Three area high school football teams will be looking for their second wins of the season when week two kicks off Friday night around the Ohio Valley.
Bridgeport, Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville are all 1-0 after opening weekend victories.
The Bulldogs rallied past Columbiana, 26-25, on Perkins Field at Bill Jobko Stadium, while the Purple Riders ran past Taylor Allderdice of Pittsburgh, 49-27, on the turf at the Dave Bruney Athletic Complex, and the Red Devils held off homestanding Claymont, 24-21.
Of the three, only Bridgeport takes to the road Friday night when it heads to Clarke Hinkel Stadium in Toronto to meet the Red Knights (0-1). Martins Ferry remains at home to entertain Wickliffe (1-0), while St. Clairsville welcomes Cleveland Whitney M. Young (0-1) for its home opener at Red Devil Stadium Saturday night.
In addition to the Bridgeport (7 p.m.) and Martins Ferry (7:30 p.m.) contests Friday night, other games include Harrison Central traveling to Weir in a battle of winless squads at Jimmy Carey Stadium; Barnesville visits Meadowbrook, and Buckeye Trail awaits a visit by Caldwell in Old Washington. All those games begin at 7.
Also on Friday night, Beallsville treks to Strasburg to meet the 1-0 Tigers at 7:30.
On Saturday, in addition to Whitney Young and St. Clairsville, St. John Central makes the journey to Bowerstown to meet Conotton Valley at 1:30 p.m.
Bridgeport at Toronto
The Bulldogs led Columbiana 20-7 in the third quarter before the Clippers scored twice to take a 25-20 lead with just over two minutes left to play last week on Hall of Fame Night in Brookside.
Junior quarterback Bailey McGrath and senior wideout Colt Charlton teamed up for a pair of 30-yard-plus receptions, the second giving the hosts a 26-25 edge with a little more than a minute remaining. The defense held on for the win.
"That was a huge victiory," Bridgeport head coach Rudy Vavrock allowed. "For a young team to fall behind late in the game like that, these kids could've hung their heads, but they didn't. They continued to battle and we came out on top."
Meanwhile, the Red Knights were throttled by rival Wellsville, 31-6, last Saturday at home.
Wickliffe at Martins Ferry
The Blue Devil visit the Ohio Valley fresh off a 42-20 thumping of Division VII Richmond Heights last week.
In that contest, Wickliffe was outgained 475-329 with all of its total yards coming via the ground game. Three different running backs reached the end zone last week, including Tiontay Phillips, Brandon O'Hara and Joe Sarjeant. Phillips finished with 150 yards rushing on 17 carries. O'Hara added 77 on six tries. The Blue Devil didnot attempt a pass.
"They are a Wing-T team with a good fullback and an athletic quarterback," veteran Martins Ferry head coach Dave Bruney said of this week's opponent. "Their fullback ran for more than 1,200 yards in seven games before being injured last season. The quarterback is 6-6 and started two years as a wideout before moving to quarterback this year."
Bruney said that Wickliffe's line averages between 235 and 280 pounds and they run a 4-4 defense.
"They've got eight or nine starters back from a season ago when they went 3-7, but traditionally they've been pretty good."
Martins Ferry used its potent running attack to take care of Taylor Allderdice as two backs - Marcus Sutton and Bruce Burger - eclipsed the 100-yard mark with 124 on 11 carries and 108 on eight totes, respectively. Burger scored three times and Sutton once. Just missing the barrier was Arjay Burress with 96 stripes on 10 carries. He also scored a touchdown, as did Andrew Watts and Eric Flowers.
Harrison Central at Weir
At Weirton, the Huskies will be looking for their first 'W' after being denied a two-point conversion late in a 7-6 loss to Wheeling Central at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Nate Olmstead scored from 11 yards out on a pass from David Miser in the fourth quarter for the Huskies' only points.
Meanwhile, the Red Riders were routed 52-13 by Indian Creek in their opener at Wintersville.
Quarterback William Larch was sacked 11 times by the Redskins.
Barnesville at Meadowbrook
At Byesville, Matt Johnson's Shamrocks will be looking to duplicate what they did last season when they lost handily to John Glenn and then rebounded to knock off the Colts.
Dylan Burkhart ran for 75 yards on 12 carries in last week's loss for Barnesville. Brandon Collins had seven tackles.
The Colts lost a toughie, 22-20, to visiting Shadyside.
Caldwell at Buckeye Trail
At Old Washington, the Redskins and Warriors both dropped heartbreakers last week as Caldwell lost 7-0 to Newcomerstown and Buckeye Trail was on the wrong end of a 27-21 decision to Ridgewood.
Beallsville at Strasburg
The Blue Devils were completely dismantled by perennial W.Va. powerhouse Weirton Madonna 63-8 last weekend in the OVAC Kickoff
A couple bright spots included the running of freshman Joey Cunningham and the defensive play of senior Dalton Secrest.
Whitney Young at St. Clairsville
At Red Devil Stadium, the hosts could pour it on the Division VII Warriors, who are in just their first season of varsity competition.
Tailback Jaylon Brown started his senior season off on the right foot as he ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns against the Mustangs. He carried the rock 27 times and also caught a 67-yard touchdown from sophomore quarterback Michael Monteroso, who went six of 16 for 166 yards. He was picked off once.
"We had a scout at their game last week and they run a conventional power-I offense," St. Clairsville head coach Brett McLean noted. "They've got some pretty good skilled people on the perimeter and they throw the ball about 50 percent of the time, so they're pretty balanced."
Whitney Young lost 47-0 to Painesville Harvey last week.
St. John Central at Conotton Valley
At Bowerston, the Irish could still be without the services of senior quarterback Dario Paolina, who was sidelined with a hip injury for week one in a 22-11 loss at Troy Christian.
Devin Hennessey had a good all-around game for the Irish last week.
The Rockets were grounded, 50-12, by Strasburg in their opener.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org