A matchup born out of necessity is starting to look like an early-season showdown.
George Washington and Paul Blazer, schools located 66 miles apart, match swift starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Ashland, Ky., in an interesting interstate game.
The Patriots opened their season last week with a 61-0 conquest of South Charleston, a Class AAA power that had won 40 of its previous 43 games. Ashland, meanwhile, has outscored Kentucky foes Lawrence County (36-16) and Raceland (58-12).
All of which should make for good theater Friday night in the Bluegrass State. But just how did this production come about? Simple. Each needed a game.
"Sixteen teams in our conference, and we couldn't get 10 ballgames,'' said GW coach Steve Edwards Jr. of the Mountain State Athletic Conference.
"We had to go searching, and we kind of found each other on the Internet, I guess. We put out there that we needed a game, and they were also looking to fill a spot. We happened to hook up on the right date.
"It's a good thing for both of us. They've had to travel 31/2, sometimes four hours to play, and sometimes on a Saturday. This is just down the road from each other. It's closer for us than going to someplace like Greenbrier East, even Beckley and Parkersburg sometimes. The dates just happened to fit. They're coming down here next year, and maybe if it works out we can keep [playing] all the time.''
Edwards admitted the game does present some different situations. For one, the Patriots are playing a program they know little about - although each team has seen the other play already this season and the two exchanged game tapes.
"The familiarity is not there with the program,'' Edwards said, "and what their coaches like to do, like you have for the teams around here. But everybody has their tendencies. Hopefully it works both ways, and it will not be too much of an advantage for either one of us.''
A glance at the numbers would indicate a high-scoring game is in store.