PARKERSBURG -Down the homestretch they come.
Nothing like a familiar phrase from horse racing to describe the scene as high school football enters Week 8. All four Wood County programs are trying to get off the bubble and secure a possible postseason berth.
In terms of rankings, Parkersburg South (4-3) is in the best shape at No. 15 in Class AAA. The Patriots play host to Brooke (1-5) Friday at Erickson All-Sports Facility - the first of three straight home games to end the regular season.
Parkersburg High (4-3) figures winning two of its final three games would extend its season into the playoffs. The 21st-ranked Big Reds travel to Beckley to meet Woodrow Wilson (4-3) - a program PHS coach Don Reeves has defeated in two previous tries.
In Class A, Williamstown under coach Terry Smith isn't accustomed to be on the outside looking in. Yet, that's the dilemma facing the 19th-ranked Yellowjackets (3-3) as they play host to Wirt County (4-2).
On Saturday, No. 23 Parkersburg Catholic (3-4) welcomes Valley Fayette (6-0) to Stadium Field for a 1:30 p.m. contest.
(All games 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Parkersburg at Woodrow Wilson
Brooke at Parkersburg South
Wirt County at Williamstown
Eastern at Doddridge County
St. Marys at Gilmer County
Point Pleasant at Ravenswood
Buffalo at Calhoun County
Roane County at Man
Ripley at St. Albans
Bishop Donahue at Paden City
Tyler Consolidated at South Harrison
South Gallia at Wahama
Belpre at Trimble
Bishop Rosecrans at Marietta
Gallia Academy at Warren
Fort Frye at Caldwell, 7 p.m.
Valley Wetzel at Frontier, 7 p.m.
Southern at Waterford
Federal Hocking at Miller
Valley Fayette at Parkersburg Catholic, 1:30 p.m.
West Virginia State at Glenville State College, 1 p.m.
Ohio Northern at Marietta College, 1:30 p.m.
Akron at Ohio, 2 p.m.
West Virginia University at Texas Tech, 3:30 p.m.
Ohio State at Indiana, 8 p.m.
Off this week: High school Magnolia, Ritchie County; College - Marshall University.
As for one of the most intriguing matchups on Friday, Eastern (4-3) travels to West Union to face Doddridge County (5-2). The Eagles are currently ranked 11th in Ohio Division VI, Region 23. Only the top eight teams in each region qualify for the playoffs. The Bulldogs are No. 15 in West Virginia's Class A.
On paper, there are several mismatches. In West Virginia, Wahama (7-0) plays host to South Gallia (0-7) in Mason; St. Marys (5-1) goes to Glenville to play Gilmer County (2-5); Buffalo (5-1) is at Mt. Zion to match up with Calhoun County (2-5); and Bishop Donahue (5-2) visits Paden City (1-6).
In Ohio, Belpre hits the road for Glouster to play a Trimble (6-1) team which is ranked No. 4 in Division VI, Region 23; Marietta (1-6) returns to Don Drumm Stadium to oppose Bishop Rosecrans (6-1); Gallia Academy (5-2) visits Vincent to meet Warren (2-5); Fort Frye (5-2) is at Caldwell (1-6); and Federal Hocking (5-2) goes to Miller (1-6).
Fort Frye is ranked 10th in Division V, Region 17, while Federal Hocking is 12th in Division V, Region 19.
Rounding out Friday's slate of games are Point Pleasant (4-2) at Ravenswood (2-4), Roane County (3-3) at Man (2-5), Ripley (3-4) at St. Albans (0-7), Tyler Consolidated (1-5) at South Harrison (3-3), Valley Wetzel (1-6) at Frontier (3-4) and Southern (2-5) at Waterford (2-5).
Area teams off this week are Magnolia (6-1) and Ritchie County (5-2).