5 things to watch on the gridiron

One week down and nine more to go. Mother nature gave area teams a balmy 90- degree night to open the prep football season last Friday night. This week the temperatures look to be near perfect. Here are five things to look for in week number two:

SOPHOMORE SENSATIONS: After playing outstanding football in week one, can Fort Frye quarterback Tate Engle and Shenandoah signal caller Boone Jones back up their week one performances? Engle torched Belpre for 210 yards passing and three touchdowns while Jones did the same against Frontier with four touchdowns and 195 yards passing.

BACK ON TRACK: For Pioneer Valley Conference schools not named Fort Frye or Shenandaoh, week one was one to forget. Caldwell, Frontier and Monroe Central were all beaten soundly. How many if any of these three schools will be able to rebound Friday night and keep from going 0-2?

THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Marietta head coach Jason Schob had to be thrilled with the fact that his team put 51 points on the board in their season opening win over Morgan, especially without the services of injured running back Dominic Vanfossen and center Darnell Kimbrough. By the same token the third-year Tiger head coach has to be a bit concerned that his team allowed 48 points to a Morgan team that averaged just 12 points per game in 2015. Look for the Tigers offense to remain in high gear Friday night while their defense rises to the occasion against a struggling Warren Warrior squad.

STATEMENT GAME: An early season win by Williamstown over Magnolia would be quite a confidence booster for head coach Terry Smith and his Yellowjackets. Last year Williamstown dropped a 21-14 decision to Magnolia, a game the ‘Jackets had within their reach and would have paid huge dividends down the road. Look for Williamstown to hand the defending state champs their second consecutive loss in New Martinsville Friday night.

TIME FOR REVENGE: The Belpre Golden Eagles have been a really good football team the past few seasons as evidenced by back-to-back appearances in the state playoffs. Belpre has beaten some very good football teams these past few seasons but there is one conference rival that has had the Eagles number. In their last six games against the Trimble Tomcats, Belpre has dropped all six games and scored a grand total of seven points in those six losses. That lone score came way back in 2010. Trimble has shut out the Eagles in each of the last five years by an amazing combined total of 253-0. Could 2016 be the season that coach Greg Adams and his Eagles turn things around and get off the snide against the Tomcats?

Mike Morrison is a part-time sports writer for The Marietta Times. He an be reached at (740) 373-2121 ext. 541.