The Frontier Cougars travel to Beverly to battle the Fort Frye Cadets in a key Pioneer Valley Conference contest Friday night.
Despite their 2-3 record, the Cougars are arguably the most improved team in the area so far this season.
The Cougars have wins over Shenandoah (20-14) and Bridgeport (25-6) and very easily could have four wins as their losses to both Buckeye Trail (21-12) and Beallsville (43-32) were very winnable games.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Fort Frye quarterback Chandler Lang lunges forward for extra yardage in a game against Monroe Central last Friday night. The Cadets are scheduled to host Frontier in a key matchup this Friday night.
Last week, Frontier was flagged for 15 penalties for 176 yards in their homecoming loss to Beallsville, something they will need to correct to have any shot of defeating the Cadets.
Cougar head coach Todd Bradford got a solid performance last week from running back Taylor Merckle, who had a combined 173 yards receiving and rushing to go along with three touchdowns.
Quarterback Jordan Jefferson completed nine-of-15 pass attempts for 187 yards and a pair of scores, while leading the Cougars in rushing with 94 yards on 18 carries.
Fort Frye comes into the game with a ton of momentum on their side after last week's 27-0 victory over PVC powerhouse Monroe Central.
The (3-2) Cadets, who have been paced by brothers' Spencer and Chandler Lang for most of the season, got a huge game from running back Max Alsbach in the Seminole game.
Alsbach ran for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries in last week's game.
Both teams come into the game 1-1 in the PVC.
Last year on a rainy night in New Matamoras, the Cadets edged the Cougars 21-20.
EASTERN (3-2) AT BELPRE (1-4)
It will be a battle of the Eagles Friday night when the Golden Eagles of Belpre host the Eagles of Eastern in a Tri Valley Conference Hocking Division battle.
Eastern comes into the game on quite a roll after consecutive blow-out victories over Waterford (39-6) and South Gallia (62-6).
Quarterback Joey Scowden leads the way for the Eastern team that is averaging five touchdowns per game.
The Golden Eagles dropped a hard-fought 14-7 victory last week to the Federal Hocking Lancers.
Sophomore running back Manny Tullius gained just 34 yards against the Lancers to snap a streak of three consecutive 100-yard games.
Belpre freshman quarterback Tavian Miller continues to improve despite being intercepted three times by the tough Federal Hocking defense last week.
A Belpre win on homecoming night would pull the Golden Eagles to within a half a game of Eastern in the conference.
Last year in Reedsville, Eastern shut out the Golden Eagles 20-0.
WATERFORD (1-4) AT TRIMBLE (4-1)
A pair of teams heading in different directions will do battle Friday night when the Waterford Wildcats travel to Trimble to face the Tomcats in TVC Hocking division action.
The Tomcats have won three games in a row and outscored their opponents (South Gallia, Meigs, and Miller) by a combined score of 162-6.
Trimble's lone loss of the season came in week two, a 25-12 loss to the always tough and conference leader Wahama Falcons.
Waterford has dropped four games in a row since defeating Miller (34-14) in it's season opener.
Hunter Munjas (61-366) and Derek Brown (49-329) will likely get the bulk of the Wildcat carries against Trimble while quarterback Brian Moore has thrown for 187 yards on the season and rushed for 216 more.
Last year in Waterford, Trimble won the battle of the Cats by a 21-14 score.
SOUTH GALLIA (0-5) AT FEDERAL HOCKING (4-1)
The Federal Hocking Lancers will look to make it five in a row when they host the South Gallia Rebels Friday night in Stewart.
After dropping a tough 22-21 in the season opener to Alexander, the Lancers have defeated Waterford, Hannan, Southern, and Belpre while allowing only 34 points in the four games.
Quarterback Kyle Jackson completed 13-of-22 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns against Belpre last week, while receiver Romie Casey caught three of those passes for 74 yards and both scores.
South Gallia has really struggled defensively so far this year as the Rebels have allowed an average of 44 points per game at the half way point of the season.
Last year in Crown City, South Gallia thumped the Lancers 34-0.
CALDWELL (0-5) AT BARNESVILLE (4-1)
Head coach Josh Perkins and his Caldwell Redskins will travel to Barnesville Friday night as they appear to be getting closer and closer to that elusive first win of the season.
The improving Redskins dropped a 24-21 heart breaker to River last week after leading late in the game the week before against Monroe Central before falling 15-8 in Woodsfield.
The Redskins rushed for 302 yards against River, with both freshman Bricker Lori (11-128-TD) and Andrew Minosky (13-101) breaking the century mark.
The Shamrocks have won four consecutive games since dropping their season opener to John Glenn (30-0), including last weeks 51-20 drubbing of Shenandoah.
Last year Barnesville defeated the Redskins 28-6 in Caldwell.
SHENANDOAH (0-5) AT BUCKEYE TRAIL (3-2)
The Shenandoah Zeps will make the short trip to Lore City Friday night to once again try and get their first win of the 2012 season against the Buckeye Trail Warriors.
The Warriors currently sit at the top of the PVC with a perfect 2-0 conference record.
Trail defeated Bridgeport (47-7) last week and have early season conference victories over both Frontier (21-12) and Caldwell (29-7).
The Zeps dropped a 51-20 decision last week to Barnesville despite quarterback Eli Hurst's 200 yard passing game.
Last year in Sarahsville, the Zeps won a 12-0 defensive struggle over Trail.
MAGNOLIA (4-1) AT MONROE CENTRAL (3-2)
The Monroe Central Seminoles will look to get back on track Friday night when they host the always tough Magnolia Blue Eagles in Woodsfield.
Last week the 'Noles saw their 25 game PVC winning streak come to an end with a 27-0 loss at the hands of the Fort Frye Cadets.
The Seminoles were paced in rushing last week by Levi Brown and quarterback Korey Lafferre who both tallied 55 yards against Fort Frye.
Magnolia has won four games in a row, including a big 17-13 victory last week over defending West Virginia Class A champion Wheeling Central.
Last year in New Martinsville, the "Noles rolled to a 40-24 win over the Blue Eagles.
MORGAN (1-4) at TRI-VALLEY (5-0)
Things won't get much easier for the Morgan Raiders when they travel to Dresden to battle the undefeated Tri Valley Scotties Friday night.
The Raiders got a week two victory over Union Local (21-0) but have dropped three in a row since by a combined score of 111-19.
Morgan's Justin Head has developed into one of the area's better running backs as he has accumulated 648 yards at the halfway point while scoring three touchdowns.
The Scotties are coming off of a 63-0 rout of Crooksville last week and own victories over Licking Valley (29-14), Maysville (47-7), West Muskingum (62-7) and Dover (28-21).
Last year the Scotties downed the Raiders 38-0 in McConnelsville.
Parkersburg Catholic (2-3) at Doddridge County (3-2)
The Crusaders of Parkersburg Catholic travel to West Union Friday night to take on the Doddridge County Bullfrogs in an LKC contest.
The Bullfrogs will look to put an end to a two- game losing streak after winning their first two games on the season.
Catholic looks to rebound from a 35-6 loss last week to Wirt County.
Key players for Doddridge County include quarterback David Lipscomb, running back Wyatt Ford, and receiver Daniel Plaugher, while the Crusaders are led by signal caller Peyton Sturm and running backs Mitch Davis and Charles Schriner.
Last year the Crusaders rolled to a 30-7 win over the Frogs in Parkersburg.