Something will have to give Friday night at Shamrock Stadium in Barnesville as a pair of surprising teams riding modest two-game winning streaks collide.
Barnesville and Buckeye Trail will look to continue their winning ways as the high school football season enters the fourth week of action.
The Shamrocks (2-1) were shellacked in the opening week by John Glenn, but have won back-to-back contests against rivals Meadowbrook and Union Local.
Meanwhile, the Warriors (2-1) were shell-shocked by Ridgewood in Week 1, but have rebounded to defeat Caldwell and Frontier.
"Honestly, we've been playing teams that we can compete with," first-year Barnesville head coach Matt Johnson allowed. "The kids' attitudes have gotten a lot better after that first week, and getting them game-time experience has also helped."
Dale Broomhall, Buckeye Trail's rookie head coach, echoed Johnson's thoughts.
"It took a little time for the kids to gain confidence in our systems, both offensively and defensively," he said. "But once we got that first 'W,' the kids' confidence really started to come around.
"They've learned a lot over the past couple of weeks."
Both teams will have different quarterbacks under center from Week 1, as senior Kyle Yaquinta has taken over for the injured Isaac McGee at Barnesville.
"Offensively, we're getting better," Johnson admitted. "Kyle and Colton (Pritchard) have really come around for us, and our offensive line is getting better with each week."
Yaquinta, in two games, has completed 18 of 35 attempts or 243 yards and a pair of scores. He has thrown one interception. Pritchard picked up 110 yards and two touchdowns on 14 totes last week against Union Local.
Buckeye Trail junior Morgan Dougherty got his first start last week at Frontier, replacing Jeffrey Simmons.
"We had some issues in the first game and we made some changes," Broomhall explained. "Morgan had some pretty good passing numbers last week, but that doesn't mean Jeffrey won't see action at quarterback. We'll use the two quarterback system if we have to."
Dougherty was 8-for-15 for 159 yards. He has thrown for three touchdowns while being picked off once.
Defensively, both teams are making strides, which pleases both head coaches.
"We caused a couple of turnovers against Union Local by being aggressive," Johnson noted. "That's what we have to do. We have to be aggressive and always in attack mode."
Broomhall said, "Our defense has really been playing well that last two games. Our 5-3 has clicked and we've been pretty physical.
"I live in Barnesville, so I've heard all summer about how bad they were going to be," Broomhall added. "They're doing some good things and Matt has done a great job with the kids."
Barnesville is listed in the number 10 spot in Division V, Region 17. Buckeye Trail is 16th.
Shadyside at Shenandoah, 7 p.m.
At Sarahsville, the unbeaten Tigers are ranked 10th in the initial Division VI Associated Press poll and will be looking to move up against the winless Zeps (0-3).
Shadyside, which is in fourth place in the Division VI, Region 21 standings, has been workmanlike in its three blowout victories, having dispatched Strasburg (35-0), Monroe Central (35-7) and Toronto (54-13).
Senior quarterback Chase Kinemond has put up some pretty impressive numbers thus far, despite only playing portions of the three games. He has connected on 19 of 29 passes for 298 yards and half-a-dozen six-pointers. On the ground, he has collected 95 yards and a TD on just 10 carries.
His prime targets are classmate Cody Hudson (9 catches, 114 yds., 4TDs) and sophomore Austin Dorris (8-150-2). Junior Chris Littell is the leading rusher with 145 yards and two scores on 14 totes. Senior Brooks Ramsey, who ran for nearly 1,500 yards last season, has 117 stripes on 20 carries in limited action.
Beallsville, 7 p.m.
At Beallsville, the Blue Devils will be seeking the first win for head coach Paul Kanzigg.
However, Beallsville has been bitten by the injury bug as both starting running backs are sidelined for this week. Senior Ricky Tubaugh sustained a throat injury against Bishop Donahue and was hospitalized until Sunday, according to Kanzigg. Also missing this week is junior DJ Lucas.
Senior Gage Steele will fill Tubaugh's spot at tailback, while freshman Chase Mercer will take over for Lucas at the two back position.
Kanzigg is hopeful that senior Kyle Groves and sophomore Tristan Palmer will be ready to go on the offensive line.
"We're just trying to patch the lineup," Kanzigg said. "In a small school like this, when you get one or two kids hurt it can be devastating, but when you get three or four hurt, it's really bad."
Caldwell at Monroe Central, 7 p.m.
At Woodsfield, the Seminoles, who are 12th in Division V, Region 17, got back on track last week, thanks to a powerful running game, in a rout of previously unbeaten River, 50-26.
Senior quarterback Korey Lafferre had the game of his career as he ran 17 times for 259 yards and five touchdowns. He scored on runs of 56, 12, 52, 15 and 72 yards. Three of the scores came in a 35-point third quarter. He also tossed a 73-yard scoring strike to Cameron Jorris.
Sophomore Levi Brown added 96 stripes on 16 carries and a TD.
Defensively, Jake Schuerman, Dylan Shapley, Josh Guiler, Derek Stephens, Mike Jones and Eric Ward all enjoyed good performances against the Pilots.
The Redskins have lost to Newcomerstown, Buckeye Trail and Harrison Central.
Bridgeport, 7 p.m.
At Bill Jobko Stadium, the Bulldogs return home after suffering a heartbreaking, 26-21, loss at Conotton Valley Saturday.
Senior tailback Dallas Fields leads Bridgeport with 253 infantry yards and two touchdowns. He has also latched on to 11 passes for 88 yards and two more TDs.
Sophomore quarterback Bailey McGrath continues to make strides. He is 20 of 36 for 195 yards and two scores.
Magnolia vs. River, 7 p.m.
At New Martinsville, the Pilots were thumped last week by Monroe Central, while the Blue Eagles were beating Tyler Consolidated.
Despite the setback, River is ranked No. 5 in Division VI, Region 23.
Tailback Nick Asturi continues to have an outstanding season as he has gained 412 yards and scored seven touchdowns. Backfield mate Jordan Sapp has picked up 243 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Quarterback Cody Caldwell, despite struggling last week, has passed for 505 yards and four TDs on 25 of 56. Kameron Brown has been his prime target with 14 catches for 353 yards and all four scores via the air.
Edison at Union Local, 7 p.m.
At Morristown, the Jets finally dented their side of the scoreboard last week, but failed to win for the 22nd consecutive week.
Junior tailback Eric Dunfee enjoyed a good game last week when he ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on two dozen carries. He has 160 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Gavin Porter has completed 32 of 71 passes for 277 yards, but has been picked off four times.
Freshman Kaleb McDiffitt has been a pleasant surprise with a team-high 10 receptions for 101 yards.