Wayne on road to play No. 1 Scott
HUNTINGTON — Will the Wayne Pioneers football team finally be tested? If they are, how will they respond?
Those are two things Wayne coach Tom Harmon can't answer, because, so far in 2012 it hasn't happened.
"I don't think you can prepare for clutch situations," Harmon said. "You can try. We're fortunate in that we've got some guys who have been in tight spots before. Hopefully we can go without any tight situations all year, but you know there will be times when you are tested.
"That's when you see what you've got."
Wayne (5-0) is rated no. 3 in West Virginia Class AA football. Friday night, they travel to no. 1 Scott (6-0) in Madison, W.Va., to face the Skyhawks.
The schools are separated by roughly 70 miles, and an hour-and-a-half drive.
Wayne, which won the state championship last year and hasn't lost a game since Sept. 30, 2011, is averaging 56.6 points through five contests in the 2012 season. They are beating their opponents by an average of 39 points each time they take the field.
Scott is averaging 36.6 points per game, while giving up about 13 through six contests.
Last year, the Pioneers beat the Skyhawks, 50-20, at home.
And though the final score didn't show it, that game was a response to getting pushed, as Scott was up 20-18 through three quarters. The Pioneers outscored Scott 32-0 in the fourth quarter to take the win.
The only team both programs have played so far this year is Sissonville.
The Skyhawks won their Sept. 14 game against Sissonville, 27-18, while the Pioneers defeated them the next week, 42-0.
Harmon said both teams will be determined to win, because both want to finish atop the state ratings. But Harmon said ratings don't matter to him until the end of the season when the playoff matchups are set.
"Win or lose, I don't think it's going to be a death blow for either team," Harmon said. "But it could be a nice springboard for things to come."
The coach said his team is focused and excited, but isn't blowing the contest out of proportion.
"I don't know that we're anymore skyjacked for this one than any other game," he said. "You have to bring it every week. Playing high school football is a limited opportunity, and you have to make every minute count."
Harmon also said his players aren't letting their early-season domination go to their heads.
"When you get in the playoffs, you put everything that happened before behind you, and the sooner you get into that mentality, the better," he said. "I think we're in that mindset now."