Four area prep football teams will look to go 2-0 Friday night when action kicks off around eastern Ohio.
Harrison Central, Linsly, Martins Ferry and River all posted victories last week. The Huskies held off Wheeling Central, while the Cadets squeaked past Magnolia. The Purple Riders and Pilots scored runaway wins.
On the flip side, four other squads will be seeking that elusive first triumph. They include Barnesville, Beallsville, Bridgeport and Union Local. The Shamrocks were hammered by John Glenn and the Blue Devils were stunned by Conotton Valley. The Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaking loss to St. John Central, while the Jets were grounded by Meadowbrook.
Here's a look at Friday night's contests:
Harrison Central (1-0) at
Weir (0-1), 7 p.m.
At Weirton, Justin Kropka's Huskies are coming off a nail-biter as Wheeling Central threatened to score from a yard out in the waning moments at Wheeling Island Stadium, but Tyler Rose, Harrison Central's standout linebacker, came up with the huge stop of the Knights' C.J. Burch to preserve a 14-7 victory.
Harrison Central's returning all-Ohio tailback Maurtice Hython picked up where he left off last season. The hard-running senior collected 206 yards on two dozen carries against the Maroon Knights. He had a 1-yard touchdown run that made it 13-7. Geoff Pecar converted the PAT.
Senior quarterback Rashaen Mitchell had given the Huskies a 6-0 lead with a 1-yard plunge. Pecar made it 7-0.
"Last year, we lost two close games at the end," Kropka recalled. "We needed a win like that. It should give us a lot of confidence being it came against a good team on their field."
On the other side of the field, the Red Riders had their debut at the new Jimmy Carey Stadium spoiled as Indian Creek scored the first 40 points en route to a 52-12 rout.
Weir yielded more than 400 yards rushing as the Redskins scored on runs of 76, 44, 65, 56, 8, 7 and 3 yards, while also returning a punt 80 yards.
"Weir has got a young team that is learning a new system," Kropka assessed. "They opened up against a good Indian Creek team, and they kind of gift-wrapped some things for them.
"I don't think the score is any indication of how good Weir is," he continued.
Shenandoah (0-1) at Martins Ferry (1-0), 7 p.m.
The Purple Riders will be making their 2012 debut at the Dave Bruney Complex after winning at Heath, 46-21, in Week 1.
Martins Ferry unveiled a high-octane offense it passed for 240 yards and ran for another 150-plus. Quarterbacks Tyler Strama and Eric Flowers, a transfer from Barnesville, enjoyed successful debuts for the Purple.
Strama, a senior who hasn't played football since his freshman season, completed 8 of 13 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns (28 and 14 yds.). He also ran the ball seven times for 44 yards and two more scores (1 and 25).
Flowers was 9-for-11, 143 yards and a six-pointer (9).
On the receiving end of 10 aerials was senior Cody Schau. He finished with 161 yards and all three TDs.
Eight different players carried the ball for Martins Ferry, with Marcus Sutton leading the way with 76 stripes on 20 carries. Brandon Laughman added 10 totes for 67 yards and a touchdown (17).
Meanwhile, the Zeps were getting zapped by Frontier, 20-14, in Sarahsville.
The Cougars, who were winless in 2011, scored two second-half touchdowns to spoil Kaleb Lawrence's debut as Shenandoah head coach.
Tonight will kick off Alumni Weekend activities.
River (1-0) at Newcomerstown (1-0), 7 p.m.
At Newcomerstown, the Pilots rolled past Fort Frye last week at Alumni Field in New Martinsville, their home-away-from-home this season due to construction of a new school in Hannibal.
Senior quarterback Cody Caldwell completed 9 of 20 passes for 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns (58 and 27). Classmate Kam Brown hauled in six of the completions for 166 yards and both scores.
Senior Jordan Sapp picked up 138 yards and scored twice (33 and 27) 0n 14 carries. Nick Asturi added 75 yards and a 1-yard TD run on 10 totes.
"We feel we've got some kids that can do some things when we get the ball in their hands," veteran River head coach Mike Flannery said. "We wanted to play fast last week and we were able to jump out to a quick lead and go on from there.
"We're 0-3 all-time against them," he said of Newcomerstown. "We are definitely not taking them lightly. They've got two strong running backs, so our defense will have its hands full."
The Pilots dropped a 6-0 heartbreaker to the Trojans a year ago in Hannibal.
"In watching that film, we had the ball inside their 20 four or five times," he noted. "We had an interception, a fumble and all kind of crazy stuff happen."
The Trojans posted a convincing, 34-7, rout of visiting Caldwell last week.
Austin Zufelt passed for 181 yards and two touchdowns, including a 92-yard strike to Chandler Shryock. Cody Hall ran 16 times for 163 yards and scored on runs of 34, 4 and 53.
Linsly (1-0) vs. Parkers. South (1-0), 7 p.m.
At Bethany College, the Cadets and Patriots will square off on the Bison Stadium turf.
Linsly is coming off an emotional, 21-20, victory over Magnolia on the Wheeling Island Stadium turf, while Parkersburg South outscored visiting Ripley, 42-28.
The Cadets' Chinelo Oparanozie scored three touchdowns on runs of 33, 25 and 36 yards. He finished with 226 yards on 25 carries. Rainer Whiteside booted all three PATs, the last with 4:57 left to play, as the Cadets rallied from a 20-7 deficit in the fourth quarter.
Meadowbrook (1-0) at Barnesville (0-1), 7 p.m.
At Memorial Stadium, the Shamrocks will make their home debut under first-year head coach Matt Johnson after being shellacked, 49-6, by John Glenn last week at Muskingum University.
The lone bright spot for the Green-and-Red was a 56-yard pass from Colton Pritchard to Jacob Anderson for the only points.
Starting quarterback Isaac McGee was injured early on, as was freshman tailback Dylan Burkhart. According to Johnson, Burkhart will play this week, but McGee is out at least another week.
The Colts opened their season with a 12-0 blanking of union Local on the new turf in Byesville.
Clay Lapp ran for a pair of 2-yard touchdowns.
Toronto (0-1) at Bridgeport (0-1), 7 p.m.
At Bill Jobko Stadium, the Bulldogs are coming off a tough, 14-6, setback to St. John Central on the Wheeling Island Stadium turf.
Bridgeport led 6-0 late in the fourth quarter before a fumble return and an interception return for touchdowns by the Irish turned the tide.
Sophomore quarterback Bailey McGrath passed for 109 yards on 10 of 18. He also ran 11 times for 32 yards, including a huge scamper that set up the lone touchdown, that being a 3-yard run by senior tailback Dallas Fields.
Fields had seven catches for 62 yards.
The Red Knights dropped a 42-13 decision to Wellsville. After pulling to within 14-7 on Blaze Green's 10-yard TD pass to Joey Chadwick. Green later scored on a 5-yard run.
Toronto won last year's meeting, 22-14, at Clarke Hinkel Stadium.
Strasburg (0-1) at Beallsville (0-1), 7:30 p.m.
At Beallsville, each team will be looking to get on track as the the Tigers were blanked by Shadyside, 35-0, and the Blue Devils saw Conotton Valley rally for a 32-14 win.
Beallsville led 14-12 at the half, but couldn't contain the Rockets' high-powered offensive ground attack.
Teryn Jarrett passed for 181 yards and a touchdown. Ricky Tubaugh ran for a score and DJ Lucas caught Jarrett's TD strike.
Morgan (0-1) at Union Local (0-1), 7:30 p.m.
At Morristown, the Jets will be making their 2012 home debut after falling at Meadowbrook, 12-0, last week to run their winless streak to 20 consecutive games.
"We feel this is a winable game for us," Union Local head coach Mark Cisar said. "It's a pretty even matchup."
The Jets were led by Gavin Porter who completed 12 of 30 passes for 94 yards.