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Football Lookahead: Class A Titans Clash Saturday at Jimmy Carey Stadium

September 12, 2013
By JIM ELLIOTT , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

It's the game of the year in the OVAC thus far.

Wheeling Central and Madonna, two teams that have every intent on participating in the last game in West Virginia's Class A this season, have a Saturday night, Week 3 meeting at Jimmy Carey Stadium.

Is it too early?

''It doesn't matter when you play Wheeling Central,'' Madonna coach Doug Taylor said. ''You know you're in for a dogfight.''

Added Wheeling Central coach Mike Young: ''The way our schedule is right now with Madonna, Linsly, Magnolia (as the next three), it's going to be challenging all the way through. We have to play some time.

''We're not looking any farther ahead. We're looking to go out and get better than we were last week. We definitely have to be better for this game. We're going to be challenged. This is our challenge this week.''

While it is a fairly early meeting, neither team is dealing with injuries, meaning Ohio Valley football fans are going to see these teams at their best.

''Both teams being healthy is good for both of us,'' Young said.

Both clubs are also unbeaten, though they've gone about it in different ways. While Madonna has steamrolled both Beallsville and Tusky Catholic, Wheeling Central struggled in Week 1 against Harrison Central, pulling out a one-point victory before putting most of it together against Westinghouse last week.

''Absolutely,'' Young said. ''Our first game, we blew a lot of blocking assignments. We did a better job of blocking and tackling (against Westinghouse).

When he looks at Madonna, he sees a complete team.

''They're huge upfront,'' Young said. ''They block well, they come off the ball well. They can throw, they can run. They're explosive in both. (Quarterback Ross) Comis is one of the keys. (Elliott) Nero is a heckuva runner.''

Comis rushed for 202 yards and four touchdowns last week, while Nero added 141 yards on 22 carries and another score. For good measure, he added six tackles and a pair of sacks in last week's victory.

The Maroon Knights have explosion of their own. Quarterback Parker Henry appeared to have knocked all of the rust off last week in rushing for 164 yards and three touchdowns. Running back C.J. Burch was held in check most of the night, save for a 57-yard touchdown run.

''It looked like Henry was comfortable running that offense,'' Taylor said.

Young agreed.

''The first week you could tell he was away from it for a year,'' Young said. ''(Last week) the deception was there. He did a much better job of executing.''

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