District 10 Game of the Week: West Middlesex at Maplewood
As part of our annual high school football coverage, the Times Observer has provided weekly previews for all the Warren County teams.
We’re expanding on that a bit this year. We’ll still offer in-depth weekly preview stories for Eisenhower, Sheffield and Warren, but we’re also going to take a look around Districts 9 and 10 to highlight other important games.
Two of the top teams in the state hooked up for last week’s D-10 Game of the Week, and it was the top-ranked team, Farrell, coming away with a 31-19 win over No. 2 Wilmington. The Greyhounds outgained the Steelers, 298-173, but after falling behind 12-0 in the first quarter, Farrell scored 31 unanswered points for the win. High profile college recruits Kyi Wright (Pitt verbal) and Jourdan Townsend (uncommitted) scored all but one of the Steelers’ touchdowns.
This week’s contest features the two highest-scoring 1A teams in the district.
DISTRICT 10 GAME OF THE WEEK: WEST MIDDLESEX (2-0, 0-0 REGION 1) at MAPLEWOOD (2-0, 1-0 REGION 2)
West Middlesex has already matched its win total from a year ago and has done so in convincing fashion. The Big Reds opened with a 27-2 win over Eisenhower, then rolled to a 47-0 victory against Lakeview. They’ve done so largely on the shoulders of senior running back Clayton Parrish. Parrish is well on his way to another 1,000-plus yard season, having gained 259 yards on 28 carries (9.3 yards per carry) and four touchdowns through two games. He currently leads Region 1 in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. Not just a one-hit wonder, Parrish has also notched 10 tackles and a fumble recovery on defense this season.
Not to be outdone, the Tigers running duo of Chevy Blake and JD McFadden currently sit third and fourth, respectively, in the Region 2 rushing standings. Blake has an identical ypc to Parrish, having carried the ball 16 times for 149 yards and three scores. McFadden isn’t far behind with 23 carries for 145 yards and two scores. Blake is second on the team with 12 tackles, while McFadden sits at third with 11.
Neither team is likely to be considered as having a prolific passing attack. McFadden and Middlesex quarterback Jake Bowen have each attempted just 18 passes through two games. McFadden has been more successful through the air, connecting on 12 passes for 332 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions. Bowen has completed 8 passes for 114 yards and one score.
Interestingly, the teams already have a common opponent on the season. Maplewood opened the season at Lakeview and came away with a 56-7 win. The two teams combined to outscore the Sailors, 103-7.
On paper the pair seem evenly matched, and in that instance the advantage typically goes to the home team. This West Middlesex squad seems determined to erase the memory of a dismal 2017 season, and a hungry team is a dangerous team.
OUR PREDICTION: West Middlesex 35, Maplewood 28