Bridgeport High has long been the football king of Harrison County, and the Indians will put that title on the line again Friday in their annual showdown with cross-county rival Robert C. Byrd.
Friday’s contest will be a clash of two high-powered offensive teams, but with a slight twist on what people are used to seeing from Bridgeport. The Indians (2-0) been famous for their Stick-I formation rushing attack over the years, and while they still run the ball at a high rate there is a slight variation on how they run the ball with a new single-wing scheme that is dominating head coach John Cole’s playbook.
So far it has worked well for Class AAA No. 5 Bridgeport to the tune of 107 points scored in two games — including 44 in a win last week at East-West Stadium against Fairmont Senior to snap a four-game losing streak to the Polar Bears. The Indians don’t mind sharing the ball either, with Cam Cole, Hayden Moore and J.D. Love each scoring rushing touchdowns in last week’s win at Fairmont Senior.
Meanwhile, across Harrison County in Clarksburg, RCB is off to a very strong start to the season itself. The Class AA No. 3 Eagles (3-0) average 42 points per game and are coming off an impressive 41-0 win against Class AAA Preston.
Byrd has one of the state’s top quarterback-running back duos so far in 2020 with Xavier Lopez leading the Big 10 in passing (654 yards) and Jeremiah King the league’s top runner (654 yards and 10 touchdowns). To put King’s performance this season into perspective, through three games the RCB standout is averaging almost 14 yards per carry and has almost 300 more rushing yards than his closest competitor among Big 10 schools.
Bridgeport leads the all-time series between the county rivals 23-5 and dominated the last decade against the Eagles, with Byrd’s last win in the series coming in 2010.
Let’s take a look around the state at some of the other big Week 4 West Virginia high school football games:
- AA No. 2 Bluefield (2-0) at AAA No. 12 Princeton (1-1): Look, it’s 2020 and sometimes teams are going to play twice during the regular season. That is the case here as the Beavers and Tigers are set to play again after a narrow Bluefield win the season-opener at Mitchell Stadium. This game is at Princeton, and the Tigers looked very good in a 34-14 win last week against Parkersburg South.
- AAA No. 1 Spring Mills (3-0) at AAA No. 3 Frankfort (3-0): Two of the state’s top offensive teams through three weeks meet in Mineral County with unbeaten records on the line. Spring Mills quarterback Keon Padmore-Johnson has been one of the state’s standout players during the first month of the season, while Frankfort is averaging 41 points per game. The Falcons, however, are getting it done on defense too with two shutouts in three games.
- AA No. 5 Clay County (3-0) at AA No. 9 Liberty Raleigh (3-0): Clay comes into this one riding high off a 38-3 beatdown of Class AAA Hedgesville last week. Liberty is unbeaten so far, but the Panthers represent the toughest challenge the Raiders have faced so far this season.
- AAA No. 6 Musselman (2-1) at AA No. 14 Fairmont Senior (1-1): The Polar Bears brutal schedule continues this week with a visit from Blake Hartman and the Class AAA Applemen. Fairmont Senior put up a fight against Bridgeport last week before eventually losing. Musselman’s only loss so far came against Martinsburg, and last week the Applemen went to Pennsylvania and blasted Hollidaysburg 43-7.
- A No. 2 Doddridge County (3-0) at A No. 16 Ritchie County (2-1): The Bulldogs look to remain among the Class A unbeatens while Ritchie County attempts to bounce back from a loss to rival St. Marys last week.
- A No. 8 Tygarts Valley (3-0) at A No. 16 Gilmer County (2-1): Tygarts has been one of the hottest teams in Class A to start the 2020 season and will be tested this week by Gilmer County and its standout quarterback Ean Hamric — who accounted for five touchdowns last week.