Twin Valley Panthers (4-5) at Hurley Rebels (3-6)
Date: Thursday, November 1, 2018.
Where: Smiley Ratliff Field at The Cliff—Hurley, VA
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: 10/27/2017 Hurley 54 – Twin Valley 12
All-time record: Hurley leads 12-5
Players to watch:
Twin Valley– QB Tylor Keen, RB Brandon Lester, RB Xzavier Ward
Hurley– RB Matthew Blankenship, TE/DE Taylor Justus, QB Chad Justice
What to watch for:
Twin Valley: The Panthers are coming off a bye week. They will be out for revenge after losing a heartbreaker to Rye Cove two weeks ago. Twin Valley is still playing for a playoff berth but they need to defeat the Rebels and get some help from Castlewood in order to do just that. Tylor Keen and Brandon Lester have had outstanding senior campaigns in Oakwood and they look to prolong the season with a big win over an archrival at The Cliff. The Panthers have not defeated Hurley since a one-point victory in 2013 at home. Jeremy Ward’s crew has exceeded expectations. However, compared to where the Panthers sat at one point, they have underachieved what many thought was shaping up to be the best season in school history. Keen, the senior gunslinger, will try to top his five-touchdown pass performance against Rye Cove. Twin Valley has not won at The Cliff since 2006.
Hurley: Like Twin Valley, Hurley also comes off of a bye in week 10. The Rebels have lost the past four after starting the season 3-2. Matthew Blankenship has led the offensive charge out of the Wing-T for Hurley. Taylor Justus, Chad Justice and Jonathan Hurley have all provided sparks for the gray and red this season. However, it just hasn’t seemed to fall into place all at once for the Runnin’ Rebels. Hurley definitely has a size and numbers advantage when it comes down to it in this one. They also have an edge in this series. The Rebels hold a 12-5 advantage in a series dating back to 2001. This is a big time rivalry in Buchanan County. Even with the game being moved up a night, look for there to be a big crowd at Smiley Ratliff Field. The Rebels have won four in a row in this matchup all in a rather convincing fashion. Coach Anthony Church would love nothing more than his Rebels to get a big win to build momentum going into 2019 and to completely knock Twin Valley out of the playoff picture.
I am a graduate of Richlands High School—class of 2014. In May 2018, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism and History with a minor in war and Society from Virginia Tech.
My passions in life are numerous. We don’t have all day. This is not the place to divulge into Hokie Football, so I will shed some light on one of my other favorites.
I was born and raised in the coalfields of southwest Virginia—Richlands to be exact. I remember the first time I ever went to a high school football game (Richlands-Tazewell ’02). Since then, a passion has grown that is stronger than the current in the Clinch River. As a football player in this region, I was able to witness the passion oozing out of the hills firsthand. It was something that when I began college, people had a hard time believing the spectacle that is high school football in the coalfields. Luckily, I was able to go 42-8 in between the white lines on Fridays and Saturdays from 2010-2013. I look forward to having another platform to tell you my stories, your stories and their stories. Here’s to the good times and hoping I don’t leave you like I did Coach Greg Mance numerous times—by saying, “Gosh Durn It!”
Let’s talk, SWVA sports, Hokies, history or maybe even barbecue.