The lights will be on in West Liberty tonight.
Back in March, a devastating tornado swept through the town and not only ruined buildings and businesses, but also the lives of the town’s residents.
Even the Morgan County High School football field was left in ruins.
Garbage was everywhere, equipment was gone with the winds and even the lights, an epitome of high school football, were down and destroyed.
Many thought that a Morgan County football game in West Liberty a mere six months later was just a dream. Cougars coach Brian Turner began preparing to play home games at Morehead State University or all of them on the road.
But through tireless work and effort of the townspeople and the football program backers, the lights are back up and will be burning bright for Morgan County’s home opener against Estill County tonight.
No matter of the outcome on the scoreboard, it’s a win for Morgan County and the town of West Liberty.
Games of the week
Usually I narrow it down to one, but there are two games that make it impossible to decipher.
‰Ashland at George Washington, kickoff 7:30 p.m. After a four-point game last year in Ashland, the Tomcats head to Charleston, W. Va., tonight.
Both physical teams thrive on the run, with the Patriots having halfback Ryan Switzer, the top player in the state, and fullback Dustin Crouser. Both backs will be attending Division I colleges in the fall with Switzer at North Carolina, and Crouser at Charlotte.
The key to the game could be the Tomcats’ passing game, which surprised Raceland last week when quarterback Aaron Elam threw for 122 yards and three touchdowns.
‰Ironton at Russell, kickoff 7:30 p.m. It has been a one-sided rivalry, but there could be big things brewing in Flatwoods.
After a big game last week, Red Devils running backs Troy Huffine and Googie Hayes go up against an Ironton defense that gave up 187 yards on the ground last week against Wheelersburg.
But the Red Devils defense will have to go against a fullhouse backfield of Patrick Lewis, Trevor White and Tanner Schweickart, who combined for 238 yards.
The key, though, could be how Lance Evans throws the ball. After 150 yards on only three completions, he has a chance to pick apart a Tigers’ defense that gave up 199 yards through the air last week.
Week 3 things to know
‰East Carter has a 15-game losing streak. The reason I bring this up is that the streak might end tonight as the Raiders go up against Boyd County at home.
After giving Fairview all they could handle last week, the Raiders may finally have a shot to put a “W” next to their name.
‰Pikeville vs. Raceland could be a Class 1A playoff preview. Last year Pikeville defeated Raceland twice, once in the regular season and again in the second round of the playoffs.
Both teams are expected to make a lot of noise come October.
‰Ram Reunion will be held before the game. Festivities will begin at 4 p.m. at the high school’s old gymnasium.
Raceland will announce the opening of its football Hall of Fame at the event, which attracted about 250 people last year.
‰Fairview will have its hands full this week. The Eagles host Fleming County, which is led by quarterback Desmond McAdams.
This season, the senior quarterback has led his team to a 2-0 start with 28-of-47 passing for 469 yards and eight touchdowns. He put up five touchdowns last week against Nicholas County.
After last week’s close one against East Carter, expect Fairview coach Nate McPeek to have his team ready for the gunslinger.
Follow The Independent’s Quarterback on Twitter, @DindependentQB. He will be tweeting scores and updates from area games tonight. Watch out though for angry tweets about the cancellation of “The Jersey Shore.”
For your ears only
Tonight’s radio coverage:
Ashland at George Washington (WBVB 97.1-FM); Boyd County at East Carter (WUGO 102.3-FM, wlgcradio.com); Fleming County at Fairview (Live on wlgcradio.com; delayed on WLGC 105.7-FM); Knox Central vs. Johnson Central at Clay County (WSIP 98.1-FM); Lewis County at Bath County (WKKS 104.9-FM); Ironton at Russell (WLGC 105.7-FM, WIRO 1230 AM); Mason County at Rowan County (WMOR 106.1-FM); Prestonsburg at Lawrence County (WZAQ 92.3-FM).
Also, the Russell-Ironton football game will be streamed live at www.bmgnetwork.com.
I’m bad luck.
I wish I felt I was joking about that, but it seems like no matter who I cover, the home team faces an injury.
During Week 1, it was East Carter’s Blake Mayo who had to come out with an injury.
Last week, Greenup County’s Jeffery Williams was taken out with a shoulder injury.
This week I will be headed to Charleston to cover the Ashland-George Washington game.
If I was George Washington coach Steve Edwards, I would threaten to fight me as soon I stepped out of my car for the game tonight.
Hopefully my streak of bad luck ends tonight and everyone comes out healthy.
KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2658.
The lights will be on in West Liberty tonight.
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