Prep football roundup: Showdown looms between Jackets, Crusaders

PARKERSBURG -With temperatures expected to dip into the 30s Saturday night, Williamstown football players should be acclimated to the cold spell after spending a few days earlier in the week inside a school building without heat.

The Class A sixth-ranked Yellowjackets (6-1) seek to extend their winning streak to three games against a Parkersburg Catholic outfit which had its four-game string snapped last week at Valley (Fayette). Game time at Stadium Field is set for 7:30 p.m.

“If you are looking at Williamstown’s schemes, you have to find a way to shut down their run game,” PCHS coach Jeff Campbell said. “They have opened things up a lot this year. With their run game, they are doing it out of different sets.

“Their quarterback (Jake Tracewell) has great feet and a good arm. His feet are amazing and he has good vision. Then they load up with two or three running backs. They just keep coming right at you.”

In addition to leading the Williamstown ground game at 377 yards on 60 carries with six touchdowns, Tracewell has completed 48 percent (34-of-71) of his passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns.

“Jake is just a good athlete,” Williamstown coach Terry Smith said. “He is a tough kid and I’m sure he is as beat up as anybody. But those wrestlers are pretty tough guys usually.”

If Tracewell doesn’t have the ball in his hands, look for David Hastings to make an impact. The senior has gained more than 200 yards in both the rushing (29-205) and receiving (13-248) department.

“We fight it with everyone we play against – they are bigger than us,” Campbell said. “That’s typical, but I think we can stack up with them. If we show up like we did last week, that won’t be any good. If we show up like we are capable of playing then it will be a good game.”

The Crusaders (6-2) slipped to No. 15 in the rankings with last week’s loss where they turned the ball over four times.

Just like his counterpart, PCHS quarterback Peyton Sturm leads his team in rushing with 314 yards on 46 carries to go with six touchdowns. The senior has been on the mark on 57 percent (20-of-35) of the time for 400 yards and three scores.

Campbell won’t hesitate to call several other numbers on running plays, including Jake Boice (36-213), Kyle Bronski (31-167) and Ryan Schriner (35-124).

As for Sturm’s favorite receiver, Nick Roedersheimer has caught 11 passes for 138 yards.

“You just have to make sure you tackle,” Smith said. “If you watch them, there are a lot of missed tackles. Their guys are really quick and really fast. You have to try and make them throw, and make them play from behind.

“Hopefully, we can run the ball and spread it out a little bit. And if we have to throw, we will be all right.”

In his 10th season as the Williamstown head coach, Smith has never lost to Parkersburg Catholic. That spans 10 games, and a victory over PCHS Saturday would equal the most for Smith against any one opponent.

“Anytime you go against a star program like Williamstown, that’s a great thing and helps you understand where you are,” Campbell said. “I looked forward to this game as a player and 20-some years until now as a coach.”