The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 25, 2013

Week 9 preview

By Cam Huffman
Sports Editor

— Just three weeks of football remain — two for some area high school football teams — before  the start of the postseason, so there’s little time to pick up points to reach the top 16, and the playoff spot that comes with that distinction, or improve seeding and opportunities for postseason home games.

The chill in the air and the possible snow flakes under the Friday night lights tonight should serve as a reminder that the playoffs are just around the corner and there’s no time to waste.

Here’s a look at tonight’s games involving area teams.

n Bluefield at

Oak Hill

Oak Hill is getting used to playing in showcase games, and this is another of those contests. The Red Devils (6-1) are ranked No. 8 in Class AAA, while the Beavers (6-1) are the No. 2 team in Class AA.

Bluefield’s only loss came to rival Princeton early in the season. Since that time, the Beavers have outscored opponents 267-45 in five games. The offense is led by quarterback R.J. Bourne and running back D.J. Stewart.

Oak Hill’s only loss is to Class AAA No. 2 Point Pleasant. The Red Devils bounced back from that loss with an important victory over Lewis County last week. All-everything running back Jalen Jones had four touchdowns in that win. With defenses keying on Jones, Jarrell Green has averaged 102 rushing yards per game over the last five outings.

n Point Pleasant

at Shady Spring

The path doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers (1-6), who have lost three in a row and been outscored 102-30 in those contests. Point Pleasant (7-0) will come to town tonight as the No. 2 team in Class AAA. Chase Walton leads the attack for the Big Blacks. He rushed for 170 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Oak Hill. Cody Mitchell had 149 rushing yards in that same game.

Shady will be looking for a big game from quarterback Timmy Culicerto, who threw for 127 yards and a touchdown last week against Wyoming East. Tyler Hanson paced the ground attack with 118 rushing yards.

n Buffalo at


Buffalo (0-7) has lost seven straight games and is giving up 47 points per contest. That’s good news for Fayetteville (2-5), which has met some top competition in recent weeks. All of the Pirates’ losses have come to teams ranked in the top 15, and four of them were ranked in the top eight.

Tasheem Saunders leads the Fayetteville offense with 791 yards rushing on the year, averaging 8.5 yards per carry. Jake Alton is averaging more than 10 yards per carry, and Cameron Underwood has rushed for 335 yards. Quarterback Will Fenton has thrown for 613 yards and nine touchdowns.

n Summers County

at Mount View

The Bobcats (7-1) are looking to lock up a first-round home playoff game. They’re in a good spot to do that, currently ranked No. 4 in Class AA. Isaiah Brown scored five touchdowns in last week’s win over Meadow Bridge, and T.J. Smith rushed for 120 yards in that same game. The third member of the backfield is Jaquan Ayers, who rushed for 90 yards last week.

The Golden Knights (1-6) have struggled to find much offense, averaging just 13 points per contest.

n River View

at Nicholas County

Nicholas County (6-2) is in a good spot to make the playoffs again, after winning a postseason game for the first time last year. The Grizzlies are currently ranked No. 11 in Class AA, but they’re looking to keep moving up and perhaps secure a first-round home game.

Quarterback Tyler Sagraves threw for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns in last week’s win, and Wil Mayes ran for two touchdowns and caught another. The real story with Nicholas County, though, is a defense that has held six of its opponents to eight or fewer points.

River View (3-4) has had an up and down season but is looking to finish strong and eclipse the .500 mark. It has played some difficult competition and isn’t likely to be intimidated by the trip to Nicholas County.

n PikeView

at Meadow Bridge

Sitting at No. 13 in Class A, Meadow Bridge (6-2) cannot afford another loss when it comes to its playoff hopes. The Wildcats played well in a loss to rival Summers County last week in a game that went down to the wire. Kennedy Award candidate Jake Parker put up his usual eye-popping numbers, rushing for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Opponents know Parker is going to get the ball, but they have had trouble stopping him.

Class AA PikeView (3-5) has struggled in the win column, but the Panthers’ defense has kept them in almost every game. On offense, Hunter Moses leads the ground attack, while Chris McBride provides the aerial weapons.

n Liberty

at James Monroe

This is a big game for a pair of Class AA teams looking to finish the season strong. Both are coming off wins as Liberty (3-5) knocked off rival Independence, and James Monroe (2-5) rolled over Mount View.

Hunter Wright threw for 137 yards, and Christian Whittaker rushed for 132 yards in the Raiders’ win, but Liberty has never won a game at James Monroe.

n Valley

at Richwood

The Greyhounds (7-0) continue to march toward perfection. Ranked No. 3 in Class A, Valley is just three wins away from an undefeated regular season after knocking off No. 15 Parkersburg Catholic last week. Keyshawn Payne rolled up 143 yards and a touchdown in that game, while Raeshawn Breckenridge had 81 yards and another score.

Richwood (2-5) has been aided by the return of running back Michael Adams, who rushed for 278 yards on 23 carries against Tygarts Valley the last time out. The Lumberjacks had a week off to prepare for the Greyhounds.

n James River (Va.)

at Greenbrier West

James River (3-4) has struggled in recent weeks, losing four of its last five games. Defense has been a problem, as it’s allowing a little more than 22 points per game.

West (7-1), the No. 7 team in Class A, is coming off a 61-18 thrashing of Webster County that saw quarterback Malik Boatwright gain 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns on only five carries. Cory Cox added a touchdown run and returned a punt for a touchdown.

The Cavaliers are averaging 41 points per game, but a stingy defense that’s giving up just 10 points per contest is their true trademark.

n Greenbrier East at

Parkersburg South

Touchdowns could be scored at a rapid rate in this one. Greenbrier East (4-4) has a prolific offense, averaging a little more than 40 points per game behind quarterback Isaiah Kinder and running back Dalton Cline. Kinder has thrown for 1,726 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, while rushing for 415 yards and eight more scores. Cline has gained 973 yards and scored seven touchdowns on 142 carries. Both could put up big numbers against a Parkersburg South defense that allows 43 points per game.

East, though, has had its own defensive worries, allowing more than 38 points per contest. Parkersburg South (2-5) has played the likes of Morgantown and University already this season and could be better than its record.

n Midland Trail

at Hannan

Midland Trail (3-4) picked up an important win last week, downing Montcalm. The Patriots are led by Ryan Wilson, who’s rushed for 670 yards and four touchdowns this season. He’ll be looking for a big game against a Hannan defense that is giving up 41 points per game. Hannan (1-6) has lost five straight and scored on 40 total points over that stretch.

— E-mail:chuffman