Morgantown ready for season opening showdown with Parkersburg

MORGANTOWN —When it comes to the upcoming duel between Morgantown and Parkersburg, much of the story can be told in the numbers:

11 — The number of state championships owned by Parkersburg.

5 — The number of state championships owned by MHS.

40 — The percentage of Class AAA state championships won by the two schools over the last 20 seasons; each program has captured four since 1998.

12 — Years since the two opponents have last met. Parkersburg handed the Mohigans a 42-14 loss in the 2006 state semifinals.

1 — State championship games decided between the two foes; in 2000, MHS defeated the Big Reds 38-13 on the biggest stage in West Virginia football.

0 — State championship game appearances by the two schools in the last 10 years. The last came by Parkersburg in 2007, where they defeated St. Albans 22-15.

As the two dynasties look to reclaim their former success in 2018, they will clash at 7 p.m. Thursday in the WVSSAC Kickoff Game at MHS’s Pony Lewis Field. Both programs take the gridiron this fall following first-round playoff losses last year, and despite what he describes as two good scrimmages in the preseason, MHS coach Matt Lacy has his concerns heading in.

“You still worry about having enough in your first game at this point,” he said. “Special teams are a concern this early in the season because they’re hard to practice at full speed. Most teams don’t show them in scrimmages. It’s hard to prepare for an opener.”

The Big Reds pose quite a threat at the skill positions, with an all-star cast led by quarterback Jake Johnson, running back Tyler Moler and Division-I target Brenton Strange.

“All three are scary with the ball in their hands,” Lacy said.

The star of Big Red show, Strange, may not see the field at all. His status is questionable following an injury sustained during last weekend’s scrimmage.

The game will be aired live at wvmetronews.com and on AT&T SportsNet.

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