Football: Bishops Do Not Want a Repeat

MOUNDSVILLE – Been there, done that certainly describes Bishop Donahue this week. It was just a season ago that Coach John Durdines’ team needed a victory in the final week against Tyler Consolidated in order to qualify for the West Virginia Class A playoffs.

Silver Knights 40, Bishops 26.

No postseason for Bishop Donahue.

”We’ve seen them on film and in person and they are very good,” Durdines said as the teams prepare to meet at 7:30 tonight at Monarch Stadium in Moundsville. ”These kids remember what happened last year against them also.”

A victory would put the Bishops (6-3) into roughly the 13th spot of the field according to local playoff guru John Simonson. Though the general belief is the the Silver Knights, despite winning their last five games, have been eliminated from the postseason, it’s not something they can allow themselves to think about.

”The only thing known for sure is if we lose, we know we’re not in,” Tyler Consolidated coach Ryan Walton said. ”So you have to play that way.”

”We started out 0-4, so our playoffs actually started Week 5.”

Durdines has noticed.

”I know they would love to have that Doddridge game back where they lost because of turnovers,” Durdines said. ”If you can play the likes of Magnolia, St. Marys and Williamstown, a lot of teams would lose with that schedule.

”They’re big, physical and their line is athletic for its size. I’m really impressed by (running back Jacob) Highley.

”He runs strong. Their quarterback (Jordan Baker) is athletic and has speed to get to the outside, but they can also throw it a little bit.”

Bishop Donahue is coming in off a landmark victory against Wheeling Central last Saturday on the island. The Bishops fell behind 18-0 but rallied for a 33-32 victory, staving off a Maroon Knights 2-point conversion attempt late.

”Bishop’s a very dangerous team,” Walton said. ”They showed a lot of heart there, down 18-0 at one time. Once they got some momentum, they took off.”

”We knew going in Central was going to come out with something different, but we just didn’t know what it was,” Durdines said. ”They came out in formation we hadn’t seen and spread us out, so we went away from our man-to-man and played more zone to put and extra guy in the box.

”As coaches, we will make the adjustments.

”As soon as that first-quarter break came, we got the kids together and explained the adjustments and they understood what we were trying to do.”

That comes from good leadership.

”Chris Vani and Lavonte Hampton are our two senior leaders, and Chris is not going to let them falter,” Durdines said. ”They lead by example and don’t really need to say a whole lot.

”They never gave up and no head went down.”

That mirrors what Tyler Consolidated did with its season after that tough beginning.

”The kids stayed the course with what we were trying to do,” Walton said. ”We have a lot of young kids playing. A lot of those sophomores, that was was their first varsity action. They’ve matured, grown, and gotten a grasp of what we’re trying to do.”