Even though his team gave up the lead three different times in its loss to GW, South Charleston coach John Messinger feels that good things await his Black Eagles this season.
"I thought we played with them for 31/2, 33/4 quarters,'' Messinger said. "We played with them, and I think they know that.
"From where we came from last year to where we have come from in Week 1, I told them we've got nine more games to play, and we've got possibilities of winning nine more football games. Because if GW's the No. 1 team - and I think they are, and I don't base if they're No. 1 on how close we played them - then I think we're a good football team.''
South Charleston missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007 last year, going 5-5.
Messinger challenged his team in the offseason to regain its "toughness,'' a trait he thinks the squad was lacking last year.
Even though the Black Eagles had some problems running the ball and defending the run (against Dustin Crouser, GW's 235-pound fullback), Messinger generally liked what he saw of their competitiveness.
"I hope Switzer's OK,'' Messinger said. "I hope he's fine because I know that's their lifeblood up there. I knew coming in that if something did happen to him [the question would be] can we handle Crouser? And we didn't do a very good job of it. We didn't tackle. We've got to get this kid on the ground.
"We also got really aggressive with the pass, and we had to. We're not running the football very well. My heart and soul lies with the linemen. I love them. To me, they're the lifeblood of our football team. We've got to get better and, from now on, I'm going to work with the offensive line every day and we're going to get better. But I think you'll have to agree that the South Charleston toughness was back tonight.''
Riverside, which knocked off St. Albans, visits Oakes Field to play SC on Friday.
Only one of the four new Kanawha Valley coaches enjoyed a victory in his debut on Friday - Jeremy Taylor of Hurricane, whose team handled Winfield 44-7.
The other three all fell - Steve Stoffel Jr. of St. Albans (lost to Riverside 44-27), Derek Midkiff of Nitro (lost to Poca 48-34) and Craig Snyder of Winfield (lost to Hurricane).