The year has been crazy, yet good to the Greenbrier East Spartans as they sit at 3-1 on the young football season and have won their last two games in dominating fashion. However, the craziness comes into play with their schedule when a team that appears on it may not be the team they play that week.
That will be the case this Friday, October 2 when East travels almost four hours to take on the Berkeley Springs Indians instead of the originally scheduled Mingo Central Miners. The Spartans traveled almost three hours last week to play Buckhannon-Upshur so the long trips, although unwanted, are becoming common.
The Indians sit at 0-3 on the season and did not play last week, but their record is deceiving. They are a program that has improved tremendously over the past couple seasons and they have several players with good athleticism that are capable of making some big plays. Defense is their biggest weakness, but they have played a tough schedule for their division and will provide the Spartans with more of a challenge than their last two opponents did.
Berkeley has lost to Keyser 61-33, Washington 40-6 and Frankfort 41-0. The Indians are averaging 13 points per game and are allowing their opponents to score at a 47 ppg clip.
Gavin Barkley is the Indians signal caller and is the main reason why Berkeley Springs is a throw first team. In the season opener against Keyser, Barkley threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdown tosses went to leading receiver Tymir Ross, one for 84 yards and the other for 58 yards. Ross is a major weapon and hauled in eight catches for 247 yards. Explosive plays are a big part of the Indians playbook so the Spartans defensive backfield will need to be on high alert.
Where the Spartans will have a huge advantage in this one is the running game. Berkeley Springs, to put it nicely, has struggled mightily to stop their opponents from running the football. Keyser ran for an astounding 620 yards and six scores. They gained 683 in total.
Washington did the same thing to the Berkeley run defense. Frankie Amore ran for 245 yards and six touchdowns by himself. Ditto for the Frankfort squad. Their running back, Cole Hiett, gained 98 yards on the ground and that was just some of the 297 total for the game.
Being subpar on run defense is not a recipe for success against the Spartans.
Colby Piner (407 yards five TD’s), Quentin Wilson (413 yards, TD), Monquelle Davis (385 yards passing, 273 yards rushing, 10 total TD’s) and Nate Baker (105 total yards, four TD’s) will be a matchup nightmare for Berkeley Springs.
Just last week, East rolled up 486 yards rushing in their 55-10 win over the Buccaneers and that was with the starters sitting out the majority of the second half. Although the score won’t replicate that of the Wyoming East and Buckhannon-Upshur contests, where the Spartans combined to outscore both of those teams 111-10, East should once again put up major points and get a victory.
The Indians will most likely score a few times, but in the end East will have another comfortable win.