By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
HURLEY, Va. —
Haysi and Honaker look to remain undefeated, Twin Valley hopes to get back on the winning track and Grundy hopes to prove that its outstanding defensive effort in a win at Kentucky Class AA foe East Ridge last week was no fluke.
All five Black Diamond District football teams are in action tonight. Haysi (7-0) visits Hurley (3-4) in the only district contest, while Honaker (7-0) is heavily favored at home against Russell County rival Castlewood (1-7).
Twin Valley (3-5) can match its highest win total since 2004 with a victory tonight at Rye Cove (1-6).
Grundy (3-4) has its work cut out for it as it visits Tazewell (1-6) tonight in the first meeting in three years between the longtime Southwest District rivals.
The key for the Golden Wave is its defense, which forced five turnovers and had two more offset by controversial penalties in last week's 32-22, come-from-behind win over a 5-3 East Ridge squad.
The defense allowed just two touchdowns and both of them came in the first half.
"In the second half our defense came alive," Grundy coach Jeremy Ward said. "We started making some plays and we played with a lot of enthusiasm. When do come up and wrap up we found out it's a lot more fun."
Brady McClanahan had 15 total tackles and had one of Grundy's three interceptions in the win, returning it 60 yards for a touchdown that gave the Wave a 10-point lead with 1:12 remaining.
Ward knows his defense, which allowed an average of 59 points per outing in Grundy's three previous games, faces a tough challenge tonight.
"We have to improve on our overall defensive effort," Ward explained. "Our reactions have to be a lot better and we've got to play sound, fundamental defensive football.
"We can't over pursue and, like with all our games, we've got to stop the running game first."
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.