MORGANTOWN — It’s crunch time for Clay-Battelle.
The Cee-Bees suffered a loss to Notre Dame on Oct. 27 and dropped to 6-3 on the season. The loss caused them to fall out of the WVSSAC Class A football playoff standings for the first time this season. C-B sits at 19th, with Pocahontas County and Tyler Consolidated tied at 17th in front of it, and Williamstown sitting in the 16th and final spot.
To earn a playoff bid, the Cee-Bees need a win this week.
“There’s still a chance, if we would win there. You never know what’s going to happen,” head coach Ryan Wilson said about the team’s playoff hopes.
Unfortunately, the opponent presents no easy task. C-B will host Madonna this evening. The Blue Dons are sitting ninth in the playoff rankings, with a 7-2 record on the season.
“Defensively, they really get to the football,” Wilson said of Madonna. “They gave great team speed, and their front line is very aggressive. They tend to tackle very well.”
Accompanying the tough Madonna defense is a stout running game.
“Offensively, they have a running back who runs the ball very well,” Wilson said. “Their offensive line stay with their blocks and they pull lineman very well.”
Wilson said that to combat the combination of an explosive run game and fierce defense, his team must take control of time of possession throughout the contest.
“We’d like to control the ball. Madonna’s offense is very high-powered, and if we can try to keep the ball away from them, it would help,” he said.
Despite the high stakes heading into the match-up, Wilson said the program isn’t treating the game any differently than other games this season.
“It’s just another ball game here. I’m not trying to put any more pressure anywhere,” Wilson said. “We’re going to go play ball, and we’re trying to treat this like any other ball game. I understand it’s a little bit bigger, but we’re trying to keep things the same. Let the kids go play.”
Tonight’s match-up will kick off at 7 p.m. at Clay-Battelle High School, in Blacksville. It will be senior night for the Cee-Bees, and fall sport athletes will be honored.