"We have a chance to redeem ourselves every week,'' said Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor. "We've got an off week, get rested up, work on the fundamentals, get a good week in the weight room and we'll come out and play Capital. Capital isn't better than George Washington. They're not. They're a heck of a team. They've got a great quarterback and some speed.
"We win that one and we're 3-2, then we've got Ripley and Greenbrier East, [which are] very winnable games. We're going to be just fine. We can win them all. If I don't believe that, [our players] won't believe that.''
Taylor likes having his bye this week.
"It came at a good time,'' Taylor said. "We were in a war [with GW] both ways. After a war against Woodrow and a war against George Washington, this is perfect time for an off week.''
Aftermath: No. 1 vs. No. 2
Both sides found out a lot about themselves Friday as visiting Scott, the top-ranked team in AA, outlasted No. 2 Sissonville 27-18.
The Indians (2-1) held the lead twice before faltering, but coach Eddie Smolder didn't think Scott's pulverizing ground game wore down his team.
"If we did wear down, maybe it's because they're bigger than us,'' Smolder said. "But I guarantee you we are in better shape. They didn't make any adjustments. They stayed in the same formation. We just came up short.
"We missed a few tackles, had some third and longs, had a fourth and long. We just didn't make a play at that end. On the other end, on offense we've got to make plays and score. Give Scott credit. They executed what they were supposed to do and came up victorious.''
Smolder doesn't think he'll have any trouble getting his players to shake off the doldrums of their first loss, not with defending AA champ Wayne coming to town Friday.
"Every coach wants to win every game,'' Smolder said, "but how many teams go undefeated in the state of West Virginia? We've made a lot of progress and our kids never quit. We fought, and they believe what they're doing. We're getting better.
"A true man learns from a loss and bounces back from it. A loss has never killed anybody. We're going to correct our mistakes, get them fixed. We're going to work hard next week and get on down the road.''
The Skyhawks, meanwhile, figure to remain atop the AA ratings for another week and continue their climb toward what they hope is a memorable season.
"We've got a group of young men who want to focus on common goals,'' said coach Shane Griffith, "and that's key right now.
"We've had a lot of playoff runs - seven in the past 10 years. We've had some success in the playoffs. The guys really want to work and battle and take the program up a notch to another level to where they gain a little more respect around the state. That's been their goal the whole offseason.''
Cabell County clash
Something's got to give when No. 1 Cabell Midland (4-0) and co-No. 3 Huntington (4-0) collide Friday on the Highlanders' turf.
Huntington has allowed just 11 points in four games, with its first-team defense yet to permit a touchdown. Midland, meanwhile, averages 38 points per game.
Tommy R. Atkinson and Ryan Pritt contributed to this report.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.