A look at tonight’s rivalry games

PARKERSBURG — A nationally-recognized rivalry writes another chapter at 7 p.m. tonight inside Erickson All-Sports Facility.

Parkersburg (6-3) and Parkersburg South (3-6) battle for the 51st time with plenty on the line for both teams during the Class AAA showdown.

First-year head coach Mike Byus’s Big Reds, who lead the all-time series 35-15, secure the first home playoff game for the program since 2007 if they emerge victorious. A loss takes their destiny out their hands with several teams close in the standings.

Meanwhile, Parkersburg South head coach Mike Eddy and his senior class have eyes set on doing something no other PSHS coach or class has done against the Big Reds. A triumph over their crosstown rival would mark the first three-game winning streak in the series for the Patriots.

South believes they can find success running the ball as PHS has had a few breakdowns against the run game this season. However, Eddy and company don’t want this game to turn into a shootout.

Byus’ crew has been held below 30 points just twice this season (both losses), while Eddy’s team has yet to score 30 points in a game in 2017.

However as mentioned above, this is a rivalry game so fans should expect anything and everything to happen during the meeting.

Another area rivalry game kicks off at the same time down in Jackson County. Ripley hosts Ravenswood in the annual “Battle for the Hatchet.” The Vikings (3-6) have some momentum after a 44-14 win over Roane County snapped a 6-game losing streak.

Kemp Kelly’s Red Devils (5-4) sit at No. 15 in the West Virginia Secondary School Activities CommissionClass A ratings and could grab some big bonus points with a victory.

Williamstown and Parkersburg Catholic have home games tonight..

Terry Smith’s Yellowjackets (5-4) currently are No. 16 in the WVSSC Class A rankings with Tyler Consolidated, Clay-Battelle and Pocahontas County breathing down their necks.

Tolsia (2-7) looks to play spoiler and get a little revenge at 7 p.m. at Williamstown as the Yellowjackets knocked them from the top spot at the end of the season last year with a victory on the Rebels’ home turf.

Meanwhile, Parkersburg Catholic (0-7) returns to the field for the first time in two weeks against an eighth-ranked Doddridge County (7-2) team hungry to enter the Class A playoffs on an eight-game winning streak.

The running game features heavily for both teams in this contest as the Crusaders lost quarterback Jeb Boice to a lacerated spleen three weeks ago, while the Bulldogs are a run-first football team.

Don’t expect many possessions as the clock should run pretty much the entire game as we return to football before the forward pass became popular at 7 p.m. inside PHS Stadium Field.

Other games this week include (all games at 7 p.m. unless stated otherwise): Tyler Consolidated (5-4) at No. 5 St. Marys (7-1), 7:30 p.m.; Wirt County (5-4) at No. 10 Sherman (7-2), 7:30 p.m.; Moorefield (0-9) at Magnolia (3-6); Gilmer County (3-6) at Meadowbridge (2-7), 7:30 p.m.; Valley (Wetzel) (5-4) at Paden City (2-7), and Roane County (0-9) at Independence (5-4), 7:30 p.m.