Another big weekend of high school football is on tap as area teams prepare for the stretch run with week seven upon us.
Early starts have Bridgeport (2-4) welcoming River (1-5) to Bill Jobko Stadium in Brookside; Beallsville (3-3) entertaining Toronto (3-3) in Monroe County; Barnesville (1-5) hosting unbeaten Steubenville Central (6-0) for Homecoming at Shamrock Stadium; Shenandoah (1-5) visiting Woodsfield to meet Monroe Central (3-3); and Buckeye Trail (2-4) treking to Beverly to face Fort Frye (5-1).
At 7:30, Harrison Central (2-4) hosts Buckeye 8 rival Edison (4-2) at Wagner Field for Homecoming. On Saturday at noon, St. John Central (0-6) looks for its first win when Valley (2-3) invades the Irish Jr. Sports Complex in south Bellaire.
River at Bridgeport
The Pilots are coming off their first win of the season last week against hapless Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans, while the Bulldogs have lost four of their last five outings, including a lop-sided 55-0 decision at Weirton Madonna last Friday.
In River's 41-0 victory, senior Bryce Cross did a little bit of everything as he scored four touchdowns. He ran for two six-pointers, hauled in a TD pass and caught a blocked punt in the end zone. He also picked off a pair of passes for good measure.
Classmate and tailback Jordan Sapp also accounted for two touchdowns, both coming via the ground.
River held Rosecrans to 117 total yards and swiped five passes.
Meanwhile, Bridgeport couldn't do much against the powerful Blue Dons, but not many teams have this season.
The Bulldogs could only muster 95 yards of total offense on 41 snaps. On the other side of the ball, they yielded 670 yards on 45 plays. Of that total, 533 came on the ground.
Toronto at Beallsville
The Blue Devils are suddenly on a two-game losing skid and will look to halt that when the Red Knights come to town.
Beallsville did manage to score 20 points last week against state-ranked Shadyside, but they came when the game was already decided as the Tigers raced to a 35-0 halftime advantage.
Head coach Paul Kanzigg's squad controls its own destiny as far as the Division VII, Region 25 playoffs are concerned. The Big Blue is currently 9th and have remaining games at Bishop Donahue and home against St. John Central.
Steubenville Central at Barnesville
The Shamrocks have the unenviable task of hosting the state-ranked Crusaders for Homecoming.
Barnesville saw its modest one-game winning streak abruptly halted last week 42-7 at Caldwell in a game where special teams mistakes doomed the Green-Red-and-White.
Sophomore Dylan Burkhart has been a bright spot as he has rushed for 456 yards and four TDs.
The Crusaders are currently ranked No. 3 in Div. VII, Region 25. They are led by senior quarterback Brenton Colabella who eclipsed the coveted 6,000-yard mark for his career earlier this season.
Shenandoah at Monroe Central
The Seminoles saw their three-game win streak go by the boards last week in a decisive loss to W.Va. rival Magnolia at Alumni Field in New Martinsville.
Monroe Central's usually potent running game of seniors Levi Brown and Curtis Nixon was bottled up. The duo, who average just over 163 yards per game between them, were held to just 58 on 27 carries against the Blue Eagles.
The Zeps broke into the win column last week with a victory over Buckeye Trail.
The Seminoles are currently in 9th place in Division VI, Region 21 and cannot afford another loss in they are to make the playoffs.
Buckeye Trail at Fort Frye
The Warriors have lost two straight after posting their only two wins.
Senior tailback Travis Pontius continues to excel as he has ran for 622 yards and half-a-dozen touchdowns.
The Cadets are ranked 7th in the Division VI, Region 21 ratings. Their lone loss was to Monroe Central.
Edison at Harrison Central
The Huskies are licking their wounds after back-to-back setbacks to Buckeye 8 powerhouses Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville.
The road gets no easier as the state-ranked Wildcats pay a visit to Cadiz.
Harrison Central quarterback David Miser has 1,069 yards passing, while Nate Olmstead has caught 22 passes for 503 yards and five touchdowns. Dalton Rutter also has 18 receptions for more than 300 yards.
The Wildcats are ranked 9th in Division IV, Region 13.
Valley at St. John Central
The Irish are still seeking that elusive first win, but it won't be easy against the Lumberjacks, who will be playing their second game in less than a week. They were defeated Monday at Clay-Battelle in a game that was postponed due to the tragic death of a Cee-Bee's cheerleader.