MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With the midway point of the regular season approaches in high school football, this weekend’s slate features 57 games as teams look to improve their playoff positioning.
Notes from Wednesday’s edition of High School Sportsline.
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Independence running back Judah Price is continuing to turn heads early this season. Price is coming off an impressive performance last week against Shady Spring. The senior captain posted 15 carries for 257 yards with seven touchdowns.
Along with his impressive running statistics, Price accounted for seven two-point conversions in a 68-0 shutout victory. He ultimately recorded the new single-game program for points with 56.
Price attributes the success to his offensive line, which has given him the needed space to make plays. In turn, they get treats from Price.
“If I get 200 yards, then they get donuts wherever I get them from that day,” Price said. “I have gotten Krispe Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts or Donut Connection. The offensive line works hard every game and deserves it every game. That is why I get it for them.”
Price is a focal point of his team’s and the opposition’s game plan, but never feels extra weight on his shoulders.
“It is more of me wanting to do it over him,” Price noted. “They are worn down by us scoring and driving the ball down, but we are still wanting to score more points. We score two extra points 90 percent of the time, which is better when we win games down the line.”
The Patriots said goodbye to Atticus Goodson, the Kennedy award recipient last year, after an undefeated regular-season and appearance in the Class AA title game. However, to this point, they have overcome the loss of Goodson.
“We weren’t as confident because having a Kennedy award winner in the backfield is a blessing,” Price noted. “Coming into the season, we knew what we could do as a team. We have surprised ourselves at how many points we have put up. We have gained more confidence by doing that.”
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In thrilling fashion, Bridgeport picked up its third straight victory over Fairmont Senior last week, 24-21.
The Indians’ only loss to this point came in Week 2 at Morgantown, 10-6. Since, they have posted a 28-point win against John Marshall and knocked the Polar Bears from the top spot in Class AA.
Bridgeport will go for its third straight win this Friday against Robert C. Byrd.
“We have been focusing on ourselves. We have not had much opportunity to have the kids in the same positions, mainly due to injuries for multiple weeks,” BHS coach Tyler Phares said. “It has been nice to get healthy.”
The Indians’ identity over the years has been a strong running game, which has not changed this season with the trio of Charlie Brazier, Phil Reed, and Zach Rohrig helping to carry the load.
“We have kids with different skill sets,” Phrase noted. “Phil can throw the ball a little and is a tough runner between the tackles. Zach is our lightning bug there. He is quick to both edges and can stick his foot on the ground and go vertically. Charlie is an excellent blocker, and that is the thing that sticks out. He is a hard-nosed kid who wants to run the ball. He can also slip out and catch some passes. They complement the single-wing well. We are excited to get some continuity in the backfield.”
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Williamstown has done its part through the opening month to position itself for another appearance in a Class A final after finishing runner-up to Ritchie County a season ago.
The Yellow Jackets are 3-0 and have outscored opponents 163-32, including a shutout victory over Ravenswood in their most recent game.
“I am happy with the start,” coach Chris Beck said. “The kids are playing hard. Every week we are getting better. The one thing I’d like to see is progress. We did that well [last season] from Week 1 to 11 and showed a lot of improvement. This team is on that track again.”
Williamstown’s roster has a lot of first and second-year players, with 23 of the team’s Of the 39 members freshmen or sophomores.
“That is the lifeline of your program,” Beck said. “You want those numbers up because you want a full junior varsity schedule. We are happy with those young guys, who have shown much progress. We are excited about the future.”
Beck returns valuable weapons from last year’s state runner-up team, including running back Rickie Allen. Allen has carried the ball 41 times for 310 yards and six touchdowns through the first three games.
“What can’t you say about Rickie? He is a phenomenal player and young man,” Beck said. “He may be the best natural leader I have been around in the 15 years on staff. That is probably the biggest compliment I can give Rickie. People and his teammates want to follow him. He has been that way since his junior year as captain.”