Football preview: James Wood at Warren County

When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Warren County High School in Front Royal.
Records: James Wood Colonels (2-1); Warren County Wildcats (0-2).
Last week: James Wood beat Skyline 28-22 in overtime; Warren County did not play.
Last year: Warren County won 16-7.
Players to watch: James Wood — RB/LB William Crowder, OL/DL Dominic Revetta, OL/DL Luke Roy, WR/DB Tylor McBride; Warren County — QB/DB R.J. Keeney, RB Ronnie Dodson, WR/DB Ben Vogt, LB Joel Edwards.
Preview: Following last week’s win over Skyline, James Wood goes for a sweep of the Northwestern District’s Class 3 schools out of Front Royal this week. A win by the Colonels would also knot their all-time series with Warren County at 22 wins apiece.
Having already equaled last year’s win total, the Colonels are playing with confidence, and resilience. James Wood coach Ryan Morgan said he had a few players leave last week’s game with injuries, but the Colonels were able to fight through that in pulling out the overtime decision.
Morgan said he was also impressed by his players’ abilities to overcome some of the errors they made.
“There were some kids who were making mistakes in the beginning of the game, and they got those problems fixed by the end of the game,” Morgan said. “There were some kids who were kind of hanging their heads, but in overtime a couple of those kids stepped up and made plays to help us win the game.
“I think that speaks to what we talked about a little earlier in the season, how they’re resilient and how they’re looking to come back and looking to improve.”
Morgan wasn’t sure on Thursday afternoon how many injured players would be able to return, but if they don’t play tonight he expects them back next week at home against Hedgesville (W.Va.).
James Wood will take on a Warren County team that gained only 123 yards in the season opener against Handley, a 14-13 defeat. After being shut out in the first half against Kettle Run in Week 2, the Wildcats did score 18 points in the second half of a 30-18 loss.
Lineman Luke Roy leads the Colonels defense with 22 tackles (five for loss). Linebacker Jackson Turner also has 22 tackles.
“They’re going to run no-huddle, so one of the big keys is making sure that all of our defensive players get the signals and know what the defense is,” Morgan said. [Warren County] is willing to throw the ball around. I read that their coach said he wouldn’t mind throwing it 70 percent of the time.”
In going up against Warren County’s defense, Morgan said he expects a lot of pressure. James Wood’s pistol wing-T offense has featured strong balance this year, with William Crowder (25 carries, 233 yards, 9.3 yards per carry, four TDs) leading a group of five players who have 91 rushing yards or more.
“They like to send linebackers, and they like to get penetration and get in the backfield,” said Morgan of the Wildcats. “It’s going to be a challenge for the offensive line in a little bit different way from last week, where [Skyline’s] linebackers flowed to the ball more.”
— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki