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Coal Grove, Chesapeake face key OVC matchup

It might not be a “must win” game, but it could be a “you’d be better off it you did” game.

Both the Chesapeake Panthers and Coal Grove Hornets head into Friday’s game at Patterson Field 1-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

With four games left to play including Friday’s game, Panthers coach Phil Davis and Hornets coach Dave Lucas are placing any extra importance on their annual battle for “The Little Brown Jub.”

“All the games are the same. At this point in the season, every game is important,” Lucas said.

Davis said the league is too balanced to worry about a loss.

“Obviously, if you win it’s a great big boost. But if you lose, the door’s not slammed shut,” Davis said.

“If you want to have a good chance, you need to win this one. But with the way the league is, I’m not sure anyone will go through the league without a loss.

In order to have a chance to win, each team must do something to stop the opponent’s offense.

Coal Grove (4-2) will focus on Chesapeake running backs Kersten Harris and Mike Stapelton and quarterback Aaron Donohoe.

The Panthers (2-4) will direct their attention to the Hornets ground game of Trent Blankenship and Matt Cooper.

“Stapleton worries us and their fullback is a good football player. Their quarterback is a pretty good runner, too,” Lucas said.

“They try to use their speed. That’s been their strength. We can’t give them any big plays. If they make some big plays, we’ll have a tough time.”

Davis it concerned about the Hornets ability to control the line of scrimmage and use time consuming drives to limit opponents’ opportunities.

“They’re very patient. They keep coming at you. It’ll be a great test for us to see if we can stay in there,” Davis said.

Chesapeake won last year’s meeting 15-12.