By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
HONAKER, Va. —
The two teams that have represented the Black Diamond District deep into the postseason the most over the years are ready for second round action Saturday in Group A, Division 1, Western Section play.
Honaker hosts Galax in a rematch of the third round of last year’s playoffs, while Haysi has a regular season rematch at Dickenson County rival and defending Division 1 champ Clintwood.
•Galax (7-4) at Honaker (10-1); Saturday, Nov. 17, 1:00 p.m. at Emats Stadium. This is not the same Galax squad that humbled Honaker, 48-9, in last year’s playoffs, but they are still a formidable opponent. The Maroons’ only losses during the regular season were to playoff teams. Floyd County defeated them by 19, but the other three Galax losses, to Graham, Grayson County and Fort Chiswell were by a combined eight points.
The Maroons lost a number of good players from the team that lost to Clintwood in last year’s state finals, but they are still deep at the skill positions. That was evident last week when Galax crushed Chilhowie, 49-15, despite the absence of their leading rusher, Donte Peoples.
Peoples, who has 27 touchdowns and 1,606 yards rushing, broke his ankle in Galax’ final regular season game and is out for the year.
His brother, Steven Peoples, picked up the slack, along with Joseph Dixon against the Warriors.
The younger Peoples ran for 195 yards and scored three TDs, one on an 80 yard run and another on a 65-yard interception return. Dixon added 160 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
“They have some speed so it will be a challenge for us,” Honaker coach Doug Hubbard said. “We just have to be solid and take care of business.”
Honaker, which is led by dual threat quarterback Ty Hall, may have a slight size advantage in the line. The Tigers have one of the deepest backfields and receiving corps in the area.
•Haysi (8-3) at Clintwood (10-1); Saturday, Nov. 17, 2:00 p.m. at Ralph Cummins Stadium.
This is a rematch of Clintwood’s 48-12 thumping of the Tigers earlier this season in a game that Haysi feels should have been much closer. There are, obviously, no secrets between these two old rivals.
“We know a lot about what they do and they know a lot about what we do,” Haysi coach James Colley said. “It’s just a matter of getting out there and executing. We’ve got play a good ballgame.
“We made a lot of mistakes the first time we played them and that’s not taking anything away from Clintwood, they’re an awesome football team. We’ve just got to know what we’re supposed to do and get off the ball and do it.”
Junior Jeffrey Bowen has scored 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,245 yards, while senior QB Zach Owens has thrown for 1,436 yards and 18 TDs to lead Haysi, which advanced with a 48-29 win over Castlewood in first round play.
The defending state champion Greenwave, which routed Radford, 41-7, last week have one of the biggest front lines in the region and are led offensively by senior Gavan Meade, who ran for 201 yards last week and has 1,904 rushing yards for the season.
Quarterback Dylan Dahley has thrown for 1,247 yards and 14 touchdowns.