Half the season is behind us and three area teams remain undefeated. Big Red continues to roll, Madonna is once again one of the top unbeaten teams in West Virginia Class A, and the Brooke Bruins are the surprise of the season at 4-0.
Big Red at
This is the second time this season that Big Red has traveled to Wheeling Island Stadium. The first trip came in Week 2 when Steubenville held off WPIAL powerhouse Woodland Hills, 13-0. The second trip sets up a showdown with Wheeling Park tonight, but it will not be nearly as close.
The Patriots are 1-4 on the season after opening with a big win over Morgantown. It's been downhill for the Pats ever since, and things will not look up tonight. Big Red has dominated this series. The Red is just too fast for Park.
You can expect another lopsided win. I expect a 42-12 final.
Riverside at Brooke
Riverside fell to Woodrow Wilson, 17-6, in Week 2. Brooke defeated Woodrow Wilson, 54-14, in Week 3.
The Bruins, who are ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, welcome Riverside tonight.
Given the results against a common opponent it looks like it could get ugly at Brooke Memorial Stadium, and it very well could.
However, I think it'll be a close one. Riverside no doubt addressed the problems that led to the Woodrow Wilson upset. Still, the Bruins will remain undefeated after this one. The Bruins are cruising. They'll cruise on with a 42-35 final.
Indian Creek at
How about them Redskins?
After opening with a loss to Big Red, Indian Creek has not looked back, winning its next four, including last week's win over prevously undefeated Buckeye Local.
The Redskins are on top of the Buckeye 8 and find themselves in fourth place in the Division III, Region 11 ratings. They control their own destiny at this point. Playoffs look pretty likely if the 'Skins stay on track.
Tonight, Creek will be tested by St. Clairsville, one of the tougher teams in the Buckeye 8, but Creek will rise to the challenge by breaking open a tight game in the second half to win 35-12 at the Belmont County Fair Grounds.
Weir at Oak Glen
Bragging rights will be on the line tonight in Newell when the Golden Bears play host to Hancock County rival Weir.
Neither team has had a spectacular start in 2009. Weir is 1-3, while Oak Glen has just one win more at 2-3. Tonight the season is going to get a little bit better for one of these teams. That team will be Oak Glen. The Bears have lost a couple close ones this season and their record is not a true reflection of their abilities. I think the Bears will pull ahead quick and stay ahead en route to a 47-20 victory.
Union Local at Edison
After winning two games in a row, the Wildcats found themselves back on the losing side of things last week at Harrison Central. Tonight, the return home with a homecoming game with Union Local.
Union Local hasn't had the strongest of seasons so far, but they do have talent. The Wildcats do too, but a mistake here and there will open up the door for a 21-15 Jets' win.
Buckeye Local at John Marshall
The Monarchs have just one win. The Panthers have just one loss. I don't see a big shakeup happening tonight in Moundsville.
John Marshall will put up a fight in the first half, but the Panthers will wear them down. By the end of third, Buckeye Local, who is anxious to put last week's loss to Indian Creek in the past, will have the game in the bag and win, 34-7.
Harrison Central at Bellaire
Records aside, the 4-1 Huskies will have their hands full Saturday afternoon with the 1-4 Big Reds. Winning at Nelson Field is never easy and containing Bellaire's passing game is just as difficult. You can say what you wanrt about Bellaire, but the Big Reds can throw the football. They always have and something tells me they always will.
But the Huskies are a force of their own. They have after all won every game except for a 28-7 loss to Martins Ferry in Week 3.
I do believe Bellaire is capable of winning this game, but I don't believe the Huskies will let that happen. A couple goal-line stands will give Harrison Central a 22-6 win.
Madonna at Bridgeport
There was a time when playing Bridgeport was an easy win, but the days of the Bulldogs being the area doormat are long, long gone. Like the Blue Dons, Bulldogs are undefeated, as they were last season when these two teams met.
Madonna pulled out that one and it'll pull out this win, Saturday afternoon at Perkins Field. It'll be low scoring and it'll be close, but the Dons will take home a 13-7 decision.
Toronto at Catholic Central
Those in gold and blue breathed a sigh relief last week when their Crusaders finally got a "W". The win over Bellaire at Harding Stadium was much needed and long overdue.
Central will add another win to its record on Saturday.
Toronto is struggling. This season has not been an easy one for the Red Knights, who like the Crusaders come into Week 6 with just win. I don't expect Toronto to bow out gracefully. The Red Knights will fight to the end, but it'll be in a vain, as Gregg Bahen and his boys come away with a 28-15 decision.
(Elverd, a Toronto resident, is a sports writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at email@example.com)