Spring Valley has doubtlessly elevated its program to another level in recent seasons, finishing as Class AAA state runner-up the last three years with a combined record of 36-6.
One team the Timberwolves haven’t dominated, though, is Hurricane, which has won six of the last nine meetings with Spring Valley. Those two hook up again at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Redskin Stadium in a matchup of 1-0 teams, with the winner perhaps taking an early lead in the Mountain State Athletic Conference standings.
So how is Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor approaching this game with his players?
“We told them if you’re not excited for this one, you’re dead,’’ Taylor said. “You’re playing the three-time state runner-up and it’s definitely a barometer to show you where you stand. We’ve let them know that. We tell them if you want to find out how good you are, this is where you find out. I think our kids will come in ready to play.’’
Spring Valley, which opened with a 38-0 whitewash of county neighbor Wayne, lost a pair of Division I recruits off its offensive line, but still pounded the ball for 277 yards in its first game.
“Yeah, they lost a couple of D-1 kids on the line,’’ Taylor said, “and replaced them with a couple more. They play to their strengths. Coach [Brad] Dingess has been down there for a while, and he knows what he’s doing. We’ve had some pretty good games over the years, and they’re always ready for us and we’re always ready for them.
“Every time we play them, we never go into it thinking we don’t have a chance. I like our chances, but then again I always like our chances. I like our team and our chemistry we have.’’
Taylor, whose team opened with a 55-20 win over Putnam County rival Winfield, said it’s difficult to get a bead on the Wolves since the Skins only have one game video — that coming against Class AA Wayne — to digest.
“I hate to play them this early,’’ Taylor said. “We’ve got to get what to do off [watching] Wayne, and we don’t do what Wayne does. So it’s hard.’’
George Washington (0-1) at Ashland Paul Blazer (Ky.) (2-0): The Patriots, held to 161 total yards in a loss at South Charleston, hit the road to play a Tomcats team that last week earned the 700th win in program history, only the ninth team in Kentucky to hit that mark. Blake Hester and Keontae Pittman have each run for four touchdowns so far for Ashland. GW leads the Tomcats 5-3 in their series, which began in 2011.
Nitro (0-1) at St. Albans (0-1): The Red Dragons have owned the recent Battle of the Bridge rivalry, winning the last six and 11 of the last 12 to bump their series lead to 55-25-2. Last year, Caden McCoy threw for 173 yards and three TDs and Jaimelle Claytor ran for 205 yards and a score as SA prevailed 32-28. Nitro QB Trevor Lowe accounted for 414 yards of total offense and four TDs in a 40-28 loss to Poca last week.
Riverside (1-0) at Huntington (0-0): The debuting Highlanders have taken the last five games in this series, with the Warriors’ most recent victory coming in 2009. Huntington won last year 24-8, holding Riverside to 31 yards on the ground. The Warriors broke loose in last week’s opener, getting three 100-yard rushers and rolling up 497 yards on the ground during a 38-8 win at Woodrow Wilson.
Chapmanville (0-1) at Poca (1-0): Dots junior running back Ethan Payne broke out of the gate with a 295-yard, four-TD effort against Nitro last week, his third career 200-yard game. Jay Cook hit on 7 of 10 passes for 130 yards and two scores to help Poca’s 40-28 victory. The Tigers opened with a 24-8 loss to Sissonville, with QB Chase Berry rushing for 120 yards and throwing for 72 more.
Herbert Hoover (1-0) at Winfield (0-1): The Huskies haven’t beaten the Generals since 2005, losing the last six meetings, but four of those setbacks came by a touchdown or less. Zach Paxton led Hoover’s run game last week, churning out 133 yards and two TDs in a win at Scott. Winfield fell to Class AAA Hurricane 55-20, but QB Nick Vance ran for 111 yards and threw for 132 yards and two TDs.
Sissonville (1-0) at Logan (0-1): The Indians were 0-6 against the Wildcats from 2000-08, but have won the last four meetings, all coming since 2015. Sissonville captured its opener last week 24-8 against Chapmanville, getting 292 yards on the ground, led by Jackson Foster (114), Elijah Thompson (86) and Dylan Griffith (58), while Logan suffered its second-worst loss ever to county rival Man 62-8.
Buffalo (0-1) at Ravenswood (1-0): These two schools haven’t met in football since 1987, but history doesn’t bode well for the Bison. The Red Devils haven’t lost to Buffalo since 1937, winning all 10 games of the series since. Ravenswood ran for 277 yards and three TDs in last week’s 28-14 win versus Wahama, and Buffalo managed just 116 yards on the ground in a 27-0 loss to Greenbrier West.
Parkersburg (1-0) at Cabell Midland (1-0): Two top MSAC teams collide in Ona, with the Knights riding an eight-game win streak in their series against the Big Reds. Midland prevailed last year 40-20.