Preview: Williamstown Braces For Magnolia

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Week two of the 2013 high school football season is here, and in West Virginia, it pits a rematch between two familiar foes: Magnolia and Williamstown.

These two teams met in week two last year, with Magnolia pulling that game out, 24-7. They also met in the first round of last year’s playoffs, with Magnolia winning that game, 34-7.

Based on last year, this season’s game looks like a mismatch, but these teams are more even this year than people may think.

Magnolia lost all-state wide receiver Stephen Rogalski, who is the school leader in all the major receiving categories. It also lost quarterback Tanner Hanna to graduation.

Williamstown returns nearly every skill position player to this season’s team, including quarterback Jake Tracewell and running back Dakota Watson.

Not to mention, Magnolia dropped its first game of the season, 14-7 to Linsly, while Williamstown beat Tyler, 27-14.

Both teams have room to improve from Week One. Magnolia can up its offensive output, while Williamstown will look to cut back on turnovers.

Against Tyler, Williamstown lost six fumbles, which allowed Tyler to attempt a late comeback after being down 27-0.

“(Fumbling) is very discouraging,” Williamstown head coach Terry Smith said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a team that has fumbled six times before.”

Magnolia had a solid defense last year, holding every opponent but one to less than 21 points. It allowed just 14 points last week.

The offense will need to get going, but there are a couple weapons on that side of the ball for this team.

New quarterback Jacob Brill found a receiver he likes in Eric Smith, who had over 100 receiving yards against Linsly.

Also, running back Drew Keller had a tough week last week with 14 carries for 44 yards, but he torched Williamstown for 201 yards in last year’s playoff matchup.

The last time the Yellow Jackets beat Magnolia was the 2011 regular season, when they won 41-14.

In order for Williamstown to win, it needs to establish the ground game early with Dakota Watson and David Hastings. If it can do that, that should open up the air attack for Tracewell to find Hunter Nealy and the rest of his receiving crew and open up the Magnolia defense.

Scoring seven points won’t cut it for Williamstown, so a big offensive improvement is in order to win this game.

The one other factor that could help the Yellow Jackets in this game is home field advantage.

Last year they traveled to Magnolia both times, but with the Williamstown crowd behind the players, anything can happen.

But enough talk, kickoff is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Williamstown Field.