MARIETTA, Ohio — The 24th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis Football Classic will be held Friday at Don Drumm Stadium on the campus of Marietta College in Washington County.
The 2017 version of the Ohio versus West Virginia gridiron affair again has a bit of a local flare as four recent Ohio Valley Publishing area graduates will be participating in the contest.
Southern — which earned the program’s second-ever playoff berth in 2016 — will have a trio of representatives in Blake Johnson, Trey Pickens and Jaylen Blanks, while Point Pleasant also has one selection in kicker Jason Schultz.
Three of the four OVP area choices earned all-state honors this past football season, except Blanks — who missed a handful of games due to injury.
The Tornado trio will participate as members of the Ohio team, which is being coached by Marietta’s Jason Schob. Schultz is part of the West Virginia squad being led by former Gallia Academy and current Parkersburg South coach Mike Eddy.
West Virginia leads the series by a 15-8 margin, including wins in five of the last seven games. The Mountain State also won last year’s home contest by a 24-7 count at Stadium Field in Parkersburg.
Schultz accounted for 90 total points during the Big Blacks’ ninth straight season with a playoff berth. Schultz went 60-of-69 in point-after tries and also made 10 field goals during the 2016 campaign.
Johnson — a quarterback — completed 45-of-92 passes for 1,262 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air while also amassing 139 rushing yards and four scores on 56 attempts.
Pickens was a key piece to both interior fronts for SHS, earning all-Ohio honors as an offensive lineman.
Blanks rushed for 376 yards and five scores on 44 attempts and also had one catch for 56 yards and a score.
Additional players may have been added to the rosters between the release date and the night of the game.
All tickets at the gates are $5 apiece. All proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for research into finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, a debilitating disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
Parkersburg South (1): Brant Freeland, RB-LB.
Parkersburg Catholic (3): Adrien Mills, OT-DT; Christian Tallman, WR-DB; Issac Walters, OG-LB.
Wirt County (3): Drew Adams, WR-FS; Steven Cuningham, WR-DB; Josh Ellison, RB-LB.
St. Marys (5): Braden Barnhart, RB-LB; Will Billeter, QB-DB; Devin Boley, OG-LB; Elijah Eades, RB-LB; Jacob Northrop, OT-DT.
Ritchie County (1): Dylan Beall, WR-DE.
Doddridge County (1): Hunter Riffle, WR-FS.
Paden City (1): Aaron Heasley, QB-DE.
Tyler Consolidated (2): Brandon Keys, OG-LB; Jace Reed, RB-DE.
Roane County (2): Garrett Burnside, OT-DT; Tyler May, RB-LB.
Ripley (1): Hunter Stephens, WR-DB.
Point Pleasant (1): Jason Shultz, K.
West Virginia head coach: Mike Eddy, Parkersburg South.
Marietta (5): Trent Dawson, QB; Bailey Wright, LB; Travis Moore, WR; Matt Ford, LB; Michael Crawford, DL.
Fort Frye (5): Casey Lewis, RB; Owen Matheny, OL; Jordan Baker, OL; Jacob Prichard, DE; Brady Carpenter, WR.
Waterford (4): Ty McGraw, LB; Cylus Reynolds, OL; Riley Burns, OL; Adam Roe, OL.
Frontier (2): Caleb McLeish, OL; Wyatt Smitley, DL.
Caldwell (4): Jason Allen, DB; Dalton Ivey, RB: Simon Shuster, DL; Sheldon Archer, LB.
Morgan (2): Scott Harry, OL; Cam Meadows, OL.
Monroe Central (3): Trey Duffy, DB; Jarrett Hooper, DB; Bobby O’Donnell, LB.
Shenandoah (1): Dalton Cowgill, WR.
Southern (3): Blake Johnson, QB; Jaylen Banks, WR; Trey Pickens, OL.
River (4): Braden Whetsell, WR; Cody Saska, LB; Luke Matusik, DL; Mason Ladyga, DL.
Nelsonville-York (1): Skylar Canter, OL.
Trimble (1): Kamron Curry, WR.
Ohio head coach: Jason Schob, Marietta.