PARKERSBURG - A pair of Little Kanawha Conference Class A programs will be searching for a second win of the campaign when Parkersburg Catholic invades Mt. Zion on Friday night to tangle with host Calhoun County.
Both programs have one win against two losses this season and both are under the direction of new head coaches in Red Devil boss Michael Fitzwater and PCHS head man Jeff Campbell.
The two teams basically come into this contest going in opposite directions. Calhoun County cruised to a big win in its opener versus Gilmer County, but had no answer for the running attacks of either Ritchie County or Doddridge County, which handed the Red Devils losses each of the past two weeks. On the other hand, the Crusaders lost a couple of tough games against Buffalo and Pocahontas County to open the season, but rallied for a 20-14 win last week at St. Marys.
"That was definitely a hard hitting game. That was physical and just getting at it," coach Campbell said of the St. Marys clash.
Parkersburg Catholic, which with the triumph avoided its first 0-3 start since 1990, scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to taste victory for the first time.
Crusader Zack Romine scored on a 3-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter to close the gap to 14-12 and Charles Schriner's 28-yard touchdown reception from Daniel Collie with 2:56 left in the game was the difference.
"We had a couple issues in the two previous games with turnovers," Campbell added. "We were able to not turn the ball over against St. Marys and didn't give up any huge plays. That was probably the two biggest areas for us."
Romine rushed for 132 yards last week and there's little question the Red Devil run defense must get tougher, especially after allowing Bulldog tailback Corey Aichele to rush for 220 yards and four scores last week.
Calhoun County senior Cory Metz had his best game of the season against Doddridge County, breaking the 100-yard plateau in the first half and finishing with 175 stripes on 22 carries.
"Anytime you go out there, it's a hard road trip anyway," Campbell said. "They are very physical and they are bigger than us. We have to make sure our techniques are good and sound. It will be a big effort for us."
Coach Campbell is also concerned about Calhoun County's new offensive look, which is spearheaded by sophomore quarterback Logan Moore and usually operates out of a spread formation. Moore's top targets thus far on the season have been Nate Cosgrove, who also lines up in the shotgun and rushes the ball, along with Shay Parrish and Austin Satterfield.