Week 5 Prep Football Previews

Posted: September 25, 2015
Hedgesville at James Wood
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: James Wood’s Jerry L. Kelican Stadium in Winchester
Records: Hedgesville (W.Va.) Eagles (0-4); James Wood Colonels (3-1).
Last week: Hedgesville lost to Jefferson (W.Va.) 61-7; James Wood beat Strasburg 26-23.
Last year: Did not play.
Players to watch: Hedgesville — WR Nathan Tress; James Wood — WR/DBDillon Manuel; RB/LB Tyler Bishop; QB Dade Carroll
Preview: If you could schedule an opponent that could guarantee a Homecoming win, this would seem to be a given for James Wood.
Hedgesville has lost 19 straight games and is giving up 62.5 points per game. No opponent has scored less than 59 points against the Eagles this season.
Mark McHale is not worried about what numbers his opponent has tonight. He’s worried about his Colonels, who held on to edge previously unbeaten Strasburg last week.
Wood’s offense struggled at times and hurt itself with costly penalties, one which negated a 53-yard touchdown run by Tyler Bishop.
The Colonels’ special teams also gave up a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and allowed Strasburg to recover an onside kick.
“We’ve challenged them and we’ll see how they respond,” McHale said of his players. “We have not put a full game together, yet. ... If we can get all three phases working, we could be a pretty good football team.”
Despite a rough second half, Bishop still put up 170 yards on the ground and is now just 47 yards from cracking 1,000 for the season.
He’ll be facing a defense that gave up seven rushing touchdowns last week.
The Colonels can also beat you in the air. Quarterback Dade Carroll is completing 70 percent of his passes. Against Strasburg, he fired a 26-yard scoring strike to Dillon Manuel, who now leads all area receivers with 16 catches.
Manuel has caught three touchdown passes from Carroll in the last two games.
“He’s really come on in the last two or three weeks for us,” McHale said.
The bright spot from last week was the Colonels’ defense which held on Strasburg’s final two possessions in the final minutes.
“That was a good tailback [Justin Carr] we held to 20 yards and held them to 195 total yards,” McHale said. “That gave our defense a boost of confidence.”
McHale is not sure what to expect from Hedgesville, which actually led Jefferson 7-6 after a quarter last week.
“You get four games into the season and you haven’t won, you might change everything,” he said. “You could change your whole offense and defense.”
— Compiled by Walt Moody