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Football: Paden City Visits Bishop Donahue

November 3, 2011
By JOSH STROPE , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MOUNDSVILLE - Win and you are in.

It's that simple for Bishop Donahue when it plays host to Paden City at noon Saturday at Monarch Stadium.

Coach John Durdines' club can finish the regular season with a 7-3 record and assure itself another run at a West Virginia Class A championship. The Bishops enter the week ranked No. 13, tied with Meadow Bridge.

Coming off a loss last week to Wheeling Central, Durdines took it in stride, instead looking at some of the positives.

''We had a lot of success at times but you can't turn the ball over as much as we did, especially against a quality team like Wheeling Central,'' Durdines said. ''We had to play error-free and we didn't. But we could have done some damage. I liked our effort.''

Bishop Donahue had some trouble with Maroon Knights starting tailback Gino Bianconi, which could be bad news against Paden City.

The Wildcats boast the Ohio Valley's leading rusher in Taylor Still.

Aided by a veteran offensive line, Still added to his total with 184 yards and two touchdowns in last week's loss to Valley.

''He's at the top of the rushing charts for a reason,'' Durdines said. ''He's fast and fearless and he will definitely make you miss, so we have to make sure we tackle him. He's also not afraid to put his shoulder down.''

Still has been a bright spot in what has been a tough season for Paden City.

The Wildcats entered the season with 12 seniors and there was hope this could be the season they could break back into the playoffs. Instead, they will have to settle for trying to keep Bishop Donahue out.

''We have been a little snakebitten, that's for sure,'' Paden City coach Brent Croasmun said. ''It seems like a few breaks here and there and we were just unlucky. It all started in Game 1 when the lights went out in the third quarter (against Van).

''But these kids have worked hard all season long and they have prepared for every game and didn't look at the record.''

Still will be the third standout running back the Bishops have had to deal with in a row, following Bianconi and Valley's Casey Pingley, giving Durdines and his staff plenty of practice against stopping the run.

''We are pretty aggressive and we have had some really good stints against the run,'' Durdines said. ''We just need to stop turning the ball over.

''We know we have to win to get in so we have to take care of the football. Every possession needs to end with a kick, whether it is an extra point or a punt.''

The Bishops have their own explosive backfield in Jordan Bonar and Ollie Parker, as well as quarterback Cody Ballard.

''We have some concerns about their skill players and we expect them to probably load up against our line because we don't throw the ball much and everyone knows that,'' Croasmun said.

''We are not going to change anything and just continue to do what we do.

''I demand 100 percent from my players and to this point that is what they have given and I can't see why they won't for their final game.''

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