Where there's a will, there's a way.
Just ask the football staffs at Wahama and Madonna high schools.
The two Class A powers wanted to play each other this season, but realized the visiting team would be making a three-hour drive.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Wahama's Anthony Grimm runs the ball against Belpre.
Instead of giving up on the game, they decided to use their connections to work out a deal.
When it was learned both schools had a connection to Fairmont State University, they decided to ask officials there for permission to use their field. That permission was granted and this Friday night both Wahama and Madonna will trek to Fairmont for one of the most important Class A games of the year.
Wahama is 7-0 while Madonna is 5-2. The winner will secure a huge number of ratings points.
Wahama coach Ed Cromley, who is looking forward to the game, said Madonna reminds him of West Virginia University's teams under Rich Rodriguez. "They are a spread team that reads the option,'' he said.
One that is keeping Parkersburg South football coach up at night.
His name is Adam Secret and he is the quarterback for the 5-3 Eagles, who take on Bolen's 4-3 Patriots on Friday night at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.
Heading into his senior season, Secret had thrown for 5,014 yards and 42 touchdowns. This year, although he been battling injury, he's added to those lofty totals.
"Byrd is a good football team,'' said Bolen. "Especially when their quarterback is healthy.''
Both teams are fighting for a spot in the state playoffs.
South is coming off a heartbreaking 12-10 loss at Brooke last Friday night.
Bolen said the Patriots played well in that contest, but couldn't maintain the momentum they had gained the previous week with a 17-0 win over crosstown rival Parkersburg.
While not criticizing the officiating crew from the Brooke game, Bolen noted the game film clearly showed that South receiver Jordan Quiocho caught a pass from quarterback Tyler Bolen in the end zone that should have been ruled a touchdown, but instead was called incomplete.
Friday's game will be the last of the season for South at the Erickson All-Sports Facility as the Patriots hit the road for their final two regular season games against Wheeling Park and John Marshall.
"The truth is we are a pretty good single-A team," said Dawson. "The problem is we play in double-A. I've said all along that this team is a work-in-progress and I still believe it. We have improved, but not as much as I had hoped we would have by this time in the year."
The Rebels are coming off of a 30-8 victory over Doddridge County and could solidify a playoff berth with wins in two of their final three contests.
"To be honest, I'm scared to death because this is one of those "trap" games," continued Dawson. "If I were them (Tyler) I'd be looking at this game as their last chance to get a win."
"The keys are the same as they always are for us," said Sturm. "Take care of the football on offense and create turnovers on defense. We just haven't been able to accomplish those goals the past two games."
The Red Devils do expect the return of all-state tackle Anthony Crow while the status of freshman Rhys Jelich's ankle appears to be much improved.