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Black Eagles eager to play on campus

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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Bob Wojcieszak
South Charleston's A.D. Cunningham looks for an opening to break through against George Washington last week.
The Daily Mail's Tom Bragg and Derek Taylor and Chris Johnson of the Exponent-Telegram discuss WV high school football

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been said that you should go big or go home.

Donnie Mays and Class AAA No. 10 South Charleston (0-1) are doing both tonight when they play host to St. Albans (0-1) in the first regular season game to be played at South Charleston High School.

There's the going home half of the equation.

"We had two different groups of offensive lines, and all of them were pretty much sophomores. We had a bigger group and a smaller group," Mays said of his team's preseason preparations that ended with a 34-27 loss at No. 7 George Washington last week.

"We went smaller with GW. Now, we've got the big boys up to par and this week we're going to run the ball more," Mays said.

And there's the 'big' half of the formula.

SC was limited to 66 rushing yards on 23 attempts by the Patriots, though the second half of that game turned into a stalemate in which a pair of SC scores came off GW turnovers after GW led 34-14 at halftime.

It was the first half, and the second quarter in particular, that concerned the first-year Black Eagles coach.

"We knew going into the game it'd be an issue," he said of the line play between rivals last week.

"We didn't think it'd be that bad," he added.

Tonight, SC welcomes a St. Albans team that itself struggled against an opponent with strong offensive and defensive fronts. Spring Valley scored the first 41 points of the game before giving up a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to the Red Dragons in a 41-14 win.

SC sophomore quarterback Kentre Grier threw for 200 yards and a touchdown and was intercepted twice last week. Junior running back A.D. Cunningham was the Black Eagles' rushing leader, with 63 yards on 16 carries.

Noah Reed was 8-of-16 for 82 yards and two touchdowns as SA's starting QB.

Mays is excited about fulfilling a promise he made to former SC Coach John Messinger about playing at home.

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