It's hard to imagine, but the high school football season will reach the midway point for some teams on Friday night.
While some squads have put themselves in position for a postseason run, others have struggled through the first four games.
If the season ended today, area teams occupying spots among the top 16 in each class include East Hardy (No. 4), Moorefield (12) and Tucker County (14) in Class A, and Philip Barbour (13) in Class AA.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Ben Simmons
Tucker County quarterback Seth Underwood prepares to take a snap against Moorefield. The Mountain Lions will travel to Philip Barbour on Friday night for a key contest.
Lewis County (20) and Buckhannon-Upshur (25) are currently in the mix in Class AAA, while Pendleton County is just three spots out of a Class A berth.
Of course this will all change on Friday night as some key matchups could play a big factor in what happens down the stretch run.
One of those contests will be Tucker County at Philip Barbour. This will be the first of four straight home games for the Colts, whose lone loss was to Class AA, No. 7 Lincoln.
Philip Barbour will face two Class AAA schools during the homestand - Elkins and Buckhannon-Upshur.
The Mountain Lions are in a different scenario, however, as Friday's game is the second of four straight road contests. Trips to Southern (Md.) and East Hardy will follow for Tucker County, which looks to bounce back from its first loss of the season last week at Moorefield.
Another key contest will take place in Tennerton as the suddenly surging Bucs welcome No. 6 Oak Hill.
B-U has won two straight behind the play of Seth Cutright, who has scored six touchdowns and rushed for 265 yards the past two games.
The schedule is not favorable for the Bucs, however, as four of the next five games, including Friday's tilt, come against teams currently among the playoff field.
Pendleton County, meanwhile, can make a leap in the ratings with a victory over No. 8 Meadow Bridge. The Wildcats have dropped two straight after a 2-0 start.
n n n
STILL?SEARCHING:?Elkins and Tygarts Valley will seek their first wins of the season this week but both face stiff challenges.
The Tigers (0-4) will host Class AA, No. 1 Fairmont Senior. It will be Senior Night at Wimer Field as Elkins plays its final five games on the road at the likes of Philip Barbour, Wheeling Park, Lewis County, Bridgeport and Robert C. Byrd.
The 0-3 Bulldogs will entertain East Hardy, which is averaging over 30 points per game.
n n n
FRIDAY'S CARD: Other area games on tap for Friday include Lincoln County at Lewis County, Moorefield at Webster County, Richwood at Pocahontas County and Spring Mills at Petersburg.
In Big 10 Conference play, Bridgeport visits East Fairmont, Lincoln travels to South Harrison, Preston welcomes North Marion, Liberty hosts Weir and Grafton makes a trip to Robert C. Byrd.