No one knows just how good the Wayne and Robert C. Byrd football teams are better than coaches Fred Simon of Bluefield and Gene Morris of Nicholas County.
Their football teams were two of the three to face both Class AA semifinalists this season. The other was Scott.
The collective record for the Beavers, Grizzlies and Skyhawks against the Pioneers and Eagles was 0-6 record by a 227-47 combined score.
With that in mind, who better to weigh in on tonight's matchup between No. 1 Wayne (12-0) and No. 4 Robert C. Byrd (11-1) at Pioneer Field?
"Both teams match up pretty well," said Morris, whose team lost 31-7 to Robert C. Byrd on Sept. 28 and 47-0 to Wayne on Nov. 16. "Both teams have a lot of team speed. Comparing both teams is kind of tough. Both defenses are very efficient at stopping the run. That is what they were able to do against us; they were able to make us one-dimensional.
"Both teams are pretty daggone good offensively. The speed is a big factor. I think Wayne may have the edge there. Both teams are very well coached. I think it will come down to who can move the ball. Wayne seems to be a run-first team. That is where it is going to be (decided)."
"Wayne has as good of a team as they have ever had," said Simon, whose team lost 45-14 to Wayne on Nov. 2 and 34-20 to Robert C. Byrd on Nov. 16.
"Defensively, they get to the ball well. They are probably as quick as they have ever been. All of their guys can run. To me, it is one of the better defenses Wayne has had since we started playing them. Offensively, they execute as good as I have ever seen them execute.
"Robert C. Byrd, they are as good as any team we faced. They have good speed and in a lot of places. Their passing game was better than I anticipated. Robert C. Byrd has as good of a defense as we have seen. Wayne is used to getting 5, 10 and 50 yards per carry. They might have to fight for their yardage this time."
Asked for his players to watch, Morris said Wayne senior tailback Brandon Spurlock and Robert C. Byrd senior middle linebacker Jermodd Garrett.
"Spurlock is a very good running back," Morris said. "He is just a good, solid running back. He doesn't go down on first contact very often.
"Garrett is a very good linebacker. He is very physical. He is a hard guy to get blocked. He has a great nose for the football."
Simon said the difference maker for the Pioneers could be their offensive and defensive lines, anchored by senior Anthony Bryant. He picked the duo of senior quarterback Aaron Taylor and senior receiver Iziah Hill for the Eagles.
"(Bryant) is pretty daggone tough," Simon said. "(Hill and Taylor) did a good job catching and throwing the ball against us. I don't know how good Wayne's pass defense is. It's hard for me to tell because we didn't throw the ball and I don't know if they have been tested. I do know Wayne gets to the ball well and gang tackles; they get after it."