MAN, W.Va. — What a difference a big win can do to your football program.
The Man High School Hillbillies certainly got that last week with a 27-14 road win at Class AA No. 10-ranked and undefeated Westside last week.
Facing a more difficult schedule this fall in the Double-A ranks, Man moved to 2-1 on the season and put itself back into the Class AA playoff chase.
The Billies hope to keep up the momentum this Friday night with a game at winless River View (0-2).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the River View High School football field at Bradshaw, W.Va.
The Raiders, which were idle last week, lost 42-6 to Mount View in the opener and then fell 40-20 to Grundy (Va.) a couple of weeks ago.
Man looks to go 3-1 ahead of its bye week on Sept. 23. The Billies then face winless Lincoln County on Sept. 30 at Hamlin before the big county showdown at Chapmanville on Oct. 7.
Things are looking much better for Man, which was beaten 48-13 by county rival Logan in the opener and then won a 45-44 triple-overtime game at home over Mount View on Sept. 2 in the Man Hall of Fame Game.
“Two and one is a lot better than 1-2 when they start getting the ratings out,” Billies’ coach Harvey Arms said. “You like to know where you stand. We hope to keep continuing to play well throughout the year. The last two weeks have been pretty good. In the first week, we didn’t play that well but we did learn a lot from that I think. The last two weeks have been really good for us and we’ve come a long way.”
Man goes into the game against River View as the favorites but are not overlooking the Raiders, which are led by freshman quarterback Kobe Halstead and wide receiver James Ward.
“We’re going on the road and the first thing that you always have to be conscious about is cutting down on the penalties,” Arms said. “When you are playing away from home sometimes it’s easy to lose focus. We don’t want to lose focus or have a lot of penalties or lose the ball with a lot of turnovers. We have to go out there and play solid like we have in the last two weeks. If we can continue to improve on what we are doing I think that we’ll be OK.”
River View leads the all-time series 4-2 over Man but were pounded by the Billies 54-0 last season on the road.
The good news for Man is that senior running back Jake Frye, who injured his shoulder in the Logan game, could be back.
“Jake Frye might be able to get in there this week but I don’t know,” Arms said.
Coach Arms and the Billies rolled the dice last week by giving significant playing time to a pair of freshmen running backs in Zach Frye and Dylan Morris.
The gamble paid off.
Morris rushed for 82 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown, while Frye carried the ball 13 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Man racked up 282 yards of total offense while holding the Renegades to just 121 yards.
The Billies’ offensive line, led by Austin Bragg, Kayne Brown, Jacob Asbury, D.J. Browning, Steve Ramey and tight end Nick Collins, blew Westside off the ball all night long, opening holes for Man’s freshman pair.
“We had a couple of freshmen backs that ran the ball really hard,” Arms said. “It worked out well for us in the end. The more players that you have the better off that you are. It’s good to know that you have players that will be ready for you years down the road. They both played really well on Friday.”
Beating Westside was a big confidence builder for the Billies.
“It’s always great to win,” Arms said. “They came in 2-0 and we were 1-1. It was a tough game all night long but our kids really played well, especially up front. Our offensive and defensive lines played really well.”
Arms said he hopes his team can keep up the momentum this week against the Raiders.
“It was great because we were able to build on what we did the week before,” he said. “We had such a tough game with Mount View going to the three overtimes. We just built on that and the kids seemed to be a little more confident going into the game and I thought that we played a little more confident and aggressive on the field. We hope to get better all year long from week to week.”
Man received three votes in this week’s WV MetroNews Class AA Power Index, putting the Billies at 15th in the state.
Bridgeport (3-0) is ranked No. 1 again this week, while Fairmont Senior (2-0) is second, Point Pleasant (3-0) third and Mingo Central (3-0) fourth. Weir (3-0) is fifth, Herbert Hoover (3-0) sixth, Logan (3-0) seventh, James Monroe (2-0) eighth, Keyser (2-1) ninth and Nicholas County (3-0) 10th.
Roane County, Lewis County, Braxton County, Sissonville, Westside, Winfield and Lincoln also received mention along with Man.
Man hosts Point Pleasant later on in the season.
Football Friday night
WHAT: Man (2-1) at RiverView (0-2)
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: River View High School football field, Bradshaw, W.Va.
SURFACE: Natural grass
LAST WEEK: Man won 27-14 over No. 10 Westside, RiverView was idle.
LAST YEAR’S MEETING: Man beat RiverView 54-0
ALL-TIME SERIES: RiverView leads 4-2
Man vs. River View Series
All-Time Series (River View leads 4-2)
2014: Man 54, River View 0
2014: River View 38, Man 35
2013: Man 46, River View 8
2012: River View 22, Man 13
2011: River View 26, Man 24
2010: River View 33, Man 21
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).