MAN — Now that the Tug Valley Panthers are in the rearview mirror, the Man Hillbillies are looking ahead to this week’s game with the Van Bulldogs and then the Class A playoffs.
The Man High School football team helped its bid to gain a top eight finish and a home playoff game with last week’s 14-12 overtime win at Tug Valley.
Now, the Hillbillies will try to nail that down this Friday night as Man (7-2) hosts Van (7-2) in a key Class A game at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
The Billies were ranked No. 8 in last week’s WVSSAC Rankings and hope to climb a few spots before the playoffs begin Nov. 13 across the state.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. It will also be Senior Night for the Billies.
Van was idle last week and ranked No. 11 in the state.
After getting torched by the Billies 61-6 two years ago, the Bulldogs surprised an injury-riddled Man team last year with a 14-12 upset at home.
This year, the Billies feel like they have a score to settle with the Bullodgs.
With the seven wins, Van, of course, is no slouch even though the Bulldogs have not played as tough as schedule as Man has.
Van, on a five-game winning streak, however, will be no easy task for the Hillbillies. A lot will be on the line for both teams.
“It’s an opportunity for us to get homefield advantage for the playoffs. It’s also an opportunity for them to stay in the playoffs,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “It’s a big game for both of us.”
The Bulldogs last played a couple of weeks ago, winning 46-20 at home over Cameron in a game Van was able to run wild with 662 yards of total offense.
Van is led by running back Brady Grant, who rushed for 315 yards on 26 carries and scored five touchdowns in the win over Cameron. Quarterback Logan Crouse tacked on another 127 yards and scored two touchdowns in addition to passing for 70 more yards.
“We are playing well right now,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Steve Price.
Arms said Van has a pretty solid team.
“He (Grant) is a good back and he had a good game against us last year,” Arms said. “They have several good players. Their quarterback is good too. He can throw the ball some and they have a couple of receivers that can get down field and catch the ball. They have a real good team. They are 7-2. They’ve played some good teams too. Last year when we played them we had some big injuries and they beat us 14-12.”
Van’s winning streak started on Sept. 25 with a 28-13 home victory over Midland Trail. The Bulldogs followed that up with wins over Richwood (54-14), Sherman (40-18) and Montcalm (42-14).
The Bulldogs opened the season with a 34-16 win at Meadow Bridge, then beat Phelps, Ky. (47-0) before losing to Tug Valley (34-21) and William Campbell, Va. (55-20).
— Look for more on the Man football team in Thursday’s Logan Banner print edition.
Football Friday night
WHAT: Van (7-2) at Man (7-2)
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: George A. Queen Memorial Field, W.Va.
SURFACE: Field Turf
LAST WEEK: Man won 14-12 in OT at Tug Valley … Van was idle
INTERNET STREAM: www.manhillbillies.tv
Man vs. Van Series
Last 10 years (Series tied 1-1)
2014: Van 14, Man 12
2013: Man 61, Van 6
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).