By Cam Huffman
For the first time this season, winter coats, gloves, blankets and hot chocolate might be necessary for Friday night football.
But with an interesting slate on tap, there’s certainly no reason to stay at home in front of the fireplace.
The Register-Herald Game of the Week puts Shady Spring on the road at Wyoming East.
WHAT THIS MEANS
So far this season, Shady Spring’s season has gone as many expected. The Tigers won the games they were supposed to win — Independence, PikeView and James Monroe — but lost the games to Class AAA opponents — Logan, Greenbrier East and Oak Hill.
Back to .500 after an 0-2 start, now the Tigers need a win on which they can hang their hats.
Wyoming East (5-2) has played some head-scratchers, as well. The Warriors pulled off big wins over Mingo Central, Summers County and River View, but they also lost to rivals Westside and Mount View. A win over Shady could help propel them into the upper half of Class AA, where they already stand at No. 9.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Shady Spring defeated Wyoming East 48-19 last season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Adam Weeks, QB. Weeks has already passed 1,000 yards through the air this season, and now he has his target set on reaching 2,000 for the second year in a row.
Jordan Palchesko, RB. A physical runner who loves to havethe ball in his hands, the senior scored four touchdowns on just 13 carries last week, rushing for 148 yards.
Jacob Summe, RB. Summe has quickly become the Warriors’ go-to guy on the ground. Last week the junior rushed for 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 16 carries.
Aaron Griffith, QB. Wyoming East’s young quarterback has gotten better and better as the season has progressed. He’s a threat both on the ground and through the air. The Warriors don’t throw it a lot, but when they do, Griffith usually hits his target.
Other area games
Bluefield at Westside
The Beavers (5-1) are cruising. They've won five straight games after falling to rival Graham (Va.) in the season opener and have averaged 56 points per game over that stretch. They're up to No. 5 in the Class AA ratings and looking to continue that climb.
Westside (4-3) would benefit greatly from a win tonight. It's been an up and down season for a young Renegades squad, but they've won two of their last three and are up to a tie for 15th in the Class AA ratings. A victory against Bluefield would go a long way toward assuring Westside a postseason spot.
Greenbrier West at Webster County
This game could garner a lot of attention throughout the state. Greenbrier West (6-1) is up to No. 3 in Class A, behind only a pair of undefeateds in Tucker County and Wahama. The Cavaliers have won three straight by a combined score of 128-12.
Webster County (4-3), though, should provide the biggest test since West lost a turnover-filled game to Buffalo on Sept. 14. The Highlanders are No. 12 in Class AA and have won four of their last five after starting out 0-2 with losses to Richwood and Oak Hill.
Hurricane at Greenbrier East
Behind a dangerous passing game, Hurricane (4-2) has won two straight following a two-game skid that started with a 35-34 loss to Woodrow Wilson. Ranked No. 10 in Class AAA, the Redskins are playing to try to move up into a position to host a home game in the playoffs.
Greenbrier East (2-4) would likely have to win out to find a spot in the playoffs, but the Spartans will be playing for pride in front of a homecoming crowd. They're coming off a 35-18 win on the road at Nitro that should have helped build some confidence.
Liberty at Independence
Liberty (4-2) is ranked 13th in Class AA this week, but following a lopsided 39-0 loss to Webster County last time out, the Raiders need a victory to stay inside the playoff picture. Liberty had an open week to prepare for what is usually a good battle.
Independence (2-4) is clinging to the slimmest of postseason hopes, likely needing to win out to make the playoffs. The Patriots have lost four of their last five contests, and given up more than 35 points in each of those games. They lost 48-20 to Summers County last week.
Lincoln County at Nicholas County
Lincoln County (0-6) is still looking for its first win of 2012. The Panthers have averaged just 11 points per game and have been shut out twice. Conversely, they've allowed 48 or more points in four of their six games, including 62 last week in a loss to South Charleston.
Nicholas County (3-3) is still in position to make the playoffs with a late-season run. The Grizzlies are No. 21 in Class AA and need to make up some ground, but they've played a difficult early schedule and after a week off should be primed and ready to sprint toward the finish line.
Montcalm at Craig County (Va.)
After a fast start to the year, Montcalm (3-3) has hit a skid. The Generals have lost three of their last four, including two in a row, but they’re hoping to regroup after an off week to shore up some critical mistakes.
Craig County (4-3) won’t let the Generals have a win without a fight. The Rockets have last two in a row, but they’re scoring plenty of points, even in defeat. This will be their second meeting with a West Virginia team, after beating East Hardy 40-14 eariler this season.
Oak Hill at Lewis County
Oak Hill (5-1) has continued to climb up the WVSSAC ratings. The Red Devils are now No. 8 in Class AAA, in their first season after jumping from Class AA. Most know about Jalen Jones and the offense, but the defense has allowed just 14 total points over the last three games.
Lewis County (5-2) has a great deal for which to play, currently standing on the edge of the playoffs at No. 17 in Class AAA. The Minutemen have won four straight games and have averaged more than 46 points per game over that stretch.
Parkersburg at Woodrow Wilson
Parkersburg (4-3) is having somewhat of a down season, at least by Big Reds’ standards. After spitting their first four games, the Big Reds won two straight before getting pounded 56-18 by rival Parkersburg South last week. If it wants to make the playoffs, this is a game Parkersburg needs.
Woodrow Wilson (4-3) is No. 14 in Class AAA, but it’s sliding down the ladder instead of climbing toward the top. The Flying Eagles have lost two straight to Cabell Midland and Huntington, and they allowed 100 combined points in those two games.
Princeton at Spring Valley
Princeton (1-6) finally got to put a W in the books last week when it beat St. Albans 45-22 for Randy Peek’s first win as a head coach. In the last three games, the Tigers have averaged 24 points per game and have found the offense that was missing early in the year.
Spring Valley (3-3) is ranked No. 18 in Class AAA and playing for its playoff life. After beginning the season with two of the best teams in the state, Cabell Midland and Huntington, and losing both, the Timberwolves won three straight before a lopsided loss to George Washington last week.
Summers County at Meadow Bridge
Summers County (4-3) in No. 18 in Class AA and needs a couple of wins to lock up a playoff spot. The Bobcats broke a three-game losing streak with a convincing win over Independence last week and are looking to build off that momentum.
Meadon Bridge (6-1) is No. 10 in Class A and could make some major noise with a win over a solid AA team tonight. The Wildcats avenged their first loss, at the hands of Valley, but beating Grundy (Va.) 36-3 last Friday.
Valley at Parkersburg Catholic
Valley (6-0) is still perfect and inching toward the top of the Class A ratings. Right now, the Greyhounds are No. 4, but they’ve displayed few weaknesses, scoring at least 30 points in every game but one this season.
Parkersburg Catholic (3-4) has struggled this season. It lost to St. Mary’s, Wirt County and Doddridge County and was blown out by Buffalo. It did break a two-game losing streak last week, topping South Harrison 21-13.