By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
East Fairmont, Fairmont Senior and North Marion are carrying momentum from last week’s wins into the home stretch.
East will host Philip Barbour at East-West Stadium, while Fairmont Senior will host Lincoln at Duvall-Rosier Field, and North will travel to play Grafton. All game times are slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
East Fairmont, which pulled out a 28-27 nail-biter last week over Grafton, is looking to keep its success alive against Philip Barbour.
The game itself was slated to feature a battle for top bragging rights within the receiving department between Scotty Shroyer and Al Johnson of Philip Barbour. But the Colts will be without their top receiver in Friday night’s action due to a one-game suspension.
“Without him, we’ll just have to stop their run game,” Shroyer said.
Johnson has 46 receptions, four behind Shroyer’s 50. The Colts’ next leading receiver is Elijah Matlick, who has 14 catches.
Last week the Bees went back to their original offense, and it seemed to work for them down the stretch.
“We just like to spread the field,” Shroyer said. “If we can do that, we can get the run game going strong.”
With a win over the Colts, the Bees could pick up momentum going into their final game of the season, which is against Fairmont Senior.
“It’d be real big to carry momentum into the Fairmont Senior game. We think we can hang with them,” Shroyer said.
Fairmont Senior, which rolled past Buckhannon-Upshur last week, will welcome in one of the top offenses in the Big 10 Conference in Lincoln.
Coach J.L. Abbott knows that the Cougars will be focused coming in, and his boys are prepared for a battle.
“We figure they’re going to come in focused and give us their best,” he said. “This may be the best game they have all season.”
The Cougars’ leaders, quarterback Jared Kellar, running back Ty Seibel and receiver Dillon O’Dell, have been near the top in each statistical category all season.
Abbott believes that Lincoln’s high-powered offense is a lot like his Polar Bears’ offense.
“Offensively, they look a lot like us,” he said. “They run zone, belly, all the same formations we do. Their offense is centered around the same thing.”
For the Polar Bears, their offense will change in one respect, with that being the loss of running back Noah Harmon.
Abbott still believes his team will pick up where they left last week.
“Our kids know we have to move on,” Abbott said of the loss of Harmon. “Our kids are going to pick up the slack.”
North Marion, which is coming off an impressive 23-14 victory over Lincoln, is looking to end the 2013 season on a high note.
All-purpose player Chase Banker believes that the Huskies can do just that.
“Last season we ended with two straight wins,” he said. “We’re trying to do that this year.”
To do that, the Huskies will have to go through Grafton.
Last week against East Fairmont, Grafton moved tight end Tyler Keener to running back. Keener stands 6-foot tall and weighs 202 pounds; a tough task for tacklers.
Banker doesn’t see a problem with that, though.
“We played RCB and they have a big back that gave us some trouble,” he said. “We’ll just have to adjust.”
North Marion, offensively, will stick to its game plan as it has all season and will continue to pound the ball on the ground.
“Ryan (Elliott) and (Austin) Stanley run hard,” Banker said. “If we get them going we can try some play-action and go over the top a few times.”
If the Huskies win, it’ll bring their season to a close with a 3-7 record. Banker says the Huskies are ready.
“We’re hungry for a win.”
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.