CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There aren't many teams in the state that pass the ball more often than the wide-open attack at South Charleston, but one of those is Winfield, which visits the Black Eagles tonight.
So expect a lot of flying footballs when the Generals (3-3) and the Class AAA 11th-ranked Black Eagles (5-2) square off at 7:30.
"I think, statistically, Winfield, South Charleston and Hedgesville may be throwing the ball more than anyone [in the state], from what I've seen,'' said SC coach Donnie Mays. "They throw the ball quite a bit. It's going to be a challenge for our secondary, I know that.''
Winfield quarterback Toby Show has already attempted 30 or more passes thrice this season, with a high of 37 against Spring Valley. SC's Kentre Grier has put it up more than 30 times just once, that coming in the opener against George Washington (32).
Even with those numbers, Mays said his team's approach is no different against Winfield than it is any other week.
"We have to stop them from running the ball,'' Mays said, "and win the turnover battle. That's usually who wins football games. It's not a different approach - try to stop the run and, on offense, get a hat on a hat and be able to run the football.''
South Charleston's A.D. Cunningham (687 yards, seven touchdowns) has nearly twice as much rushing yardage as Winfield's top ball-carrier.
The Generals are the third of four straight teams SC is favored to beat as it attempts to secure a Class AAA playoff berth. The Black Eagles topped Parkersburg and Ripley over the last two weeks, and face Riverside next week.
Mays, however, would rather avoid such discussions.
"We talk about playing faceless opponents all the time,'' he said. "We don't worry about who we're going against. We want to take care of what we do. We're two plays away from being undefeated, which is not too bad.
"This year, we've only had one game where we went through the motions, the Parkersburg game. I think the kids understand you have to go out and play every night or something like what happened to us at Ripley last year can happen again, and you don't want that to happen.''
A 7-6 setback at Ripley cost SC a playoff spot last year.
Hurricane's Austin Hensley has hit on 88 of 143 throws for 1,339 yards and 14 TDs, and SA's Noah Reed is 73 of 116 for 854 yards and 12 scores. The teams haven't met since the Redskins' 34-7 win in 2008.
The Flying Eagles get a lot of mileage out of Chase Hancock, their leading rusher (338 yards, five TDs), receiver (25 catches, 390 yards, five TDs) and scorer (10 TDs).