It might take some time to complete Friday’s Princeton at Bluefield (Round 1) game at Mitchell Stadium.
Two of the area’s best aerial attacks will be on display in the season opener of the two Mercer County rivals.
It’s led by two of the area’s best quarterbacks, Bluefield senior Carson Deeb and Princeton sophomore Grant Cochran.
Three are players passed for over 2,000 yards last year and Deeb and Cochran are two. The other was from down that way as well, the graduated Monroe Mohler. It’s a real aerial alley down that way.
Deeb ended the year throwing for 2,835 yards and 34 touchdowns in leading the Beavers to their third straight Class AA championship game berth, where they fell to Bridgeport 21-14.
Deeb averaged 202.5 yards passing per game.
He really came together in the Beavers four-game playoff run, including a career best 356 yards and four touchdowns in a 43-20 victory against Keyser.
In the four games he completed 63 of 88 passes (71.6 percent) for 940 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was intercepted once, in the title game where he threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns.
As good as he was, Deeb was aided by wide receiver Brandon Wiley who had his own breakout period in those four postseason tilts. After catching 22 passes for 354 yards ana five touchdowns in the regular season (he missed one game against Tazewell, Va.) he was even better in the playoffs, with 18 catches for 378 yards and seven touchdowns, including his tour de force in the title game with four catches for 150 yards and two scores. He had another long score called back.
All told Wiley, a 5-10, 180 pound senior, had 40 catches for 732 yards and seven touchdowns.
Also back is Juwan Green who had 40 catches for 704 yards and seven touchdowns and Jacorian Green 36 catches for 448 yards and four touchdowns.
It bears keeping an eye on Derick Flack, a 6-5, 320 pound linemen, who will head up the front wall trying to protect Deeb.
For Princeton Cochran didn’t figure to be a key last year, with record setting signal caller Ransom Graham returning. Graham was hurt in last year’s Bluefield game. Brady Martin finished out that game but the next week Cochran, a freshman was in the starting lineup and all he did was set a school-record with 372 yards passing.
He went on to throw for over 300 one two other occasions (310 against Parkersburg South and 307 against Greenbrier East). He had over 200 on two other occasions.
Cochran competed 148 of 289 passes for 2,014 for 16 touchdowns. He has said he wants to improve his completion percentage and cut down on the 15 interceptions he threw last season. Cochran threw for 223.8 yards per game which was tops in the area.
His top target was Ethan Parsons who caught 58 passes for 990 yards, making him second in the state in returning receptions and third in yardage.
That was in nine games, meaning he averaged 110 yards receiving per game.
Also back is Josiah Honaker who had 20 receptions for 412 yards and three touchdowns and running back Amir Powell, who had 13 receptions for 102 yards.
Due to the pandemic delay to the start of the season the two will also meet again on Sept. in Princeton.
With Mitchell equipped now with artificial turf, it’s doubtful expected rains will make too much of a difference to these two teams showing off their superior passing games Friday night.
Kickoff will be 7:30 p.m.