PARKERSBURG - Only one high school football game next weekend will involve teams from Wood County.
It will take place at Williamstown where Parkersburg Catholic and Williamstown will play what amounts to a playoff elimination game as both squads enter the contest with four losses and neither can afford another.
Meanwhile, both of Wood County's Class AAA schools -Parkersburg South and Parkersburg High -elected to take the same week off. Both the Patriots and Big Reds will get an opportunity to heal some of their many injuries before playing their final two games of the regular season. Parkersburg High needs to win both its remaining games - South Charleston at home and at George Washington -in order to make the playoffs. South, with three losses in its first eight games, will make the playoffs if it wins its final two contests, both at the Erickson All-Sports Facility, where Wheeling Park and John Marshall will provide the opposition. It is possible South could lose one of those two contests and still make the playoffs, but if that scenario plays out, the Patriots would earn one of the last playoff spots and be sent on the road to play the likes of Cabell Midland or Marrtinsburg.
Several other area games have playoff implications:
At Elizabeth, Wirt County can get its sixth win and virtually clinch a playoff berth if it defeats neighboring Calhoun County in a Little Kanawha Conference contest.
That isn't the only important LKC game. St. Marys, with six wins and three games to play, can solidify its playoff position with each remaining win. The Blue Devils travel to Lost Creek on Friday to meet South Harrison.
Friday (7:30 p.m. unless noted)
Parkersburg Catholic (4-4) at Williamstown (3-4)
Calhoun County (2-6) at Wirt County (5-2)
Ritchie County (5-2) at Tyler Consolidated (2-5), 7 p.m.
Miller (1-7) at Belpre (2-6)
Marietta (1-7) at Dover (6-2)
Paden City (1-7) at Beallsville (3-5)
St. Marys (6-1) at South Harrison (3-4)
Eastern (5-3) at Federal Hocking (6-2)
Shenandoah (0-8) at Fort Frye (6-2), 7 p.m.
Doddridge County (5-3) at Valley Wetzel (1-7)
Herbert Hoover (1-7) at Roane County (4-3)
Warren (2-6) at Portsmouth (1-7)
South Charleston (5-3) at Ripley (3-5)
Ravenswood (2-5) at Clay County (3-4)
Wheeling Central (5-3) at Caldwell (1-7), Saturday
Waterford (2-6) at South Gallia (0-8)
Barnesville (4-4) at Magnolia (6-1)
Monroe Central (5-3) at Frontier (4-4), 7 p.m.
Also hitting the road is Ritchie County, which virtually can clinch a Class AA playoff berth with a win at Tyler Consolidated.
In a non-conference game, Doddridge County is in a must-win situation at one-win Valley Wetzel. The Bulldogs must win their final two games, including beating St. Marys in the season finale. Another non-conference game will take place at Spencer, where Roane County faces a must-win game against visiting Herbert Hoover, which has just one win.
The only other LKC game will take place at Clay County, where the Panthers will need to beat Ravenswood to keep alive their playoff hopes.. The Red Devils were eliminated from playoff contention with their Friday loss to Class AAA Point Pleasant.
Neither Jackson County team will make the playoffs as Ripley also has five losses. The Vikings will entertain South Charleston on Friday in a Mountain State Athletic Conference contest.
In games involving West Virginia-Ohio matchups, Magnolia, which is striving to lock-up home field advantage during the playoffs, will entertain Barnesville, while Wheeling Central, another Class A power, will visit Caldwell on Saturday. Paden City will visit Beallsville.
In Ohio, the biggest game involving two area teams will take place at Stewart where Federal Hocking and Eastern, both trying to make the playoffs, will play what amounts to a must-win game for both teams.
Other Ohio contests will see Belpre entertain Miller, Fort Frye host winless Shenandoah and Waterford travel to South Gallia. Marietta travels to perennial power Dover, Warren visits one-win Portsmouth and Frontier Local entertains Monroe Central.