Et tu, Brute? Yes Redskin fans even our biggest backer Nick Scalia along with ALL the Experts in both Charleston and Huntington newspapers have picked Spring Valley to defeat Hurricane tomorrow. Cmon Nick!
But let's back up and look at this match-up. Spring Valley comes in with Dominated victories over GW and South Charleston, with the only blemish on their season a 14-0 shutout suffered at Huntington. Hurricane has wins over Winfiled, Paitsville Ky., and Woodrow Wilson, while suffering a loss at Cabell Midland. Spring Valley has given up far fewer points all season than the Redskins surrounded at Cabell Midland alone.
One thing is for sure, if you like old school football this may be the game for you. Spring Valley,a 2016 WV AAA Championship game finalist, plays it fairly simple, they are going to run it at you all night long. They have a big talented offensive line, and a stable of backs, including Owen Porter, to play that style of football. "Stop us if you can."
Timberwolves coach Brad Dingess praises the Redskins, "Since Huntington, they are the best rushing team we've seen." he told Metro News. High praise considering the Redskins may have the best receiving duo in the state featuring Dakota Williams and Curon Cordon, and QB Nathan Roy, who has over 600 yards passing and 9 TDS without throwing an INT. Dingess continued "They are a very well coached team on both sides of the ball."
Hurricane Coach Jeremy Taylor had this to say about Spring Valley, "They maybe the best defense we face the entire season. They are the total package, but I think we are prepared."
In last year's contest vs. Spring Valley, Hurricane had it's poorest offensive performanceof the season and never really threatened to score, gaining only 3 first downs. However the defense kept the Redskins close, and Hurricane only trailed 10-0 at halftime before succumbing 36-0.
But that was on the mud field....,I mean "grass field", at Spring Valley. A poor excuse of a playing surface that has seen the Timberwolves shut down high powered offenses such as Capital, GW, and South Charleston over the last 2 seasons.
Tomorrow's game with be on the pristine surface of Redskin Stadium, a fact that will help Hurricane. Additionally, the Skins have not played at home since their opening win against Winfield over a month ago. Playing in front of the home crowd will be another feather in the Redskins cap.
However at the end of the day Hurricane's Defensive Coordinator Jason Pratt knows that his defense must come to play and play tough. "They have tough ass kids who like to be physical, and will challenge us every play for 70 plays. They believe that you cant stop them all night. So far they have been right. We need to force them to drive a long field and give our offense a short one."
Hurricane's leading tackles, J.T. Cooper (45), Payton Lundsford (45) and Cameron Kimble (42) must all have big games. Pratt agrees, "they have to be physical, get everyone to the football and be great tacklers. Causing a turnover or two is also a must."
While Hurricane's passing attack has gotten some statewide attention, somehow RB Christian Hill has flown somewhat under the radar. Hill has run over, around, and through defenses to amass 639 yards on an incredible 111 carries in only 4 games. The Redskins have proven to be a balanced offense (over 600 yards rushing and passing) and have run the ball well against each opponent, with Hill topping 200 yards against not only Woodrow Wilson but also Cabell Midland.
The History of the Series:
The teams have split 12 meetings, with Hurricane topping Spring Valley 5 of the last 7 times the two schools have played. The last time the teams met at Hurricane, the Skins prevailed with an exciting 43-42 victory, when they stopped the Timberwolves on a 2 point attempt with no time left. That victory enabled the Redskins to make the 2014 playoffs.
This Homecoming contest will not only be on WCHS-Am 580 radio but will also have television coverage from WCHS/Fox 11 on channel 11.2 and Suddenlink channel 125.
As mentioned, although this is a battle of 2 AAA Top Ten teams the home team is getting no love around the state to pull off the victory. I think that is disrespecting Hurricane. The Redskins have 3 Skill position players on offense who certainly have earned early season ALL State consideration. They have a defense built to stop the run with inside linebackers also All-State worthy. They are playing at home, on a surface conducive to stopping Spring Valley's style of choice. They have had 2 weeks to prepare for this Homecoming game, their first home game in 5 weeks!!!!!!
McCutchen hits a late Field Goal sending the home town fans into a frenzy........24-21 Hurricane!!!!!
(Nick we will welcome you back on the bandwagon next week)!