This Week#039;s Matchups

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

Fairland at Coal Grove

Do opposites attract?

The Fairland Dragons (1-5, 0-1) and Coal Grove Hornets (5-1, 1-0) will attempt to answer that question in this Ohio Valley Conference game.

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Fairland relies almost virtually on the pass while Coal Grove rarely throws, preferring to use tailback Justin Hyland an average of 35 rushes a game. Hyland has 212 carries for 1,234 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Conversely, Fairland quarterback Rich Staggs has completed 100 of 171 attempts for 1,105 yards. He has eight TD passes but 12 interceptions.

Staggs' main target is Sam Huff with 36 receptions for 481 yards.

South Point at Chesapeake

Speaking of passing, both these OVC teams can and will take to the air if needed.

In the case of South Point, the need is on most downs. Quarterback Chris Smith is 54 of 122 for 635 yards. He has eight scoring tosses and seven interceptions.

But the Pointers (3-3, 0-1) will be without wide receiver Jerrell Dean who may be lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

Chesapeake (3-3, 1-0) uses a more balanced offense but quarterback Caleb McComas is at the focal point, whether running or passing.

McComas has rushed 40 times for 265 yards and is 30 of 75 passing for 393 yards. His main target is Jeffrey Thornburg with 12 catches for 199 yards and five TDs.

Panthers fullback Kersten Harris has 69 carries for 446 yards.

River Valley at Rock Hill

Two teams headed in opposite directions.

Rock Hill is 5-1 and River Valley is 1-5, but Redmen coach Todd Knipp knows he can't let his team look ahead to next week's game at Fairland, traditionally a very tough game for Rock Hill.

With leading rusher Chris Edwards injured, quarterback Bryan Morrow has become the main weapon on offense.

Morrow, who missed two games, is 28 of 59 for 359 yards and a touchdown. Michael Cordell is the leading receiver with 18 catches for 276 yards and a score.

The Redmen rely on the alphabet backfield tandem of K.C. Christian and T.J. Blagg. Christian has 108 carries for 898 yards and 10 touchdowns. Blagg has 83 carries for 407 yards and five TDs.

Portsmouth Notre Dame at Green

Notre Dame (2-4, 1-1) has shown more offensive firepower due to the passing of quarterback Matt Mader (6-0, 210).

The key receivers are Ben Haaf (6-0, 190) and Eric Gulley (6-2, 160).

Mader and Haaf hooked up on a desperation pass last year to beat the Bobcats (3-3, 0-2) on the final play of the game.

Green counters with the running of fullback Mark Castro (5-11, 235) and running back Dustin Williams (5-11, 165.

&#8221We've got to keep the ball out of Mader's hands and take time off the clock with our offense. We can't let them have the big play,“ Green coach Kevin Sheridan said.

Ironton at Portsmouth West

Talk about mirror images.

Both the Ironton Fighting Tigers and Portsmouth West Senators at 5-1, both have big offensive lines, both feature a standout running back and both wear orange and black uniforms.

Ironton has running back Darius Lewis running behind linemen such as Michael Phillips (6-0, 260), John Pemberton (6-2, 280), Jesse Carmon (6-4, 270), Bruce Roach (5-10, 220) and Chad Carty (6-0, 200).

West counters with single setback Jerrod Pendleton and linemen Matt Baker (6-6, 250), Chaz Horsley (6-3, 200, Michael Whitman (6-2, 225), Zach Lafontains 6-1, 245) and Brad Book (6-3, 280).

The team that wins will secure a lot of computer points and a virtual lock on a postseason playoff berth.