Week seven of the high school football season is upon us and six games featuring Eastern Ohio teams will kickoff Friday night.
Those contests included St. Clairsville (6-0) traveling to Edison (1-5); River (3-3) hosting Bridgeport (1-5); Monroe Central (3-3) trekking to Shenandoah (0-6); Beallsville (1-5) heading north to Toronto (2-4); St. John Central (2-4) boarding the bus to Valley (1-5); and Buckeye Trail (4-2) welcoming Fort Frye (4-2).
Games already previewed in X's and O's were Buckeye 8 battles between Indian Creek and Martins Ferry; Buckeye Local and Union Local; and Bellaire and Harrison Central, as well as Wheeling Central and Shadyside.
St. Clairsville vs. Edison, 7:30 p.m.
At Richmond, the state-ranked Red Devils will look for their seventh straight win against the host Wildcats at Cartwright Field.
St. Clairsville is averaging just a tad under 50 points per outing, while yielding 15.5. The Red Devils have not been tested since the first half of the season opener against Wheeling Park.
"We're going up there with our heads on straight because we know what happened two years ago," St. Clairsville head coach Brett McLean recalled. "We got beat.
"This is the Buckeye 8 and you can't sleep any week. You've got to be ready each and every weekend."
St. Clairsville has relied on the running of junior tailback Jaylon Brown, the passing of senior Matt Kinnick and a tenacious, ball-hawking defense.
"We've still got some things to work on," McLean said of his offense. "I would like to see us go up there and perform the way we have, but we also need the time on the field to execute better."
Brown has picked up 768 yards and scored 15 touchdowns on 83 carries. He has 473 yards in the last two weeks after gaining just 70 in weeks three and four. Kinnick is 54 of 84 for 1,041 yards and 14 touchdowns.
He threw his first pick last week. Dan Monteroso had 22 catches for 452 yards and seven TDs.
The defense is led by seniors Corey Ernest, Jay Gossett and Derek Shunk, along with juniors Colby Lindsay and Michael Ferns who anchor the front seven.
Jerrid Marhefka is the lock-down defender in the secondary.
St. Clairsville held down the top spot in Division IV, Region 15. It also leads the OVAC Class 4-A.
Edison has defeated Weir, while losing to Oak Glen, Carrollton, Union Local, Buckeye Local and Harrison Central.
Bridgeport vs. River, 7 p.m.
At New Martinsville, the Bulldogs and Pilots will meet on Alumni Field as River endures construction of the new high school across the Ohio River in Hannibal.
Mike Flannery's Pilots are still in the playoff hunt among Division VI, Region 23 squads, holding down the eighth - and final - spot.
River is paced by the two-headed running attack of Nick Asturi and Jordan Sapp. Asturi has picked up 562 yards and scored 10 touchdowns, while Sapp has added 395 stripes and a trio of six-pointers.
Bridgeport has fallen upon some tough times over the past two weeks as the Bulldogs have yielded 102 points in back-to-back blowout losses to Buckeye Trail and Weirton Madonna.
Senior tailback Dallas Fields leads Bridgeport with 529 yards on the ground.
Monroe Central vs. Shenandoah, 7 p.m.
At Sarahsville, the Seminoles will be looking to snap a two-game losing skid in which they've been outscored 62-15.
Injuries have taken a toll for Jay Circosta's squad, both before and during the season.
Senior quarterback Korey Lafferre has played a little dinged up, but has accounted for 520 yards on the ground and 467 through the air.
The Zeps have lost to Frontier, Martins Ferry, Meadowbrook, Shadyside, Barnesville and Buckeye Trail.
Beallsville vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
At Clarke Hinkle Field, the Blue Devils will be seeking a turn of events as they dropped a 40-14 output to Shadyside last week, while the Red Knights halted a losing streak with a come-from-behind win against St. John Central.
Senior Teryn Jarrett continues to light up the airways, passing for 1,575 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has, however, thrown seven picks.
Senior Ricky Tubaugh (32 catches, 423 yds.) and sophomore Mikey Palmer (31-322) are the leading targets. Senior Gage Steele has 22 catches for 451 stripes.
Toronto relies on the running of the Glenn brothers - Chez and Blaze. Blaze is also the quarterback.
Joey Chadwick returned a pair of interceptions for touchdowns against the Irish.
St. John Central vs. Valley, 7:30 p.m.
At Pine Grove, W.Va., the Irish have lost three straight after beating Paden City.
St. John Central led 28-21 early in the fourth quarter against Toronto, but fell apart after that is losing 48-28.
Senior quarterback D.J. Shoemaker passed for 166 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half. Dario Paolina caught an 80-yard touchdown pass, while Alex Francis snagged a pair of six-point tosses.
The Lumberjacks have beaten Hundred, while losing to Weirton Madonna, Cameron, Notre Dame, Toronto and Clay-Battelle.
Fort Frye vs. Buckeye Trail, 7 p.m.
At Old Washington, the Cadets and Warriors are meeting with first place at stake in the Pioneer Valley Conference.
Fort Frye has won two straight since losing at Weirton Madonna (49-6). The Cadets blanked Monroe Central and rolled past Frontier. They've also beaten Belpre and Waterford, while falling to River.
Dale Broomhall's Warriors have been a pleasant surprise as they have sandwiched four wins around a 21-14 loss at Barnesville. They've beaten Caldwell, Frontier, Bridgeport and Shenandoah, while dropping the season opener to Ridgewood.
Tyler Nealey has been a two-way stalwart for Buckeye Trail.