PARKERSBURG - Today's homecoming football game for Parkersburg Catholic holds both peril and reward for the Crusaders.
The peril is with a loss to visiting Class A No. 4 and unbeaten (6-0) Valley Fayette at 1:30 p.m. today at Stadium Field, 3-4 Catholic - ranked 23rd this week in Class A - would be on the verge of not making the state playoffs this season for only the second time in the last 19 years.
But the reward with a win today for the banged-up Crusaders - now down to 16 healthy players - would be a ginormous boost toward PCHS' chances of finishing in the final field 16 playoff entrants.
Whatever the circumstances surrounding today's game, with homecoming ceremonies set prior to kickoff, Catholic head coach Jeff Campbell ''really'' has only one thing on his mind - how to get his team a win over the Greyhounds.
But Campbell knows it won't be an easy task today as Valley has ''two or three kids in the backfield that are bigger than what I have for linemen.'' Plus, he noted, ''they use two different quarterbacks and one of them has got a pretty good arm, so when he's in, you've got to play both option and the throwing game.''
Too, Campbell added, ''When you play down there (like Catholic did last year and won 27-22), they have banners up all over and you can't help but notice that this senior class for them has won all the way through, and it's pretty impressive what those kids have done. So we're going to have to be on top of our game Saturday.''
Valley Fayette (6-0) at
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. today
at Stadium Field
In assessing the playoff predicament for the Crusaders, Campbell was frank in saying, ''We probably have to win out to make it,'' which in addition to today would more than likely also require wins at current No. 19 Williamstown (3-3) next Friday and at Gilmer County (2-5) on Oct. 26.
''But I don't really worry about all that until the last week of the season,'' said Campbell. ''The playoffs are what everybody strives for, but with our numbers and the youth that we have this year (with over half the team being freshmen and sophomores), we're just trying to get a little bit better every week. And to their credit, they've been doing that.''