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Prep football: Winfield faces a tall order at Point Pleasant

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Winfield High School's football team will travel for the first time this season when it heads to Point Pleasant to face an unbeaten Big Blacks squad.

Winfield enters the contest at 2-1 and looking for its second consecutive win, while Point Pleasant (3-0) returns to Mason County fresh off of its first road trip of the season, having won at Logan last week.

The Generals are tied for 16th in the latest SSAC Class AAA football ratings, while Point Pleasant enters tied with Capital at No. 3.

Winfield Coach Craig Snyder likes the timing of his team's first road trip, with his team coming off of a bye week last weekend.

"It's a little different this week with our first road game," Snyder said. "It's actually good timing because we had an open week last week to kind of lick our wounds and heal up a little bit and focus on ourselves last week.

"Then this week we shifted our focus to Point Pleasant."

Shifting the focus to Point Pleasant has given Snyder plenty to worry about.

"Obviously they're very good," Snyder said. "I've been impressed with them on both sides of the ball. We're going to have our work cut out for us, that's for sure. Point runs the ball a little bit more, but they certainly can throw the ball well too when they want to be."

Point Pleasant is led by 6-foot-3, 211-pound sophomore running back Cody Mitchell, whose father Darrell played tight end at WVU from 1988-1990, and his brother Derek is a linebacker at Marshall.

Cody Mitchell has tallied 391 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries this season. Senior back Chase Walton has contributed 210 yards and four scores on 22 totes.

"The Mitchell kid is quite a football player," Snyder said. "He has good football bloodlines and he's big and athletic. He moves really well.

"They have several athletic backs and receivers and concern us, but he's the biggest and strongest of the bunch."

Junior quarterback Aden Yates is also a cause of concern for Snyder.   

"Their quarterback is cool, calm and collected and I just worry that they can do a lot of things offensively," Snyder said. "Their quarterback is a smart football player. He's just real efficient and he operates their system very well. He moves around well and he can throw on the run."

Winfield will also bring a potent offense into the game, triggered by quarterback Toby Show. The senior QB has connected on 49-of-85 attempts for 498 yards and five scores.

Show's favorite targets are junior John Hathaway (19 catches, 210 yards, 2 TD) and senior Chris Turner (14-132, 2 TD).

Winfield's ground game is paced by sophomore Ethan Copeland, who has 302 yards on 53 tries with three scores.

"We try to be balanced when things are going well," Snyder said.

"We like to play as fast as we can and we like to be balanced. We try to run and ball and pass the ball. We don't huddle and we like to get on the ball and play with tempo when we can.

"We just try to take what the defense is giving us. I think we're at our best when we're balanced. I think it gives us an advantage to have a healthy mix."

Contact Michael Dailey at Follow him on Twitter at @MichaelDaileyWV.


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