St. Marys to host Wirt

ST. MARYS, W.Va. -Turn back the clock to Aug. 31 of 2012 and one will find the last time the St. Marys football team suffered a defeat in the regular season.

That, of course, was not the kind of result Blue Devil head coach Jodi Mote was looking for when his squad was handed a 35-22 setback at the hands of Wirt County.

Fast forward, St. Marys has reeled off 19 consecutive triumphs in the regular season since that loss and come 7:30 p.m. Friday the Blue Devils will try and make it an even 20 when the 0-1 Tigers of Wirt County head coach Jason Hickman invade Imlay Field, which will be celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the 1984 undefeated team, led by then standout tailback Mike Cox.

Coach Mote doesn’t take anything for granted and knows the orange and black will give St. Marys its best shot. However, the Tigers are coming off a four-turnover performance at Valley-Fayette last week as the Greyhounds rolled to a 30-15 triumph.

While the Blue Devils very well still could be without the services of expected senior starting quarterback Evan Illar, the Tigers are dealing with an injury to one of their key players in running back/linebacker Trent Hardbarger, who could be kept out Friday.

Despite not having Illar, the Blue Devils didn’t miss a beat last week as coach Mote’s squad dismantled Ritchie County, 47-0, and allowed the Rebels a mere 35 yards of total offense.

SMHS junior signal-caller Wesley Parsons opened the scoring with a 29-yard rollout scramble for a touchdown and the Blue Devils rolled from there. Parsons hit 5 of 8 passes for 109 yards.

“I think he’ll be there,” Mote said of Parsons making his second career start under center on Friday while adding a lot of credit has to go to quarterbacks coach Bill Hanlin.

“But I think Evan is going to be able to help us, too. Both of those kids, their attitudes are of team players. They will do whatever they need to do to help the team win. First and foremost, Evan needs to get healthy. It’s a good problem to have (two quarterbacks), no doubt about it. It doesn’t bother me at all.”

Going into this game, what bothers coach Hickman the most was the Tigers’ inability to move the ball. Although the defense allowed just 285 yards, the offense went for just 186 with senior quarterback Kyle Windland accounting for nearly half that total.

“Kyle Windland played a great game. He really was our offense,” said Hickman, who knows the Tigers will be challenged by Blue Devil running backs Jeremy Pratt and Corey Stewart.

“We’ve got to find some help. He’s a tough-nosed kid, but is 145 pounds soaking wet. He can’t get 30 touches a game.”