ELIZABETH, W.Va. -As the football season gets deeper into the year, each week becomes more important.
Needless to say, a lot will be on the line come Friday night at Wilson-Eismon Field when a pair of Class A Little Kanawha Conference unbeatens tangle with Williamstown visiting Wirt County.
Head coach Terry Smith's Yellowjackets have allowed just 28 points on the campaign and bring the state's No. 3 ranking against the No. 2 rated Tigers of head man Jason Hickman.
Not only is this an important contest in terms of ratings points for later postseason positioning, but it also could go a long way in figuring out if Wirt County is going to repeat as LKC champions.
Yellowjacket tailback Trey King has rushed for better than 800 yards and is averaging more than 9 yards a carry. He's also scored 14 touchdowns. Coach Hickman said he's expecting another tough game and there's little question King is going to be one of the Tigers' top priorities to try and keep in check.
"You kind of look at it that way as a coach," said Hickman, who noted Wirt County opponents say the same thing about stopping Dalton Brindo. "Williamstown can do some other things and they have other weapons. They are not a one man show and we need to make other kids beat us."
Brindo scored three touchdowns and rushed for 167 yards in last week's 33-29 home victory against Buffalo. Brindo is averaging 8.7 yards a carry and is 11 stripes short of 700.
However, the past two weeks the Tigers have been able to get big plays from wideout JT Nemeth, who now has 17 catches for 347 yards and four touchdowns.
"Brindo is such a good ball player, but they have a lot of other weapons too," Smith said of the Tigers. "It all comes down to the line. You got to give the guys up front some credit.":
WHS sophomore signal-caller Jake Tracewell had a pair of touchdown tosses to Ben Amos during last week's 55-8 drubbing of Doddridge County.
That's just one of the many things that concerns coach Hickman, who is expecting another low scoring affair. Last year, the Tigers won at Williamstown 13-7 and then defeated the 'Jackets in Elizabeth, 13-10, during the playoffs.
"Their quarterback is making good decisions, good reads and is doing a good job," Hickman noted.
"Especially with the running game they have, if we can hold up up front and hold our own in the trenches and force them to do something other than run Trey King 25 or 30 times during the game that gives us a better chance to win if we can accomplish that."
Coach Smith is also concerned about Tiger senior quarterback Taylor Campbell and knows his defense must be able to apply some pressure.
With frenzied crowds during both of last year's Wirt/WHS contests, coach Smith said he's expecting nothing less come Friday night.
"That place was jamming last year. That's cool. That's good," Smith chimed. "I hope it will be this year. That's fun. It's fun for the kids and the coaches."