By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
North Marion had the toughest schedule in the county within the first three weeks of the high school football season.
The Huskies squared off against the likes of Frankfort, Fairmont Senior and Bridgeport, with the latter two teams being ranked among the best in the state in AA play.
Unfortunately, the Huskies are coming into Week 4 with an 0-3 record.
But it only takes one win to get back on track.
This week, with Buckhannon-Upshur coming to town, coach Daran Hays and the Huskies will be looking to put their first three weeks behind them and finish strong.
North Marion’s offense has had to switch things around with no timetable on quarterback Drew Harker’s return, but with a freshman quarterback in Kyle Elliott, the Huskies could be in business.
With Elliott at the reins, it gives Chase Banker, who has seen a good bit of snaps at quarterback in Harker’s absence, a chance to go back to wide receiver, his original position.
Hays has said numerous times he doesn’t want to put the team on Elliott’s 14-year-old back, but if he can get the ball to his playmakers, that could set the Huskies up to move toward the win column.
East Fairmont has a chance to knock off one of the up-and-coming teams this week in Lincoln.
Lincoln sits just outside the Top 10 rankings, and a win for East Fairmont will surely get rid of the sour taste of last week’s defeat.
Coach Bill Haddox is teaching his team to focus on the basics of football going into their third game of the season.
You might be thinking, “Aren’t they supposed to know the basics by this point?”
While that could be true, the basics aren’t as basic as you might think.
The Bees opened the week of practice by not focusing on their opponent, but by figuring out their own strengths and how to capitalize on them.
East Fairmont is working with a new 6-foot-5 target on the outside, who can catch pretty well but needs to work on a few things. With the passing game opened up, East Fairmont will be able to use its speed guys and play to its strengths at quarterback.
Between Jake Delaney and Sam Swiger, East could have the option of run or pass at any time.
But Swiger will start to prove that he isn’t just a passer, but an athlete.
Fairmont Senior, who sits in the No. 3 slot of the rankings in class AA, is sitting pretty in the polls.
But they could be sitting prettier after Week 4.
Though they’re off, there’s a big matchup one position higher.
Bridgeport, who sits at No. 2, will be taking on Robert C. Byrd. Byrd, who Fairmont Senior already beat, could knock off one of the top teams in the state, paving the way for the Polar Bears to gain ground during their week off.
Fairmont Senior’s offense has proven through their first three games that they have big-play ability and can hurt teams with both the run and the pass.
As the season grows, Fairmont Senior has a chance to keep rising. They’ll continue that mission against Elkins on Sept. 27.
Email Matt Welch at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.