to a Frankfort offense that controlled the football for most of the game.
The Falcons had a number of clock consuming drives. The Fairmont Senior defense played well enough to keep Frankfort out of the end zone on three of the four drives that took it into the red zone. The Fairmont Senior offense, however, could must just one touchdown against a Frankfort defense.
Fairmont Senior will return to East/West Stadium for the first time since Sept. 6. The Polar Bears have played four consecutive games away from home. They’ll have Braxton County, Buckhannon-Upshur and Lincoln coming to town in consecutive weeks.
North Marion (1-6) at Robert C. Byrd (4-3)
The Eagles are set to make a playoff push their final three opponents have a combined record of 4-16. Last week, RCB played its best all-around game of the season so far as six different players scored touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Julian Marino has taken over the offense as he threw for 121 yards and two scores a week ago. The RCB defense held East Fairmont to just 11 yards rushing and to 32 yards overall.
North Marion will try and play spoiler over the course of the next few weeks as it will face a pair of teams with playoff aspirations in RCB and Lincoln.
Clay Battelle (5-0) at Cameron (3-4)
The Cee-Bees have rolled on offense so far as they’ve scored 40+ points in four of five games this season. Clay Battelle quarterback Tristan Haught has 13 touchdown passes with just one intercept on. Jacoby Steele and Trenton Dille have split the carries as they have combined for 758 yards.
Clay-Battelle is coming off a bye week. Clay Battelle will get tested down the stretch as three of its four remaining opponents are at .500 or better including playoff contenders Notre Dame and Madonna.
Preston (2-4) at East Fairmont (1-5)
Preston’s offense has come alive in recent weeks. The Knights scored 88 points in back to back wins over Elkins and North Marion. Even in a loss at Hedgesville two weeks ago, Preston managed to score 40 points.
Sophomore quarterback Scott Stone has led the resurgence as he has thrown for 888 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. Junior running back Josiah Nuse has provided balance with 628 yards on the ground with ten touchdowns. Preston is coming off a bye week.
East Fairmont has dropped five in a row including a 42-12 set back at home to Robert C. Byrd last week.
Elkins (0-6) at Wheeling Park (5-1)
The snake bit Tigers now have a trip to Wheeling Island Stadium to face another team coming off a devastating defeat. Wheeling Park lost that 35-19 fourth quarter lead at Morgantown to suffer its first loss of the season.
Elkins, by far, played its best game of the season last week as it out gained Philip Barbour 388-224. The Tigers rushed for 320 yards in the game and held the Colts to just 72 yards on the ground. Elkins had lost its first five games by an average of 27 points prior to nearly pulling off last week’s upset.
Other games around the region:
Liberty (0-6) at Grafton (0-6)
South Harrison (2-4) at Tyler (2-4)