CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Since a 24-0 loss at Nicholas County dropped its record to 3-3, Robert C. Byrd has been streaking, reeling off six road victories, including wins in the first two rounds of the Class AA playoffs in reaching the semifinals for the second straight year.
But if their streak is going to continue, the No. 13 Eagles are going to have to end one that is on the verge of historic proportions.
No. 1 Wayne has a chance to tie the state's all-time win streak at 36 straight when it squares off with Byrd tonight at 7:30 at Huntington High School.
It is the only semifinal rematch from a year ago as the Pioneers earned an 18-0 win on their way to a second straight state championship.
While the Eagles couldn't muster much offensively last season, Byrd did hold Wayne to its lowest offensive output of the season by far, as it marked the only time the Pioneers were held under 35 points.
Eagles coach Bruce Carey sure hopes that some of that defense carries over tonight.
"With the wing-T, you've got to key in on the linemen and not look in the backfield," Carey said. "You've got to be disciplined enough to stay at home and don't penetrate too much. Then you've got to take on the blocks and don't so much go around them - it's easier said then done. They wear you down and continue to run the same plays and try to outphysical you."
Indeed, Wayne continues to roll downhill offensively, riding a rushing attack that boasts four runners with over 450 yards, led by junior Mason Hodge, who's racked up 1,358 yards on 135 carries with 15 touchdowns.
As a team, the Pioneers have romped for 4,471 yards for an average of 372.6 per game.
Junior quarterback Grant Ferguson is expected back as well for Wayne after missing the first two playoff games after an injury in the season finale at Bluefield.
Even without him the Pioneers have hardly missed a beat, scoring 53 points in a first-round win over Philip Barbour and 48 in last week's mud-covered conquest over Sissonville.