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Football Lookahead: Bishops, Blue Dons Set for Class A Showdown

October 4, 2012
By SHAWN RINE , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

When Bishop Donahue looks in the mirror, it sees Madonna and vice versa. Each squad has a calm and collected quarterback, a pair of dynamic runners and a loss on its schedule that is hard to explain.

The question then, is which team will be able to get one over on the other when they meet at 7:30 on Friday night at Monarch Stadium in Moundsville.

"Madonna is always a very skilled and disciplined team,'' Bishops (5-1) coach John Durdines said. ''They're not going to turn it over and won't commit a bunch of penalties - they won't beat themselves.''

Blue Dons (4-1) coach Doug Taylor echoed many of the same sentiments about the Bishops.

''Bishop Donahue is a well-coached team,'' he said. ''A few years ago they were the kicking stone of the Ohio Valley, but they are very much deserving of where they are now.''

Another similarity? Each team is coming off a runaway victory against outmanned opponents. The Bishops handled Hundred by a 61-18 count, and the Blue Dons ran past Bridgeport, 55-0.

''I've been on both sides. They kept me on the schedule back when we were like that and I tip my hat to them,'' Durdines said of the Hornets, noting that other than practicing keeping their focus, there isn't a whole lot for his players to take away from a game like that.

Bishop Donahue is riding a balanced attack that is keyed by sophomore quarterback Jesse Padlow, and includes running backs Jordan Bonar and Saquan Finley. Padlow hasn't had an incompletion in the last three weeks.

''He's been doing an exceptional job, obviously,'' Durdines said. ''Jesse is way ahead of where I hoped he'd be. We've added a few audibles for him.

''He's taken control of this offense. Just to see him maturing as far as recognizing, checking out of an down to is really neat.

"The team is rallying around him.''

Madonna has a pretty good quarterback in its own right in the form of junior Ross Comis. In last week's victory, Comis accounted for three touchdowns. Nick Ossman also scored three touchdowns, and teams with Eliott Nero to form one of Class A's best duos.

''As of right now, we have a total of I think 10 different players that have scored touchdowns,'' Taylor said. ''Ross gets a lot of attention and he deserves it, but we try to keep things kind of hush (about the backs.).

This is the first leg of a tough three-game stretch for the Blue Dons, one that has all kinds of playoff points awaiting the winner.

''We talked to our kids about the downhill, the second half of the season,'' Taylor said. ''All five teams we play are good.

''We can't overlook anyone. We're going to have our hands full.''

Durdines is looking forward to the matchup.

''It's huge for both teams, obviously,'' he said, ''and it will be a great atmosphere.

''I have great respect for them and that coaching staff.''

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