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Two teams with a lot in common will square off this Friday evening, when Jefferson Forest drops by Moneta for a bout with Staunton River.
Sure, there are the obvious points of commonality: both are Bedford teams, both have black as their primary uniform color, both schools' names resonate with nature (woods and streams).
But the common aspects most critical here are those found on the gridiron. That's where you're going to see two teams with lots of speed, proven players at the skill positions and guys in the trenches still out to prove they're the real deal.
That is, in the case of Staunton River anyway, if they can get the infirmary emptied.
The Eagles will likely enter their first home game of the season somewhat hobbled.
You see, the team instituted a new single-wing offense during the off-season. To make such an offense click, you have to have an exceptionally good football player at the halfback position.
Against Liberty, the Eagles entered the game absent Deshawn Martin, who'd suffered an ankle sprain in the preseason.
Quannie Blake, Martin's replacement, was also lost, with a leg injury, for at least through the JF game.
Reports are that Martin may recover in time for this Friday's tilt. He also has solid options in the form of Trey Tumblin and David Thomas. Still, Staunton River Head Coach Chuck Poston knows his team has some heavy lifting ahead of it. "JF is very athletic; more so than I can ever recall," said Poston. "(Quarterback Ryan) Crist does a great job throwing the ball from anywhere. And their defense is very aggressive."
Poston and company are not fazed by the gaudy score the Cavs hung on JF, having seen Halifax up close and personal during their first scrimmage. "We expected [a big JF win over Halifax]," he noted. "Still, we'll have our hands full."
Jeff Forest Head Coach Don Rice was equally complimentary. "They're tough and a county rival," noted Rice. "They want that first win, and (Staunton River) has become a tough place to play since (Poston) got there. [Against the single wing], we need to be disciplined."