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Preview: James Monroe At Greenbrier West

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Cavaliers and Mavericks Set to Battle in Charmco

James Monroe (3-1) at Greenbrier West (4-1)

Friday, October 8, 7:30 PM

Cavalier Field

Radio: WRLB 95.3 FM (7 PM)

Series: James Monroe leads 8-2

Last meeting: (9/13/2019) James Monroe 42 Greenbrier West 27

Last game: Greenbrier West got off to a quick start at Meadow Bridge building a 19-0 second quarter lead. Ty Nickell scored on runs of 1 and 63 yards and Cole Vandall connected with Chase McClung for an 11-yard touchdown pass to build the early advantage. The Wildcats gained some momentum late in the 2nd quarter and cut the lead down to seven on two Dustin Adkins touchdown passes. The second half was all Greenbrier West as Kadin Parker, seeing his first action since week one, had an interception that led to a Nickell 14-yard touchdown reception. Parker added touchdown runs of 55 and 9 yards to pad the third-quarter Cavalier lead. As the fourth quarter got underway, Nickell electrified the West crowd with a record-breaking 98-yard touchdown run. Isaac Agee capped the scoring for Greenbrier West with a 16-yard run late in the game. The Cavaliers moved to 4-1 with the 51-12 victory.

James Monroe overpowered Pikeview 62-14. The Mavericks had two backs go over the century mark. Cooper Ridgeway carried for 118 yards and a touchdown and Grant Lively tallied 112 yards on the ground. Included in Lively’s rushing total was a 95-yard score to start the second quarter, and he started the Mavericks’ night off with a 29-yard touchdown reception from Eli Allen. Allen showed his versatility by adding seven PATs for the Mavericks. Layton Dowdy contributed to the James Monroe ground attack with 83 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Dowdy’s scores were from 15 and 33 yards. Braydie Carr, Hayden Parker, and Chaz Boggs each added a rushing touchdown in the largest scoring output for a Maverick team since the 2019 squad put up 62 points, also in a win at Pikeview.

The matchup: Greenbrier West’s ground attack has been the backbone of the offense thus far. As a team, the Cavaliers have rushed for over 1,300 yards and 19 touchdowns. Nickell, averaging 9.3 yards-per-carry, has rushed for over 100 yards in four straight games, including his first career 200-yard performance last week. Four of Nickell’s six rushing touchdowns have been over 57 yards, including his school-record 98-yard run at Meadow Bridge. Vandall has added four rushing touchdowns to compliment Nickell in the running game, and he’s added over 450 yards passing along with seven touchdown tosses. Jayden Robinson and Kadin Parker each have three rushing touchdowns. Parker’s return to action last Friday added another dynamic scorer to the Cavalier offense. McClung has 9 receptions in five games, and 3 of his catches have gone for touchdowns. The Cavalier offense has been very balanced and has shown an explosive ability, averaging 40.3 points-per-game over the 4-game winning streak. The defensive unit has only allowed 6.5 points-per-game over the same span and has 11 takeaways. McClung has an interception in each of the last three games.

When the Cavaliers look across the ball, they’ll see a similar looking football team to themselves. The Mavericks dropped the opener to a solid Sherman squad and have since reeled off three-straight wins. James Monroe has a young backfield with juniors Allen, Parker, and Carr all playing key roles. Sophomores Boggs and Ridgeway have been in the mix, as well as a freshman, Layton Dowdy, seeing some action. The Mavericks are big up front with 5’8”, 280 lb. senior Jakobey Meadows handling snaps. Across the offensive line, James Monroe has 6’3” 245 lb. senior Dylan Brim, juniors Jeffrey Jones (6’4”, 295lbs) and Brady Baker (6’1”, 292 lbs.), and sophomore Jacob Hall (5’9”, 245 lbs.). In the three-game win streak, the Mavericks have averaged 41.3 points-per-game while allowing an average of 11 points-per-game.

Both teams are capable of big plays, but with the threat of wet weather imminent, it will likely come down to the team that runs the ball better and has the fewest turnovers. It’s a great opportunity to see a playoff-like atmosphere midway through the season, and could be a launching point for the winner to position itself for a home playoff game.

Miscellaneous: These two teams missed the opportunity to face each other in 2020 due to COVID restrictions in Monroe County.

In the latest WVSSAC Class A Playoff Ratings, the Cavaliers hold the #13 slot with the Mavericks right behind at #14. This will be the 4th time the two schools have met as top 16 opponents.

This will be Greenbrier West’s 54th Annual Homecoming Game. In a new twist, all Homecoming activities will take place prior to the game, promptly at 7PM. The administration asks that fans arrive early. The game has been tabbed the WV MetroNews Class A Game of the Week as well as the WV Attorney General’s Opioid Abuse Prevention Game of the Week.

Ty Nickell was last week’s Rock 95 McDonald’s Player of the Game as well as the Beckley Register-Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week. Cole Vandall had his first career 100-yard passing performance at Meadow Bridge, going 9-11 for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. Vandall, who has seven touchdown passes on the season, has thrown a touchdown pass in each of the Cavaliers first five games. Vandall has tossed two touchdown passes in each of the last two games.

Similar to Greenbrier West head coach Toby Harris, Maverick chief John Mustain is in his second stint at the Lindside school. In five seasons from 2013-2017, Mustain guided the Mavericks to a 33-22 record and three straight playoff appearances. Mustain’s best season came in 2016 when James Monroe made a Class AA semi-final appearance. Mustain has a 2-3 playoff record.

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