CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two sub-.500 football teams hope to rise to the occasion when St. Albans plays host to Princeton at Crawford Field on Friday night.
The Red Dragons (1-4) enter following a loss at previously winless Riverside, while the Tigers (2-4) carry a four-game losing streak after opening the season with back-to-back wins. Both programs' coaches say that the opposing side brings more talent than record indicates.
"They're a pretty tough football team, they play a pretty tough schedule, too," St. Albans Coach Steve Stoffel Jr. said of visiting Princeton.
Princeton started its season with wins versus Shady Spring and Bluefield, but dropped four consecutive games to Capital, Hurricane, Spring Valley and George Washington, including a 29-28 overtime loss to the Cougars.
"They played all the better teams pretty well," Stoffel said. "They've had a chance to win two or three of those games."
After a slew of tough games, Tigers Coach Randy Peek said Princeton hopes to learn from its miscues.
"We had a hard four games and hopefully, this week, we can work on our mistakes and the fundamentals, problems that we have and get them fixed and get back to playing sound football," he said.
Likewise, Stoffel said the Dragons look forward to returning to the gridiron following a disappointing 42-13 loss at Riverside.
"We've played pretty well, last week we just shot ourselves in the foot," he said. "We had 470 yards of offense and produced 13 points."
Stoffel said he characterized the Riverside loss as a "trap game" following an emotional 43-19 victory against Nitro in the annual Battle of the Bridge, facing Riverside before Homecoming.
"We weren't mentally or physically prepared for it and we didn't do what we're supposed to do," he said.
St. Albans produced one highlight in junior quarterback Noah Reed. Despite four interceptions, Reed completed 18 of 30 passes for 249 yards. Reed also ran for 51 yards on 11 carries.
"Noah Reed has played as well as anyone around the last two weeks," Stoffel said. "I know he threw four interceptions last week against Riverside, but two of them weren't on him.