WILLIAMSTOWN -The biggest football victory in the history of Williamstown High School came against Madonna.
It took place in the 2008 state championship game, when the Yellowjackets captured their only state football title to date with a resounding 23-7 victory at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Tonight, those two storied small school programs will again meet. Naturally, the stakes once again will be high when the Yellowjackets and Blue Dons battle in a Class A semifinal game at Jimmy Carey Stadium, located at Weir High School, at 7:30 p.m.
The winner will advance to the Class A state championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 7. Madonna, which won the state championship in 2009 and lost the title game in overtime last year, will be looking to make its fourth Super Six appearance in six years.
The Blue Dons enter the game not only with a 12-0 mark, but having been tested just once all season, in a 22-17 win over Steubenville Catholic Central, which qualified for the Ohio playoffs. Among Madonna's wins are a 42-7 thumping of perennial power Wheeling Central and a 48-20 win over Bishop Donahue. Ironically, those are the two teams Williamstown has beaten in the opening rounds of the playoffs.
So the stage is set for perhaps the most anticipated Class A game of the year.
Class A Semifinal Matchups
No. 4 Williamstown at No. 1 Madonna. Game time: 7:30 p.m.
No. 14 Magnolia vs. No. 7 Greenbrier West, at Greenbrier East. Game time: 1:30 p.m.
Williamstown, which had its choice of when to play the game, elected Friday night.
"That's our routine,'' said veteran coach Terry Smith, who has compiled a record of 108-21 as Williamstown's mentor. "That's when we usually play.''
Smith noted both Williamstown and Madonna played Saturday games last week, so there wasn't going to be any advantage no matter what time the Jackets chose.
"Our team is used to traveling and being on the road,'' Smith said. We won't be intimidated.''
Like Madonna -which was featured in Wednesday's edition - Williamstown has a lot of weapons. Start with team leader and senior quarterback Jake Tracewell, who who can run or throw the ball, whatever is necessary to win. Tracewell is a winner, whether it's football or wrestling or baseball.
"He's like having a coach on the field,'' said Smith of his quarterback. "He's a leader. He's started both ways for three years.''
He isn't the only two-way starter who is vital to the Yellowjackets' cause. David Hastings, a standout running back, had a big game last week, as did Dakota Watson and Hunter Neely, who intercepted a second-quarter pass and returned it for a touchdown.
Everyone is familiar with Williamstown's stars. But it takes more than stars to make a football team. Williamstown has a lot of blue-collar unsung heroes. Like tight end and outside linebacker Brandon Root who had a pair of catches and several tackles. Like Josh Myers, Adam Pfeiffer, Cody Smith, Cody Huggins, D.J. Kerns and Logan Lindsey.
That's the great thing about this team. You never know who is going to step up and have a great game.
Williamstown has a tall order tonight. It must beat the undefeated No. 1 team in the state on its home field. But this group of Yellowjackets will give it everything it has got and leave nothing at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
It's Williamstown-Madonna and that means this is a big game.