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Eastern Panhandle Report: Week 3

Martinsburg’s Elijah Banks has been a force for the Bulldogs.

 

Class AAA No. 1 Martinsburg meets another opponent from Washington, D.C. Two matchups between unbeaten Class AA teams will also be important.

GAMES TO WATCH

Eastern, D.C. (0-1) at Class AAA No. 1 Martinsburg (2-0)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last week: Martinsburg topped H.D. Woodson, D.C., 42-6 for the Bulldogs’ 30th straight win. Eastern lost its opener to Bishop McNamara (Md.), 28-0.

Why it’s important: The Bulldogs go after another convincing win to maintain their status of the top team in the state and prolong their multi-year winning streak.

Who to watch for Martinsburg: The success of players such as Dewayne Grantham, Grant Harman and Jarod Bowie is well-known, but the emergence of Naieem Kearney and Elijah Banks is lifting MHS to an even higher level.

Who to watch for Eastern: Darius Hill recorded an interception in the season-opening loss, while Jalan Young rushed for 87 yards. 

Hedgesville (1-1) at Mountain Ridge, Md. (0-1)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last week: Both teams suffered a close loss. Hedgesville fell to South Hagerstown, Md., 38-33. Mountain Ridge came up short against John Marshall, 26-25.

Why it’s important: Hedgesville needs a bounce back victory after a tough loss to an out-of-state rival in a game that didn’t finish until Saturday.

Who to watch for Hedgesville: Quarterback Owie Ash has settled in nicely as a first-year starter. He passed for 150 yards and two touchdowns last week and ran for two more scores and 82 yards.

Who to watch for Mountain Ridge: Iosefa Pua’auli rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Monarchs.

Class AA No. 10 Robert C. Byrd (1-1) at Class AA No. 9 Keyser (1-0)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last week: The Eagles bounced back from a season-opening loss to Fairmont Senior with a 35-6 win over Harrison County rival Lincoln. The Golden Tornado opened their campaign with a 47-0 win against Berkeley Springs after having a bye in week 1.

Why it’s important: A top 10 showdown in Class AA, the winner of this contest is likely to get a big boost in terms of playoff positioning. 

Who to watch for Robert C. Byrd: Ghovan Davidson is already a household name and the bruising back piles up rushing yards in bunches. Freshman Jeremiah King is a standout in the making and intercepted two passes last week.

Who to watch for Keyser: Caden Biser ran for two touchdowns in last week’s win, while Reggie Redman caught a TD pass.

Grafton (2-0) at Petersburg (2-0)

When: Friday at 7 p.m.

Last week: The Bearcats blanked East Fairmont, 27-0. The Vikings scored 43 points for a second straight week, outlasting Pendleton County, 43-35.

Why it’s important: Neither team could be in better position entering this one, with each squad having won its first two games. The winner of this one finds itself in prime position to have a winning season and perhaps host a playoff game.

Who to watch for Grafton: Caleb Bish carries the offense and has rushed for 366 yards and seven touchdowns. Should the Bearcats defense continue to play the way it has, Grafton won’t need much production from its offense anyhow. Over its first two games, Grafton has forced five turnovers and allowed six points.

Who to watch for Petersburg: Quarterback Jacob Hartman threw for 267 yards with four touchdowns a week ago, while running for an additional 94 yards and one TD.

Other games: Berkeley Springs (0-2) at Francis Scott Key, Md. (0-1); East Hardy (0-2) at Wheeling Central (2-0); Hampshire (0-2) at Spring Mills (1-1); Musselman (2-0) at Jefferson (0-2); Pocahontas County (1-1) at Pendleton County (1-1); Smithsburg, Md. (0-1) at Frankfort (2-0); Southern Garrett, Md. (1-0) at Moorefield (0-2); Tucker County (2-0) at Northern Garrett, Md. (0-1); Millbrook, Va. (1-1) at Washington (0-2)