MASON, W.Va. - Waterford and host Wahama are poised for a TVC Hocking Division showdown here Friday night.
At 3-0 now, Wahama was tied for eighth in the WVSSAC Class A football rankings last week before blasting Belpre 61-3.
Waterford is 3-1 and 3-0 in TVC Hocking, while the White Falcons are also 3-0 in the division, which they captured in their first try as a TVC newcomer last fall.
And Wahama, 12-1 last season when the White Falcons finished as Class A state runner-up, has already cleared one tough league hurdle this year in Trimble, posting a 47-22 win over the Tomcats in the season opener before blasting Eastern 69-0.
Meanwhile Waterford so far this season nipped Miller 13-12 in Game 1, then topped Federal Hocking 20-9 and after a 34-0 non-TVC loss to arch-rival Fort Frye, downed Eastern 20-12 last Friday.
Wahama head coach Ed Cromley knew when Wahama joined the TVC for the 2010-11 school year that Trimble has been traditionally the power of the league, but so far he's 2-0 again the Tomcats in TVC play.
However, the veteran coach, in his 17th year at the White Falcon grid helm, is not looking any further ahead than this week's foe. Cromley knows from past experience playing Waterford, both pre-TVC and last year, "they always play us tough. They're just well-coached and tough kids.
"Anyway, right now, it's hard to think about (what will happen) on down the road with different situations arising every week."
Nevertheless, his 2011 squad has been superlative so far, outscoring the opposition 177-25. For Cromley, though, "I really feel like you score 40 points, you probably beat somebody. But to get more than that, they had to help you by making mistakes. If the other team is playing pretty sound football, I don't see how you can get a lot of points on somebody."
Of course, after last year's run to the "Super Six" in Wheeling, Cromley had more than a hint that 2011 could be another good season in Mason, especially with most of the line and quarterback Trenton Gibbs being back.
Cromley noted that this Wahama team "doesn't have as a defined leadership from our seniors as we did last year. This year, it's kind of leadership by committee, although I think it's sound leadership by the seniors.
"We're a little bit different than a typical team though, with our senior center Jamin Branch probably our leader. Jamin sets that leadership tone, getting the kids to follow him."
"But we also have some other seniors who have a reputation, so they don't have to say much, like Anthony Grimm, our big fullback, and wingback Isaac Lee is another guy who's going to go out and perform on Friday night that the kids look toward."