Welcome to Coalfield Sports’ Game of the Week Poll!
Throughout the season, we will select five games each week for our weekly pick’em segment on the SWVA Sports Podcast. Co-Hosts Ryan Dye and Brady Hess will keep a running total of their picks along with a collective total of the weekly guest picker!
With so many great games each week to choose from, we’re going to need your help in selecting the Coalfield Sports’ Game of the Week! So while you’re here, scroll to the bottom to cast your vote for week five!
Patrick Henry at John Battle:
Coach Mark Palmer will take his 4-0 Patrick Henry Rebels to Bristol to face off against Coach Britt Stone’s John Battle Trojans.
Patrick Henry dropped a 58-26 decision to John Battle last season, but the Rebels are on a tear to begin the 2018 season. Palmer’s squad is led by a dynamic backfield that includes Zack Brown and Cody Smith. The junior tailback Smith was a CoalfieldSports.com Player of the Week nominee last week after his 179 yard, four rushing touchdown performance against Eastside. Zack Brown was impressive himself against Eastside, as he finished with 285 yards and two touchdowns. Brown is a current Player of the Week nominee after his 127 yard, three touchdown performance against Twin Springs.
John Battle looks to continue on their current win streak. The Trojans strength of schedule got the better of them in the first two weeks as they dropped games to Abingdon & Virginia High. They’ve rebounded nicely with impressive wins over previously unbeaten Holston & Lebanon. Dylan Cunningham led the Trojans’ on the ground against Lebanon, accounting for 97 yards and a score. Walker Osborne also churned out 65 yards and a touchdown. Juddy Shaffer is also a useful weapon for Stone’s team as he’s proven capable to eclipse the century mark on the ground himself.
When the Rebels visit Battle Hill it will be the 59th match-up of these teams. The Rebels currently hold a 29-27-2 advantage in what has been one of the most competitive series in the area.
Marion at Grayson County:
In a matchup of two teams that are coming off disappointing losses, the Marion Scarlet Hurricane will travel to Independence to take on the Grayson County Blue Devils.
Marion (1-2), who is coming off a bye week, had a tough go around in their last outing vs. George Wythe. The Scarlet Hurricane hope to bounce back and have the same luck as last year, when they defeated Grayson County 18-10 at home. Coach Joey Carroll will count on his quarterback Tanner Tate to lead the charge. Tate proved his ability in the ‘Canes thrashing of Northwood in week two, by throwing three touchdown passes and rushing for another. Austin Thomas could be called Tate’s favorite target, as he was on the receiving end of two scoring strikes. Easton Medley is their big play threat out of the backfield. Medley rushed for two touchdowns against the Panthers, .
Grayson County, comes into this game with revenge on their mind as the Blue Devils wish to avenge their loss from the previous season against Marion. Grayson County got out to a red-hot 3-0 start before dropping a decisive decision in Salem last week vs. the Glenvar Highlanders. The Devils hope to get their offense back on track by leaning on Ethan Brown and Jake Hollingsworth. Brown rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns against Rural Retreat. Hollingsworth was a CoalfieldSports.com Player of the Week nominee in week two after his 247 yards & two touchdown performance against Carroll County.
This is one of SWVA’s newest series, as this will only be the second all time matchup between the two teams. Marion leads 1-0.
Auburn at George Wythe:
Two of the Mountain Empire District’s newest additions will go to battle as the Auburn Eagles visit Wytheville to take on the George Wythe Maroons.
Auburn comes into week five of the 2018 season sporting an impressive 3-1 record. The Eagles, who were outscored 34-14 in last season’s game vs. the Maroons, are still celebrating their 27-0 win last week vs. their rival Eastern Montgomery. Payson Kelley shouldered the load for Auburn’s offense in that game as he rushed for 151 yards and two scores as the Eagles shut out the Mustangs. Carter Brockman had an impressive night as well, as he ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns and kicked three extra points.
After falling in week one to Radford, George Wythe strung together two impressive wins against Fort Chiswell and Marion before running into Chilhowie’s defense in a 39-0 loss last Thursday. Coach Brandon Harner’s Maroons are led on offense by first year signal-caller Cole Simmons, who has thrown for five touchdowns on the season. Simmons also proved that he can move the ball with his legs, as he is the team’s leading rusher. His partner in the backfield, Dayson McMillian, had a big game against Marion with a rushing and receiving touchdown. Jacquez Younger is Simmons’ favorite target. Younger had two touchdown receptions in their win vs. Marion. The Maroons’ defense is led by Dayson’s brother Dorrien McMillian who plays inside-linebacker. Through the first two games of the season, Dorrien had an outstanding 21 tackles, one sack and two interceptions.
It will only the third meeting between the teams when Auburn visits Pendleton Field. Now Mountain Empire District rivals, the two teams only met once before last season when George Wythe picked up a 21-7 playoff win in 2014.
Honaker at Grundy:
The winner of this game will be the favorite to win the Black Diamond District.
A win for Honaker will be its fourth of the season. It will also mark more wins than the Tigers had in 2017. In a series dating back to 1935, Grundy has a 15-9 edge. The Golden Wave have won the last two over the Tigers. Both teams have established dominant rushing attacks.
Honaker running back Trevor Dye has found the end zone seven times this season for the Tigers. Four of those came against Twin Valley in week three. The Tigers are coming off a bye week. However, so are their opponents, the Grundy Golden Wave.
Grundy has perhaps the most explosive tailback in the CoalfieldSports region in senior Gabe Fiser. The three-time state champion wrestler has broken the record for most rushing yards at Grundy High School in back-to-back weeks. The record breaking weeks consist of a 336-yard performance against RiverView (WV) and a 337-yard performance against Lebanon. Through three games, Fiser has 757 yards on the ground with eight touchdowns.
Grundy’s Jacob McCoy and Honaker’s Chandler Hubbard are both seasoned wide receivers and defensive backs. Look for a packed house at Nelson Memorial Field.
Rye Cove at Castlewood:
A week after dropping a 14-13 heartbreaker to Thomas Walker at home, the Eagles hit the road to Castlewood. The Hardin brothers led the way for Rye Cove last week. Mason had 90 yards and a touchdown, while brother Matthew had 65 yards and a touchdown. Matt Gibson delivered 15 tackles for the Golden Eagles.
Castlewood was taken to the woodshed last week in a 32-6 thumping at the hands of Holston. Jacob Vance scored the lone touchdown as the Blue Devils dropped to 0-4.
These teams have met each season since 1996, which includes a first round playoff matchup in 2011. The series dates back to 1961, with Castlewood holding a 18-11 edge. The Blue Devils have won the past seven. Is this where Darrell Taylor’s team gets their first win of 2018?
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