The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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September 12, 2013

High school pigskin preview — Week 3

Will more records fall on the gridiron this week?

The first two weeks of the high school football season have produced some surprises, fantastic finishes and head-turning individual performances, and there’s no reason to believe that Week 3 will be any different with some interesting matchups on the slate.

Here’s a look at the games involving area teams under the Friday Night Lights tonight, with all games scheduled for 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.

Huntington at

Woodrow Wilson

The Flying Eagles definitely have the offense with quarterback Brent Osborne throwing darts to a pair of talented wide receivers in Donte Nabors and Chase Hancock and Troy Lilly and Hancock eating up yardage on the ground. In two games, Woodrow has scored 71 points and racked up more than 700 yards of offense.

But do they have the defense? The Flying Eagles (1-1) have also allowed 77 points and nearly 1,000 yards of offense through the first two weeks. That’s bad news going up against a Huntington team that is 2-0 after a 23-8 win over Hurricane and a 40-6 thumping of Spring Valley.

Greenbrier East at

Shady Spring

Like Woodrow, the Spartans have the offense. Isaiah Kinder is Class AAA’s top passer with 587 yards and five touchdowns through the air in two games. He has a couple of big targets in Kamen Reynolds (12 catches, 263 yards) and Colby Johnson (8 catches, 169 yards), and Kinder and Dalton Cline keep defenses honest with a decent running game.

Defense, though, has also been a problem for the Spartans (1-1), who have given up almost 700 yards of offense and 74 points in two games.

That might be good news for Shady Spring (0-2), which has been outscored 108-0 and given up 808 yards in losses to Princeton and Logan. First-year quarterback Timmy Culicerto and company have moved the ball, at times, but just haven’t been able to find the end zone. Could the Spartan defense be the Tigers’ ticket to points?

Independence at

Greenbrier West

The honeymoon officially ended for new Independence head coach Chris Vicars when the Patriots (1-1) lost a late lead and fell on the road at PikeView last week. Indy has been pretty solid on defense but is still looking for some playmakers on the other side of the ball.

In an era full of spread offense and numbers reserved for video games, Greenbrier West (2-0) has continued to win the old-fashioned way, with defense and running the football. The Cavaliers held a talented Nicholas County offense scoreless in the opener, a 6-0 West victory, and they gave up just one score in a 46-7 blowout win over Richwood last week.

It’s not like West can’t put points on the board, either. Quarterback Malik Boatwright is one of the state’s most explosive players and can go the distance on any play.

Richwood at

Fayetteville

Richwood (1-1) had a big victory in its opener, knocking off Webster County, but the Lumberjacks were brought back to reality with a lopsided loss to Greenbrier West last week. Quarterback Logan Cox can throw when needed, but Richwood prefers to grind it out with running back Michael Adams.

Fayetteville’s season has gone much like the Lumberjacks, but in reverse. The Pirates, winless in 2012, were never really in the game during the opener against defending Class A champion Wahama, but they rebounded in a big way last week, beating Midland Trail 52-6. Three running backs went over 100 yards on the ground in that win. Tasheem Saunders (149), Austin Simmons (126) and Jake Alton (154) all had big nights.

PikeView at Liberty

PikeView (1-1) was competitive in its opener before falling short against Summers County. Last week, the Panthers came from behind to beat Independence. Quarterback Chris McBride, who threw for 157 yards in the opener, led a late drive in that game for the winning touchdown.

Liberty (0-2) has struggled out of the gates, losing to Westside, and then was shut out by Sissonville last week. The offense has struggled to find the end zone, although Hunter Wright did throw for 137 yards against the Renegades.

Meadow Bridge at

Midland Trail

The state’s leading rusher will certainly draw a lot of attention as Meadow Bridge tries to improve to 3-0. Jake Parker has rushed for 648 yards and nine touchdowns through the first two games, wins over Van and Tug Valley.

Midland Trail (0-2) has been outscored 67-28 in two games, losses to Independence and Fayetteville. Ryan Wilson has been a bright spot, rushing for 120 yards on 27 carries.

Sherman at

Wyoming East

Sherman (1-1) opened with a 20-6 loss at Tug Valley but fared better in its home opener, knocking off Calhoun County. The Tide has been tough on defense, giving up just a little more than 10 points per game.

Wyoming East (2-0) is off to a strong start, racking up wins over Mingo Central and rival Westside. Quarterback Aaron Giffith has been a huge weapon, completing 21 of 29 passes for 330 yards and rushing for 132 yards on 25 carries.

Man at Westside

Man (1-1) can score some points, but it can also give them up. The Hillbillies scored 44 in a shutout win over Mount View last week, but they gave up 50 in a loss to Logan in the opener.

Larry Cook’s coaching tenure got off to a good start with a lopsided win over Liberty in Westside’s opener, but the Warriors from Wyoming East stole away the Golden Shovel last week for the first time in five years. The Renegades (1-1) have some firepower in the form of Mike Mullens, who has rushed for 377 yards and seven touchdowns through the first two games. Corey Bowles has four interceptions on defense.

Van at Valley

Valley will certainly try to keep the ball on the ground against Van (1-1). The Bulldogs gave up 447 rushing yards to Meadow Bridge’s Jake Parker in the opener. Van was much better last week, though, in a 41-14 win over Paden City.

Valley (1-0) had an early off week as the Greyhounds sat out last week. The opener, though, was an impressive one as they defeated Wirt County 14-8 on the road. Quarterback Raeshawn Breckenridge completed 5 of 9 passes for 232 yards in that victory.

Summers County at Grafton

Nate Tanner is off to a great start at Summers County with wins in his first two games as head coach. The Bobcats (2-0) have knocked off PikeView and James Monroe. In last week’s win, quarterback T.J. Smith played a part in four touchdowns, rushing for 83 yards and a score, throwing for 85 yards and a score and blocking a punt to set up another trip to the end zone. He also had an interception on defense.

Grafton is 0-2 with losses to Phillip Barbour and Notre Dame in the first two games.

East Fairmont at Nicholas County

East Fairmont (1-0) had some extra time to prepare for Nicholas County. After beating Liberty (Harrison) 28-21 in overtime in the opener, the Bees took last week off.

After a difficult 6-0 loss in a defensive struggle against Greenbrier West in the opener, the Grizzlies (1-1), who returned most of the team from a squad that won a playoff game for the first time last year, bounced back with a win against Poca last week. Wil Mayes has rushed for 174 yards on 34 carries this season, while Tyler Sagraves is still looking to get the passing game going.

— E-mail: chuffman

@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter

 @CamHuffmanRH.

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