By Dave Morrison
It’s not the Battle for the Bridge as we knew it.
Maybe it’s just the Battle for the Bridge in name only.
And maybe it will only last as long as the contract is signed.
For tonight, though, the Battle for the Bridge will be in familiar territory, but with a little bit of a different foe.
Midland Trail hosts Oak Hill, and the game has taken on the old moniker of the annual tilt that pitted Midland Trail against Fayetteville. It was one if the area;s most fierce, but now that Fayetteville (and Valley) have been absorbed into Oak Hill, the game ages on a different look.
Oak Hill and Trail have met the last two years, with Trail winning both contests. But the two really have no past history, despite being separated by about 15 miles on Route 19.
For years Oak Hill was a Class AAA squad, and, when the new count comes out, could well be AAA again. That makes scheduling a series likely won’t happen.
But, as Seger sang, “We’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?”
The Patriots are coming off a 26-24 win over Independence.
Colton Yoder followed the Great Wall of Hico to an area best 225 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, he scored all 26 of his team’s points in the third quarter.
Things did not go well for Oak Hill in a 41-7 loss to Nicholas County.
Oak Hill quarterback Cade Maynor threw for 131 yards (12 of 19) and 68-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Hall.
Nicholas County (1-0) at Shady Spring (1-0)
A battle of two outstanding defenses, both of whom made the playoffs last season.
Last week Shady Spring shut out Lincoln County 31-0.
The defense had six interceptions, led by three by Jadon Hershberger and another returned for a touchdown by Isaiah Valentine.
Nicholas County, likewise, features a stingy defense led by Colton Groves who had seven tackles, two sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss against Oak Hill.
The Grizzlies might have found a way to replace Jacob O’Dell, a back who rushed for over 1,500 yards and 30 towchdowns last season.
New quarterback Timmy Baker had 154 yards rushing, Just Hill had 101 and Zach O’Dell 100.
Nicholas County edged Shady Spring 26-24 last season.
Greenbrier East (1-0) at Woodrow Wilson
These two are ancient adversaries.
Greenbrier East beat James Monroe 26-14 last week, and one of the stories emerging from that was freshman Monquelle Davis, who completed his only two passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns, both to Kyle King.
Marion Lawson, a long-time contributor in the backfield, finally has taken over the starring role and rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Woodrow lost to Riverside 38-8.
Maddex McMillian threw a touchdown pass in his first start last week.
Bluefield (1-0) at Princeton (0-0)
A Mercer County rivalry, Bluefield took care of another rival last week, beating Graham, Va. 41-27.
J.J. Davis led the way rushing for 208 yards on 11 carries.
Carson Deeb won the QB job out of camp and completed 11 of 17 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns.
Princeton had the rare opening-week bye.
The Tigers return 2,000 yard passer Ranson Graham and receiver Ethan Parsons to what was a lethal passing attack last year and will again this season.
Greenbrier West (1-0) at Summers County (1-0)
These two are rivals of sorts, located as close as they are.
Last week the Cavaliers, in stint two of the Toby Harrah era, beat Buffalo 27-0.
Noah Brown had 108 yards rushing and a touchdown and he also returned an interception for a score.
Summers County defeated PikeView 35-12. Freshman Andre Merrimack-Harshaw had two rushing scores and one receiving and had 91 total yards.
Independence (0-1) at PikeView (0-1)
Some young stars will also be in action in this game.
Last week freshman quarterback Cameron Ellis rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns and completed 11 of 20 passes for 163 yards.
For Independence first-year sophomore Atticus Goodson had rushed for 103 yards and caught four passes for 118, He had two touchdowns.
Other area games include: Van at Liberty, Meadow Bridge at Clay-Battelle, Man at Mount View and Gilmer at Richwood. James Monroe is idle.