The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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September 7, 2012

WEEK 3 PREP PREVIEW

Woodrow to host Hurricane tonight

A Hurricane is headed to Beckley, and the eye of the storm will be centered over Van Meter Stadium at Woodrow Wilson High School.

The Hurricane Redskins (2-0) visit Woodrow Wilson (2-0) in a battle of Class AAA undefeateds tonight at 7:30 p.m., and like any good Hurricane, this club brings in a great deal of power. The Redskins have posted more than 1,100 yards of total offense and 95 points in its first two games, wins over area rivals Winfield and Nitro.

The Flying Eagles’ two victories didn’t come quite as easily, but shutting down a powerful Princeton offense, fired up to win for its new coach in the opener, and then pulling out a win against a determined Greenbrier East club on the road in a rivalry game, is impressive in its own right.

Will Hurricane continue to run like there are only eight defenders on the field, or will the adversity that Woodrow Wilson has seen prove to be beneficial in another tight contest?

We’ll find out in tonight’s Register-Herald Game of the Week.

Last time they played

Hurricane defeated Woodrow Wilson 21-14 last season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Woodrow Wilson


Andrew Johnson, QB — The multi-threat signal caller has thrown for 212 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 246 yards and four more scores. He’s also the kicker and punter, averaging 25.6 yards per punt. He’s made 4 of 8 extra point attempts.

Ramon Edwards, RB/WR — Edwards is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the football. He’s averaging 15.3 yards per carry on 11 attempts. He’s also caught four passes for 4 yards and is averaging 31.7 yards per kickoff return.

Cole Williams, RB/WR — A combination of speed and power, Williams has 144 rushing yards on 12 carries. He’s also caught three passes for 73 yards.

Hurricane

Zach Pate, RB — Pate nearly had 500 yards of total offense last week in a win over Nitro. He rushed for 252 yards on 10 carries, caught four passes for 153 yards and totaled 86 yards on a pair of kickoff returns. He found the end zone five times. For the season, he’s averaging 21.5 yards per carry. He also had an interception on defense

Austin Hensley, QB — Last week against Nitro, Hensley threw for 242 yards. He has a strong arm and is sure to test the Woodrow Wilson secondary, which really hasn’t faced a strong passing team this season.

Steven Handley, RB — Pate isn’t the only threat on the ground. When he needs a breather, Handley is more than capable. Last week he had just five carries but racked up 83 yards rushing.

WHAT THIS MEANS

Both teams are off to a good start, but both need a signature victory to gain respect on a state level.

Hurricane is ranked No. 10 in the Charleston Daily Mail high school football poll, voted on by West Virginia sports media, while Woodrow Wilson is in the “others” category, receiving eight votes in 13th place. The winner tonight should see a solid climb, depending on what happens in front of it.

In West Virginia high school football, though, the only poll that really matters is the WVSSAC rankings, which will be released for the first time on Sept. 11.

A win over a Class AAA squad that’s sure to pick up some more wins as the season goes along would be huge for both teams in those rankings, which paint the postseason picture.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Greenbrier East rushed for 249 yards last week against Woodrow Wilson. Hurricane racked up 377 yards on the ground against Nitro. If the Redskins don’t try to test the Flying Eagles’ run defense, they haven’t been paying attention.

Beckley doesn’t have to shut Hurricane down on the ground, it just needs to slow the visitors’ progress and force it into a couple of mistakes. If the Flying Eagles can create a couple of turnovers, like they did last week in Fairlea, they’ll greatly increase their chances of sending the home fans home happy, no matter what the rushing statistics show at the end of the night.

On offense, the key for Woodrow is holding onto the football. A couple of early turnovers last week kept Beckley from putting the game away much sooner and resulted in a nail-biter on the road. With weapons like Johnson and Edwards, the Flying Eagles are going to score points. But they have to stay patient and avoid giving Hurricane any help it doesn’t need.

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