CLARKSBURG -- A year ago, Robert C. Byrd came into its game against North Marion a decided underdog and still somewhat of an unknown with its newly installed spread offense.
Second-year Eagles coach Bryan Fisher knows that won't be the case this time.
Robert C. Byrd (1-1) hosts North Marion (1-1) in an inter-conference game at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Eagle Stadium.
The Eagles won last year's game, 35-34.
"North Marion's smash-mouth football," Fisher said. "They're definitely the best running team we've seen so far and one of the best we'll see all year."
The reason for that is bruising back Ryan May, who has rushed for 263 yards after last week's 223-yard effort in the Huskies' 27-21 overtime victory over Fairmont Senior.
"He's a heck of a football player on both sides of the ball," Fisher said. "He's big and runs well for his size. We have to be able to contain him, but he's not the only thing they have. (Matt) Offutt's quick off the corners on the keeper and can throw the football."
The Eagles are coming off a 34-0 victory over Lincoln in which junior receiver Migel Lockett broke out for 250 yards of total offense. For the season, Lockett has six receptions for 203 yards, while senior tailback Tyjuan Wright is averaging 90 yards rushing per game.
Nick Alex was 12 of 34 for 268 yards and three TDs in last week's win, but the defense continues to consistent, allowing just 2.1 yards per carry.
"I believe in this unit," Fisher said. "So far we've been able to stop the run, but this will be a bigger challenge. May's a strong kid, but we just have to stay focused on what we've done in the past two games."
n Bridgeport (1-1, 0-0) at Lewis County (1-1, 1-0): The Indians begin their Big 10 season, while the Minutemen are coming off a 32-6 loss to Grafton.
Bridgeport tailback Shawn Adkins rushed for 124 yards last week in a 27-0 victory over South Harrison, while the Indians defense is allowing just 157.5 yards per game.
Alden Butcher (23 carries, 153 yards) and Bobby Britton (29-196) lead a Lewis County backfield which has gained 455 yards.
The Minutemen, however, have not defeated Bridgeport since 1976.
n Calhoun County (2-0) at Doddridge County (2-0): Joe Duffelmyer has rushed for 212 games to lead the Bulldogs' offense.
Calhoun, a Class AA school, has two victories by a combined 80-0 score against a pair of winless Class A teams.
n Liberty (0-2) at Webster County (1-1): The Mountaineers have found offensive success with sophomore quarterback Marcus Broadwater, who has accounted for 279 yards of total offense this season.
Liberty has been vulnerable against the rush (240 ypg.) and will get tested again against the Highlanders.
Webster County is coming off a 26-12 loss to Class A Tolsia after opening the season with a 71-0 rout of Richwood.
Liberty has lost the last two games to Webster by a combined nine points.
n Lincoln (0-2) at Tucker County (2-0): A week after taking Braxton County to the wire, the Cougars were held to 130 yards of offense to Robert C. Byrd.
Quarterback David Wray still managed to move the team through the air and has thrown for 243 yards and a touchdown. Tailback Andrew Perine has gained 163 yards.
n Magnolia (1-1) at Grafton (2-0): Despite their youth, the Bearcats have been one of the most productive offensive teams in the area behind sophomore quarterback Andy Leach and tailback Kevin Efaw.
Leach has completed 8 of 10 passes for 235 yards and three TDs, while Efaw has rushed for 265 yards. In a 32-6 victory over Philip Barbour last week, both Efaw (110 yds.) and Zach Wininger (110 yds.) eclipsed the 100-yard mark.
Magnolia is coming off a 55-20 loss to Shenandoah (Ohio). Grafton is the first West Virginia team the Blue Eagles have faced this season.
n Notre Dame (2-0) at Cameron (1-1): The No. 10 Irish have dominated their opponents, outscoring Hundred and Valley Wetzel, 93-0.
Senior tailback Trey Simmerman is averaging 135.5 yards rushing, while junior Tyler Musgrave has thrown for 206 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
Defensively, Notre Dame has allowed just 107 yards of total offense and have returned a fumble and interception for touchdowns.
n Tygarts Valley (0-2) at South Harrison (0-2): Four backs have shared the load for the Hawks. Cory Morrison leads the team with 67 yards on 15 carries. The South Harrison defense, however, has given up 541 yards of total offense.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 28-0 loss to Tucker County and have been outscored, 75-13, this season.
In other area games, Buckhannon-Upshur (0-2) travels to University (2-0), East Fairmont (1-1) is at Nicholas County (1-1), Preston (1-1) is home against Elkins (0-2), Morgantown (2-0) visits Fairmont Senior (1-1), Braxton County (1-1) hosts St. Marys (2-0), Tyler Consolidated (1-1) travels to Ritchie County (0-2), Wirt County (0-2) is home against Gilmer County (0-2) and Hundred (0-2) is at Valley Wetzel (0-2).
All games start at 7:30 p.m.
Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org