By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
HURLEY, Va. —
Defending champion Honaker and the rest of the Black Diamond District get serious about league play and their position in the VHSL power ratings with a full slate of games on tap this evening.
Just three weeks remain in the regular season after tonight. As of now three BDD clubs are in position to make the post-season and two are on the outside looking in.
Hurley (4-2, 0-1) puts its four-game winning streak on the line tonight as it hosts Honaker (5-1, 1-0) in BDD play at The Cliff, while Haysi (4-2, 1-0) takes three-game winning streak to Twin Valley (1-5, 0-2).
Grundy (2-4, 2-1) plays its 2012 homecoming game tonight outside the BDD as it hosts interstate rival East Ridge, Ky., who are 1-6
Honaker has had two weeks to prepare for Hurley and to put its first loss of the season, at Richlands, behind it.
The Tigers and Rebels have the two biggest offensive lines in the BDD. Honaker has an edge comes with a far more experienced group of backs and receivers, and it has perhaps the most important player in the game in third-year regular Ty Hall at quarterback.
“We’ve got to play ball control and we have to limit Ty Hall and what he does,” Hurley coach Greg Tester said. “We have to find a way to make Honaker one-dimensional. They run and throw the ball well.”
The Rebels have been on a roll running the ball behind Dillon Bailey, Nick Gibson and Ralph Jones and a huge offensive line. Honaker will be that line’s biggest test.
“Honaker is big and physical, in the offensive line and defensive line,” Tester added. “That’s a key for us, to win the battle up front and establish our running game like we have the last few weeks. We know it’s going to be a little harder to do against Honaker.”
In the latest VHSL ratings in Region D, Division 1, Western Section Honaker is second, Haysi seventh and Hurley ninth. The top 16 teams make the playoffs and the top eight host first round games. The playoffs begin the weekend of Nov. 9.