PHS has another big matchup in Week 8

Big?Reds travel for showdown vs. Cabell Midland

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg’s Brandon Braham joins in taking down Woodrow Wilson ball carrier LaMont Lee, Jr. during the Big Reds’ 34-8 victory over the Flying Eagles last Friday. Braham and his teammate are back in the fire tonight with a trip to Cabell Midland.

PARKERSBURG — After a relatively worry-free win over Woodrow Wilson one week ago, Mike Byus’ Class AAA No. 9 PHS Big Reds (4-2) are back in the fire with a trip to Mountain State Athletic Conference foe and No. 15 Cabell Midland (3-3) at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

PHS sit as high in the rankings as they have been in several seasons. Now, Wood County’s largest high school’s sights are set on climbing into homefield advantage territory in the West Virginia High School playoff ratings with a win over the Knights.

Before they can plant a flag, however, the red and white have to solve the riddle of Luke Salmons’ team. Salmons and company own a six-game winning streak over the Big Reds dating back to 2011. Cabell also needs to quickly pile up victories with games against No. 5 Spring Valley (4-2) and No. 1 Huntington (6-0) left on the schedule, so grabbing a road victory won’t be easy.

Byus’ team is no stranger to visiting someone else’s house and walking out with a win. Two weeks ago, the Big Reds fell behind 36-14 before rallying back for a 44-36 triumph at Wheeling Park.

Ripley (2-5) is the only other local AAA school in action this week. Eddie Smolder’s Vikings are on a five-game losing streak, with a possible sixth straight defeat coming against No. 5 Spring Valley.

Make no mistake the blue and white are in win now mode to keep their playoff hopes alive, but Spring Valley wants to stay firmly where they are to avoid going on the road to open the postseason.

The lone AA school Roane County (0-6) looks for the first win of the season against Lincoln at 7:30 p.m. tonight inside County Stadium. Paul Burdette’s Raiders had their best offensive output of the season last week in a 59-44 loss to Class AA No. 4 Liberty Harrison.

More high scoring is needed in this matchup to compete with the Panthers.

Doddridge County (5-2) and Ravenswood (4-2) meet in a huge showdown at 7:30 p.m. tonight inside DCHS’ Cline Stansberry Stadium.

Both teams sit in the playoff hunt with the No. 11 Red Devils three spots away from a coveted top 8 standing, while Bobby Burnside’s No. 13 Bulldogs want to solidify their footing in the postseason field with a sixth straight triumph.

Another Little Kanawha Conference matchup of playoff hopefuls takes place at 7 p.m. in Elizabeth.

Terry Smith’s Williamstown squad (3-4) faces off against Isac Osborne’s (3-3) on Wilson-Eismon Field.

This game is a must-win for both teams as the Yellowjackets and Tigers are on the outside looking in at the Class A playoff picture.

A loss all but eliminates Smith’s team from the postseason given the number of no, 1 and 2 loss teams in the classification already.

Meanwhile, Wirt would have to win out if they suffer a defeat, but even then it might not be enough. Osborne’s team probably needs some help from other squads for a shot at the playoffs.

Other LKC teams in action tonight include (games are at 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise): Parkersburg Catholic (0-5) at Notre Dame (1-6) at 7:30 p.m.; Webster County (5-1) at Ritchie County (2-5); Paden City (1-5) at Hannan (2-4) at 6:30 p.m., and Tolsia (2-5) at Tyler Consolidated (3-3), Gilmer County (0-6) at Calhoun County (0-7).

Ohio teams battling are (games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted otherwise): Lucasville Valley (2-4) at Belpre (3-4); Marietta (4-3) at Cambridge (2-5), 7 p.m., and Warren (0-7) at Weir, W.Va. (4-3) at 7 p.m.