ONA - Cabell Midland's football team is riding high as it prepares for its home opener, a Mountain State Athletic Conference contest Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Parkersburg at the Castle.
Head coach Luke Salmons' team is feeling confident after the Knights (1-0, 1-0 MSAC) pummeled St. Albans 56-13 in a road conference game to open the season.
Cabell Midland's running backs ground out 288 yards and the Knights led 49-0 at halftime before the Red Dragons were able to get on the scoreboard with two second-half scores.
Defensively, the Knights had little difficulty in stopping St. Albans, allowing only 30 total yards.
Salmons' running-back-by-committee approach was largely due to the lopsided score. Nine different ball carriers got a chance to see game action.
Quarterback J.J. Roberts led the rushing attack with 91 yards on six carries, Isaiah Vaughn had 10 for 77 yards and Jaydyn Johnson had 75 yards on seven runs. Johnson had two rushing touchdowns, while Roberts, fellow quarterback Chandler Schmidt, Vaughn and Jaden Wroten had one each.
Friday's matchup, though, likely will not be as easy.
"This is definitely going to be a tougher game," said Schmidt. "We just feel with our offense and defense we're more dominant."
Parkersburg (1-0) will open the MSAC portion of its schedule in the contest after it showed a balanced attack in defeating Morgantown 27-21 at the Big Reds' Stadium Field on Friday.
The sophomore quarterback is a dual threat that will challenge Cabell Midland's defense. He led the Big Reds in rushing with 157 yards on 21 carries against Morgantown, plus he also completed 5 of 14 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Junior quarterback Michael Owen could see playing time too as he did against the Mohigans completing all three of his pass attempts for 45 yards and a touchdown that put the Big Reds up 27-7.
However, Morgantown was able to rally against the Parkersburg defense to make the game close before Parkersburg came up with an interception to halt the Mohigans' threat.
"(Parkersburg) mostly runs a spread offense and they can run and pass," Schmidt said. "(Wednesday) or Thursday we'll watch film on them.
The Big Reds also offer Braeden Mason, a 5-7, 150-pound wide receiver, who will keep Schmidt and Roberts busy in the defensive backfield if he's healthy.
Mason had four receptions for a touchdown in the first half before leaving the game with an injury. He reportedly returned late in the game but Cabell Midland is already counting on him being available for Parkersburg and its head coach Mike Byus.
"That's No. 1 on their team and I know we have to watch out for him," Schmidt who is the Knights starting safety. "We've been talking about him and about how we're going to cover him.
"We're going to do the same thing we usually do. We're going to come out fast and strong and go at them."