Some early-season winning streaks will be on the line this weekend as the high school football season enters week four.
Shadyside (3-0) will look to remain unbeaten when it welcomes Shenandoah (0-3) to Fleming Field Friday night, while surging Beallsville (2-1) continues its season-opening road trip in search of its third straight victory with a jaunt to Dragon Field in Cameron (1-2), and Monroe Central seeks its second consecutive triumph when it visits Caldwell (2-1) at the Noble County Fairgrounds.
In other games Friday, Bridgeport (1-2) will be looking to snap a two-game losing skid when it travels south on Ohio 7 to Beaverton where Frontier awaits; Buckeye Trail (1-2) hosts Barnesville (0-3) at the Baker Activity Center in Old Washington; and Buckeye Local (0-3) heads north to Wintersville to tangle with Buckeye 8 rival Indian Creek (3-0) at Kettlewell Memorial Stadium.
All games have 7 p.m. kickoffs, with the exception of the Beallsville-Cameron game which starts at 7:30.
On Saturday, St. John Central (0-3) hosts Bishop Donahue (2-1) at the Irish Youth Sports Complex in south Bellaire at noon. Wheeling Central (2-1) and Linsly (2-1) clash on the turf at Wheeling Island Stadium at 7 p.m.
Shenandoah at Shadyside
The Tigers are ranked No. 3 in Division VII in the initial Associated Press poll released Tuesday.
The Orange-and-Black has looked impressive in defeating Meadowbrook, Monroe Central and Bellaire.
"Meadowbrook gave us all we could handle and Shenandoah played them tough last week," Shadyside head coach Mark Holenka said. "We can't take them lightly."
The Zeps have also lost to Frontier and Newcomerstown.
Shadyside will be without the services of senior tailback Chris Littell who suffered a broken hand in the big win over Bellaire last Saturday at jam-packed Nelson Field. He accounted for three touchdowns in the contest.
The Tigers ran for 420 yards and six touchdowns on 55 carries. Juniors Austin Dorris (QB) and Eric Howell (TB) ran for more than 160 yards each and scored two TDs behind an impressive performance from the offensive line.
"We'll work on being more balanced," Holenka said after watching his team throw just three passes last week, with one going for six points. "We did what we did last week to run the clock."
Beallsville at Cameron
The Blue Devils are believing in themselves right now.
After being totally dismantled by a very, very good Madonna team in the opener, Paul Kanzigg's squad has turned in back-to-back outstanding outings on the road against Strasburg and Paden City.
"The kids' attitudes stayed good following the Madonna game," Kanzigg admitted. "We went to Strasburg and told the kids that that game (Madonna) was behind us and that we wouldn't play a team that good the remainder of the season.
"We've got a couple of tough games with Shadyside and Bishop Donahue left, but all of the games are tough," he added. "We've just been able to play aggressive on defense and our young quarterback has played solidly the last two games."
He was referring to sophomore Chase Mercer who has directed the Blue Devils to impressive road victories.
The defense has been led by senior tackle Dalton Secrest.
"He has really stepped up his game this season," Kanzigg said of his talented two-way performer, who also holds down an offensive guard slot.
The Dragons are led by 6-8 quarterback Logan Routt.
Monroe Central at Caldwell
The Seminoles are fresh off a 47-0 drubbing of county rival River last Friday on Flannery Field in Hannibal.
Monroe Central was able to run the ball seemingly at will against the outmanned Pilots. Senior tailback Levi Brown went for nearly 150 yards and scored four touchdowns. Classmate Curtis Nixon has been effective on the ground and through the air since his switch to quarterback in week two.
The defense is led by senior linebacker Mike Jones. Classmate Cordell Gauding is also a top defender. Marshall Mozena and Justin Kilburn had their names called a lot last week.
Bridgeport at Frontier
The Bulldogs haven't tasted victory since rallying past visiting Columbiana in week one at Bill Jobko Stadium. They've dropped back-to-back decisions to Toronto and Caldwell.
Junior quarterback Bailey McGrath has been the Bulldogs most consistent player on offense with the absence of junior QJ Williams, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury sustained late in the opener.
Colt Charlton has been McGrath's favorite target, while Jacob Ray has shown flashes. Patrick Britton leads the defense.
Barnesville at Buckeye Trail
The Shamrocks are finding the going rough to date as injuries has derailed the offense and the defense has given up huge chunks of yardage.
Austin Hannahs returned from a knee injury in week two against Meadowbrook to run for a touchdown last week against Union Local.
Dylan Burkhart ran a kickoff back 90 yards.
The Warriors' Travis Pontius broke loose for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 44 carries last week against Frontier.
Buckeye Local at Indian Creek
The Panthers have struggled on both sides of the ball so far, while the Redskins have routed two of their first three opponents.
Buckeye Local has been able to muster almost no offense as the running game hasn't produced and the passing game has been lackluster.
Chase Hopkins threw a touchdown pass last week.
Bishop Donahue at St. John Central
The Irish have played tough in all three setbacks, but can't seem to get over the hump.
Dario Paolina returned from an injury to throw a pair of TD passes to Devon Hennessey last week.
Linsly at Wheeling Central
This is a matchup between two teams coming off disappointing losses last weekend to rivals.
The Cadets dropped a tough 28-21 decision to Martins Ferry, while the Maroon Knights were throttled by Weirton Madonna, 42-7.
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