BEALLSVILLE - With only two weeks remaining in the 2011 high school football regular season for Ohio and three for West Virginia teams, it has quickly turned into that time of the year where the cream rises to the top and playoff berths are awarded.
Friday night Coach Dave Caldwell's 6-2 Beallsville squad will look to cement another postseason journey when they play host to a Paden City (3-4) team that could receive huge points with a victory.
The Blue Devils enter the game sitting in second in the latest Division VI, Region 23 rankings while Coach Brent Croasmun's Wildcats are in the outside looking in, but in search of a huge victory.
Beallsville did nothing to hurt itself a week ago, going on the road and blanking Bridgeport, 21-0, while Paden City was busy putting a 42-7 whacking on St. John in Bellaire last Saturday.
''As far as the playoffs, OVAC and River Valley Conference go, last week was a real big win for us,'' Caldwell said. ''Bridgeport is a real nice football team that only has three wins, but could very easily have four or five.
''We were fortunate to get out of there with a win.''
There are glaring differences between these two RVC members, the biggest being the fact the Devils are so balanced on offense and stingy on defense. Meanwhile, the Cats are pretty one-dimensional with a potent rushing attack and have struggled occasionally on defense.
Junior quarterback Teryn Jarrett has completed more than 50 percent of his attempts on the year and has thrown for 1,243 yards, 14 touchdowns and just a pair of interceptions. He also has one of the best receiving corps in the Ohio Valley.
The trio of Ricky Tubaugh, Brandyn Heath and Matt Burke have combined for 79 grabs for 1,079 yards and 12 scores.
Heath is very multi-dimensional with 718 rushing yards and six touchdowns, 27 catches for 322 yards and three more scores, while also booting 23 extra points and a field goal. Senior Grahamm Dauch adds 474 yards on the ground and nine six-pointers.
In recording its second shutout of the season, Beallsville's defense limited the Bulldogs to 155 yards of total offense.
''Beallsville is probably the best team on our schedule,'' Croasmun said. ''They have so many weapons and you really have to defend the entire field with them.
''This is a big game for us with just three wins right now. I know it would be tough to get in at 6-4, but there are a lot of bonus points here. More than that is the fact that we want to finish with a winning record and we need this one to get that.''
For Croasmun, there is no question where his offensive attack begins and ends, in the hands of senior scatback Taylor Still. The speedy Still is coming off a tremendous outing against the Fighting Irish with 38 totes for 295 yards and four touchdowns.
On the year he has a valley-best 1,310 yards on 178 carries and is third in points scored with 110. Still averages 7.4 yards a carry and a whopping 187 yards a game.
Senior Geoffrey Bidwell also lends support and ran for 94 yards and a pair of scores last week.
''Taylor was nicked up a little against Conotton Valley and it really hurt our offense and cost us,'' Croasmun continued. ''But he has done such a great job finding holes and getting through them and he is running as well as he ever has.
''But you also cannot forget Geoffrey Bidwell, who has also been running well for us and takes some heat off of Taylor. On top of all that is the fact that our offensive line has done an outstanding job blocking this year and that is a big reason we have been able to do the things we have done.''
However, if there is one setback to the Wildcats' potent rushing attack, it is the lack of a passing game. Freshman Zach Heasley has done a decent job when asked, but was just 2 of 7 for 10 yards a week ago.
On the other hand, the Paden City defense did not allow a completed pass against St. John, something that will more than likely change this week against the potent Blue Devils.
''Paden City scares me,'' Caldwell added. ''They run a wide-open offense, run the ball very well and can throw it also. They actually present a lot of problems we are going to have to deal with.''
Beallsville holds a 6-0 series lead, including a 43-0 blanking last year, and has outscored Paden City by a 262-60 total in the six contests.