NAUGATUCK, W.Va. – Aback the agenda came out aback in the off-season, you can agreement the Tug Valley Panthers (3-2) abiding players and apprenticeship agents akin circled one anniversary that stood out from the rest.
That anniversary is assuredly here, as the No. 12 ranked Van Bulldogs (4-1) appointment Bob Brewer Stadium on Friday night in what is accession for the Panthers.
Last division the Panthers actual about ran the table and went 10-0 in the approved season, but they fell one d abbreviate and accomplished at 9-1. That one accident came in a 30-22 defeat at the easily of the Bulldogs in anniversary three of the approved season.
Tug Valley, who came into this anniversary ranked No. 18 in the WVSSAC playoff ratings, will attending to acknowledgment the favor this division and agitated the college rated Bulldogs to advice their playoff rating.
Van is accomplished by longtime drillmaster Steve “Foot” Price, who alternate to the sidelines this division afterwards a one year aperture from coaching. He led the Bulldogs to the Class A playoffs three times during his administration including two beeline in 2015 and 2016, and has them branch in that administration afresh in 2018.
In years accomplished the Bulldogs were a run abundant team, abnormally aback they Boone County’s best arch rusher Brady Gant manning the backfield. Now drillmaster Price has a counterbalanced advance and will use his alfresco casual d to accessible up the run d amid the tackles.
Quarterback Gavin Smith will access this challenge advancing off of his best d of the division as he completed 12-14 passes for 255 yards and bristles touchdowns (TD) in a 40-6 win over Montcalm.
Smith had two altered receivers acquisition the end area alert as Jacob Jarrell and Jarod Puckett both had 80 additional yards accepting and two scores.
They are bound to the air d however, as active back/slot receiver David Stewart rushed 12 times for 121 yards and additionally hauled in bristles catches for 69 yards and addition TD.
Drew Price will be the added primary brawl carrier out of the backfield for drillmaster Price as he is a added acceptable decline runner. He additionally leads the aegis from his average linebacker position and had 16 tackles and two lix recovered adjoin the Generals.
The Tug Valley linebackers, Parker Brewer and Chase Smith, and the accessory of Ethan Varney, Tyler Chaffin, and Caleb May will be asked to advice apathetic bottomward the casual d while additionally accepting to being the run d amid the tackles.
The aforementioned could be said for the Van aegis as the Panther breach has begin its character in the accomplished brace of weeks and that is in the anatomy of a bottomward the acreage casual team. Drillmaster Tony Clusky’s green arresting addition Tyler Chaffin got off to a asperous alpha this division as he had alone anesthetized for 169 yards, two TD, and three interceptions.
He angry it on in the aftermost two about as the 6’3″ QB has befuddled for 395 yards, six TD, and alone two picks during that amount including all three array in the 20-15 win over Buffalo aftermost week.
He has created absolutely the affiliation with adolescent green Caleb May, as May has hauled in nine passes for 277 yards and four TD in the aftermost two weeks. May additionally had 15 carries for 51 yards a anniversary ago and was the arch rusher as he stepped into the backfield for the afflicted Jonathan Stepp, who is absent for the season.
Senior Blake Dingess is the aing arch receiver and leads the aggregation in catches with 12 acceptable for 199 yards and two TD. Juniors Parker Brewer and Dustin Balentine additionally accept carries out of the backfield and both accept three hasty array on the season.
Sopre Easton Davis, who is listed at 6’4″ and 189 pounds, bent his aboriginal touchdown of the division as able-bodied aftermost anniversary adjoin Buffalo.
Brewer leads the Panthers in tackles defensively aloof as he did a year ago cutting up 48 tackles so far this season. Smith follows with 37, Aaron White 27, Varney 22, Greg Cantrell has fabricated 21, Robert Spurlock has added 19, and Josh Newsome leads the aggregation in tackles for loss.
Spurlock and White both had key lix recoveries a anniversary ago that helped the Panthers defended the key alley victory.
Van leads the best alternation amid the two schools 10-7 but the Panthers accept won six out of the aftermost eight matchups dating aback to 2010.
With a win this anniversary the Panthers would accept some key benefit credibility and assuredly jump aback into the top 16 of the playoff ratings.
Kickoff is appointed for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night in Naugatuck with temperatures in the low 80s at alpha and a 30 percent adventitious of thundershowers.
Jarrid McCormick is a sports anchorman for the Williamson Daily News. He can be accomplished by email at [email protected]
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