ST. MARYS -As a player, Jodi Mote enjoyed success against Williamstown during his final two seasons playing for St. Marys High School.
As for his experience as the Blue Devils' head coach? That's a completely different story.
Of the four Wood County schools, three will be playing at home - including St. Marys visiting Williamstown for the Yellowjackets' homecoming.
Now in his 11th season at the helm, Mote is seeking his first win against Williamstown. The 3-1 Blue Devils enter the contest (set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff) ranked No. 11 in the WVSSAC Class A poll, while the 3-2 Yellowjackets made their debut in the top 20 rankings this week at No. 16.
"It gets discouraging as a coach when you are on the other side of it because you want your kids to experience the same thing you did as a player," said Mote, who is a 1992 SMHS graduate..
St. Marys is just one of many Little Kanawha Conference schools Williamstown coach Terry Smith has feasted upon. Now in his ninth season leading the Yellowjackets, Smith has compiled a 63-2 mark against conference opponents - including 10-0 against the Blue Devils. With two wins in five meetings, Wirt County is the lone LKC representative to have beaten Williamstown under his guidance.
Today's High School Football games
(All kickoffs 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Riverside at Parkersburg
Friendship Academy (D.C.) at Parkersburg South
St. Marys at Williamstown
Parkersburg Catholic at Doddridge County
Ravenswood at Ritchie County
Roane County at Ripley
Magnolia at Monroe Central, 7 p.m.
South Harrison at Calhoun County
Gilmer County at Tygarts Valley
Cameron at Paden City
Eastern at Belpre
Waterford at Trimble
Frontier at Fort Frye
Caldwell at Barnesville
South Gallia at Federal Hocking
Southern at Wahama
Cambridge at Marietta, 7 p.m.
Warren at Jackson
Saturday's College Football games
Baylor at West Virginia University, noon
Glenville State at West Liberty, 1 p.m.
Marietta College at Heidelberg, 1:30 p.m.
Marshall at Purdue, 3:15 p.m.
Ohio State at Michigan State, 3:30 p.m.
Ohio at Massachusetts 3:30 p.m.
"If you look at the big picture, Williamstown is a top-notch program," Mote said. "Unfortunately, we happen to be one of their rivals and be in the same conference, so we play them every year. That's what makes it so tough.
"Several people don't have the monkey off their back, so to speak. It's a tribute to their program."
Rounding out the area games for the West Virginia portion of the Mid-Ohio Valley: Parkersburg (3-2) welcomes Riverside (1-3) to Stadium Field for homecoming; Parkersburg South (3-2) meets a talented Friendship Collegiate Academy outfit from Washington, D.C. at Erickson All-Sports Facility; Parkersburg Catholic (2-3) travels to West Union to play Doddridge County (3-2); Ravenswood (2-2) serves as Ritchie County's (3-2) guest in Ellenboro; Ripley (2-3) is at home against Roane County (3-2); Calhoun County (2-3) plays host to South Harrison (2-2); it's Paden City's (1-4) homecoming against Cameron (2-3); Tygarts Valley (0-4) stays home to meet Gilmer County (1-4); and Wahama (5-0) opposes Southern (1-4) in Mason.
One Mountain State school will cross the border as Magnolia (4-1) makes the trip to Woodsfield, Ohio, to hook up with Monroe Central (3-2).
In Washington County, Marietta (1-4) welcomes Cambridge (3-2) to Don Drumm Stadium - the first of three straight East Central Ohio League games for the Tigers on their home turf.
Last week, River View defeated Marietta 19-14 after scoring a touchdown on fourth-and-goal with 1:54 remaining in the game.
"We can't beat ourselves up over what's happened over the first half of the season," Marietta coach Adam Eichhorn said. "The bottom line is, we still have five games left and have a chance to win the ECOL."
Warren (2-3) plays at two-time defending Southeastern Ohio Athletic League champion Jackson (2-3).
"They have lost three games to really good football teams," Warren coach Andy Schob said. "They were also missing their starting quarterback, their best running back and best linebacker for much of those games.
"I would expect them to be at full strength this week and focused to attempt to defend their league title."
Belpre (1-4) is another school celebrating homecoming when it plays Eastern (3-2), which is rated No. 11 in Division VI, Region 23.
Federal Hocking (4-1) also is receiving attention in the Division V, Region 19 ratings at No. 11. The Lancers welcome South Gallia (0-5) to Stewart.
The rest of the schedule for area teams in the Buckeye State has Waterford (1-4) at Trimble (4-1) and Frontier (2-3) at Fort Frye (3-2).