Tigers to host Eagles tonight

ELKINS — Tonight the 3-2 Elkins Tigers will play host to the 3-3 Robert C. Byrd Eagles in the annual home-slated Forest Festival Game at Wimer Stadium.

A week ago the Tigers struggled against a very good Fairmont Senior Polar Bear team, losing the contest 42-14. The Tigers were held to a season-low 200 yards of offense in the loss.

Daniel Romans had 65 yards on the ground to lead the Tigers, while Charlie Preston and Blake Harris each scored against the Bears. Gabe Jordan played a fine all-around game, rushing for 41 yards, getting a sack, a fumble recovery and 7 tackles on defense.

Even in defeat though, Tiger head coach Evan Hott said there were some bright spots.

“I thought we played well on the back end (secondary) of our defense, we were close to making some plays against them, and we fought all night and didn’t give up” he said. “What I liked about our team, is that we played hard and didn’t give up. Our young guys played a lot, and they weren’t intimidated or nervous, they were really eager to be in the moment, and had a great attitude.”

Another area about his team that the head coach likes is their willingness to get better. He said, “They want to work, they aren’t content with being mediocre, they stay after practice, they really want to be better and eventually we are going to see the fruit of their labor.”

While the Tigers fell in defeat, Robert C. Byrd was beating Lewis County, 48-39.

The Eagles exploded for 576 total yards and had three running backs rush for more than 100 yards. Freshman quarterback Xavier Lopez threw for 149 yards on 8-12 passing. Malcomb Johnson led the way on the ground with 169 yards, while Tre Junkins added 144 and Ghovan Davidson gained 115.

Hott was impressed.

“They are explosive, maybe not like West Side was, but they are darn good,” he said. “Their big three are special. Johnson is quick and can get to the edge, Davidson is big and thick and runs hard, while Junkins is a threat to run it or catch it, he does it all. They really have pieces to move around, they all complement each other very well, and it makes them very effective.”

Hott said for his defense to be successful they will need to tackle better than they have.

“We keep working on it and stressing it to our kids,” he said. “It’s obvious to say that we need to do it in order to win, but we’ve got to do it and not just talk about it.”

“Against Byrd we have to play as a unit and maintain our responsibilities,” Hott said. “They are a zone blocking team so we can’t get overzealous and overrun the play because they can cut back anywhere along the line, if we aren’t where we are supposed to be, they will hurt us.”

Offensively EHS must get off to a good start, Hott said.

“We need to set the tone and play well early,” he said. “I know what we are capable of, we just have to get it done. We need a good win, against a quality opponent, and RCB is that team. We just have to go out there and do it.”

Last season EHS lost in overtime to Byrd, 20-14. Kickoff for the Big 10 matchup is set for 7:30 p.m.