HURRICANE, W.Va. - Hurricane High School football fans look back fondly on the Redskins' last victory over Spring Valley.
Home-standing Hurricane edged the Timberwolves 43-42 on Nov. 7, 2014, in a game that came down to the final minute.
The current squads, both 1-0, might engage in another such high-scoring affair when they meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hurricane.
The Redskins will try to break a three-game losing streak to Spring Valley - and if they can fire up their offense as they did last week in a 55-20 victory over Winfield, they will have a chance.
Quarterback Austin Womack passed for 301 yards and four touchdowns, completing a highly efficient 11 of 12 throws, as Hurricane rolled to 537 yards. All-state tailback Christian Hill ran for 174 yards and three touchdowns.
"With Womack throwing the ball like he did, we're going to be OK," Taylor said.
The veteran coach knows, however, Spring Valley presents considerably more of a challenge than did Winfield. The three-time Class AAA state runners-up are loaded with talent in every phase of the game. The Timberwolves are strong on defense, as their 38-0 victory over Wayne last week attests. The Pioneers gained just 38 total yards.
Taylor said Winfield experienced some match-up problems Spring Valley likely won't have. A stout defensive front is backed by a talented secondary led by senior David Livingston, one of the better all-around players in the state.
Livingston, though, can't cover everyone. Six Hurricane receivers caught passes last week as Womack exploited single coverage to strike deep. When the Generals double-teamed downfield, Womack dumped the ball off in the flat for positive yardage.
Ryan Moses is one of the more dangerous receivers in the region and he caught four passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener.
Nate Barham might be the most well known of Redskins receivers, and he caught two balls for 65 yards. Chase Hager scored on a 65-yard TD reception.
Despite the effective air game, Hill remains Hurricane's most dangerous weapon. A two-time 1,600-yard rusher, the speedy, hard-running Hill is a workhorse. If defenses concentrate too heavily on the pass, Taylor will be happy to tell Womack to hand off to Hill.
That might be a sound strategy anyway in trying to keep the Timberwolves off the field. Last week, the Redskins gave up 258 yards in the first half. To do so against Spring Valley would require a Herculean effort by Hurricane's offense to counter such production.