PARKERSBURG - Since 2001, West Virginia has won 10 of the last 13 BACF Football Classics to forge a 13-7 lead over Ohio in the cross-river series.
Tonight, the 2014 Ohio and W.Va. BACF (Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis) grid squads take to the Stadium Field artificial turf at Parkersburg High School for the 21st annual game, set for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Will the boys from Buckeyeland be able to win for the second time in three years and third in last six or will the Mountain State contingent keep on truckin,' using the momentum they've build up over the last two decades with a pair of three-game winning streaks and a four-gamer from 2005 through 2008?
Of course, tonight's outcome is good for one year of bragging rights for the winner. But the real winner from the game is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, to which all proceeds are given for research into finding a cure for the disease. Thus the motto for the BACF game: "It's Not Just a Game, But a Battle For a Cure."
For both of tonight's BACF head coaches, Belpre's Greg Adams for Ohio and Parkersburg Catholic's Jeff Campbell for West Virginia, it will be their first time leading the fortunes of their respective state's teams in the regional BACF matchup.
Campbell has his Catholic coaching staff with him for the BACF game. But "some of the nuts and bolts stuff" is being handled by head coaches Campbell "knows and respects" from inside the LKC, namely St. Marys' Jodi Mote as defensive coordinator, Wirt County's Jason Hickman as offensive coordinator and Doddridge County's Bobby Burnside for special teams. "I like and trust all these guys and that makes all the difference in the world," said Campbell. "And they all brought some players with them (six from Doddridge and four each from Wirt and St. Marys), so that's been good too," noted Campbell. Parkersburg South and Ritchie County have five players each in the game as well.
For Ohio, two assistant coaches on Adams' current Belpre staff that he's using for tonight's tussle played for the Golden Eagles in previous BACF Football Classics.
They are offensive coordinator Brian Adams, the head coach's nephew and former Belpre quarterback, and linebackers coach Mike Waderker, who was a running back for the Golden Eagles.
"So they passed along their experience playing in the BACF game to our Ohio players," said Greg Adams. "That made it sort of neat for the guys to learn a little bit more about the game."
Fort Frye tops the number of Ohio players in the game with six, followed by Caldwell with five, and Meigs and Monroe Central with four each.
Tonight's BACF Football Classic at Stadium Field will mark the ninth time it's been played there, the most at any Mid-Ohio Valley venue by far. Next in line, hosting three BACF games each, are Don Drumm Stadium in Marietta, Ralph Holder Stadium in Belpre and the Warren High School stadium, while the game has been held once each at Parkersburg South's Erickson All-Sports Facility and Williamstown's Yellowjacket Field.
Tickets at the gates tonight will be $5.