PARKERSBURG - Only the fourth week of the high school football season, and already we're talking about ''big'' games.
In Class AAA tonight, both Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South may be 2-1, but play teams ranked above them in the initial 2012 WVSSAC ratings released this week.
The 14th-ranked Big Reds tangle with Huntington High, 3-0 and tied for third in the state AAA ratings, at 7:30 p.m. at Stadium Field while the No. 17 Patriots head to the Eastern Panhandle for a 7 p.m. faceoff with 11th-ranked Musselman, sporting a 2-1 mark.
If either PHS or South lose tonight, they could conceivably fall out of the published top-20 state ratings, depending on how the teams below them fare on the gridiron this weekend.
Of course though, Big Red and Patriot wins would almost surely propel one or maybe even both into or near the top 10.
In Class AA, Ravenswood - off to a 2-0 start and a tie for the No. 4 state rating under new head coach Mick Price, more familiar to basketball fans as the longtime Red Devil head boys cage coach - plays host to an early-season 7:30 p.m. showdown with defending AA state champion Wayne, also 2-0 and ranked eighth this week.
FOOTBALL GAME SCHEDULE
Tonight's high school games
(All games 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Huntington at Parkersburg
Parkersburg South at Musselman, 7 p.m.
South Harrison at Williamstown
Wayne at Ravenswood
Doddridge County at Wirt County
Gallia Academy at Marietta
Meadowbrook at Warren
Belpre at Wahama
St. Marys at Tyler Consolidated, 7 p.m.
Eastern at Waterford
Lincoln County at Ripley
Braxton County at Ritchie County
Paden City at Gilmer County
River at Magnolia
Fort Frye at Madonna, 7 p.m.
Roane County at Webster County
Federal Hocking at Southern
Caldwell at Monroe Central, 7 p.m.
Frontier at Bridgeport (Ohio)
Saturday's High school Games
Calhoun County at Parkersburg Catholic (Stadium Field), 7:30 p.m.
California at Ohio State, noon
WVU vs. James Madison (FedEx Field, Landover, Md.), 4:30 p.m.
Ohio University at Marshall, 6:30 p.m.
Marietta College at Capital University, 7:30 p.m.
In Class A, besides Williamstown and Parkersburg Catholic - both 1-2 so far - not in the state ratings, Doddridge County, 3-0 and ranked third this week under new head coach Bobby Burnside, will make the trip to Elizabeth for a 7:30 p.m. matchup with the No. 15 Wirt County Tigers, 2-1 this season.
In other Class A games tonight involving state-ranked teams from the Mid-Ohio Valley, 3-0 Wahama, tied for fifth, plays host to 1-2 Belpre, fresh off breaking a 13-game losing streak last week, at 7:30 p.m.; 2-1 St. Marys, tied for 10th, meets up with 0-3 Tyler Consolidated in Kidwell at 7 p.m.; and 2-1 Magnolia. tied for 16th, entertains 2-1 River at 7:30 p.m,; and on Saturday night, No.18 Calhoun County (2-1) squares off with Parkersburg Catholic at 7:30 p.m. at Stadium Field.
The rest of the area prep grid schedule tonight (all 7:30 p.m. kickoffs unless noted) finds South Harrison (2-1) at Williamstown; Gallia Academy (1-2) at Marietta (1-2); Meadowbrook (2-1) at Warren (1-2); Eastern (1-2) at Waterford (1-2); Fort Frye (2-1) at Weirton Madonna (1-1), 7 p.m.; Caldwell (0-3) at Monroe Central (2-1), 7 p.m.; Frontier at Bridgeport, Ohio in a battle of 1-2 teams; Braxton County (2-1) at Ritchie County (1-2); Paden City (0-3) at Gilmer County (0-3); Roane County (1-2) at Webster County (1-2); Federal Hocking (2-1) at Southern (1-2); and Lincoln County (0-3) at Ripley (1-2).