By JIM NELSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Encouraged by last week’s win, Princeton’s football team had a little more pep in its step while preparing for tonight’s road test at Spring Valley.
The Tigers broke into the victory column a week ago, beating St. Albans 45-22 to wrap up a three-game home stand.
“The win meant a lot to our program,” observed Tigers’ coach Randy Peek. “Our kids are more positive and upbeat, and there’s been a different atmosphere at practice.”
A key to Princeton’s win a week ago was the ability to counter St. Albans’ run-heavy defense with some big plays in the passing game.
“We caught them off guard by throwing the ball with success, and that backed them out of a defense stacked against the run,” the Tigers’ coach continued. “Then, we were able to run the ball successfully.”
Princeton piled up more than 400 yards total offense in the game.
Spring Valley, although 3-3 on the season, is a talented, physical club. Each of the Timberwolves’ losses has come at the hands of opponents ranked among the top five AAA teams in West Virginia.
“They have some big backs, and they’re basically a power team,” Peak said.
Elijah Wellman — a 235-pound senior who has already committed to West Virginia — and fullback Ryan George are the thunder backs.
“Spring Valley runs from the wing-T and the I and they’re basically a tackle-to-tackle team,” Peek said, “but they will occasionally mix in a sweep or a pass.”
For Princeton, a key to stopping Spring Valley will be the Tigers’ ability to tackle crisply.
“We work on tackling every week, and against St. Albans, I really believe we tackled as well as we have all year,” Peak continued. “We know this game will be a challenge, but we are as healthy right now as we have been since the start of the year. If we get after it, we have a shot.”
The Princeton at Spring Valley game begins at 7:30 tonight, with radio coverage (STAR 95-FM) starting at 7:10.