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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Evans plays role of two for Pirates

Fayetteville’s Josh Evans is a big guy at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds.

But he’s even bigger than that.

“We play him at nose guard,” Fayetteville coach Frank Spangler said. “He’s a two-gap guy. He takes up the gap to the left and right of the center. Having him in there is really like having a 12th guy on the field.”

Spangler said the last time Fayetteville had a “two-gap” player at nose guard was in 1958.

“Larry Jasper,” Spangler said, noting he was a teammate. “He went on to play at the University of New Mexico and he played in the Canadian Football League for four years.”

Evans is also on his way to bigger things.

He has an official visit at North Carolina State this weekend and he’ll visit Wake Forest in two weeks when the Demon Deacons host Miami. A visit to Marshall is lined up later in November.

No. 19 Fayetteville (5-3) is at Class A No. 2 Greenbrier West (9-0) Friday needing a win to stay in the playoff hunt.

Meadow Bridge tailback James Mullins has amassed some impressive numbers this year. He has rushed for 1,373 yards on 168 carries and 14 touchdowns.

Believe it or not, they could be even better.

He has missed the bulk of two games with nagging injuries.

“In the East Hardy game, he got hurt on the second play of the game and came out of the game after the first series with 40 yards,” said longtime Wildcats coach Larry McClintic. “Against Valley, he had 100 yards but suffered back spasms and came out in the first quarter. So he’s basically missed two games.”

His numbers are comparable with outstanding Wildcat tailbacks of the past, like Richy Shepherd.

“He doesn’t have the speed of some of our former tailbacks, but as far as being a dependable guy who can carry 25-30 times a game, he’s right there,” McClintic said.

He also has the requisite toughness.

“He played on a bad shoulder against (undefeated and Class A No. 2) Greenbrier West and had 170 yards,” McClintic said.

The Wildcats are 5-4 with a game against old Fayette County rival Mount Hope Friday.

Liberty is on the proverbial playoff bubble after losing three games in a row.

The Raiders checked in at No. 16 in the latest Class AA ratings.

Liberty (5-3) heads into its Friday night battle with Raleigh County rival Shady Spring in need of a victory to right the ship. The Raiders end the season the next week at Wyoming East.

The Warriors have two chances to ruin the playoff hopes of Raleigh teams, traveling to Independence Friday before hosting the Raiders on Nov. 4.

Chris Yambrick, Woodrow Wilson’s reliable kicker, was hurt in the Flying Eagles’ 2-1 Region 3 soccer semifinal loss Tuesday.

But coach John Lilly hopes to have the kicker back for Friday’s ultra-important game pitting his top-rated Flying Eagles against No. 4 Nitro.

“It’s just a bad bruise on top of his foot, so I think he’ll be fine,” said Lilly, noting Yambrick was at Wednesday’s practice.

He did not kick. Offensive lineman/linebacker Austin Peters, Woodrow’s kicker last year, did the honors in practice and would take over if Yambrick can’t go.

“I’m not going to say it wouldn’t hurt our kicking game, it would hurt our kicking game quite a bit,” Lilly said. “But Peters is ready if we need him.”

Valley avoided the school’s first-ever winless season by beating Greater Beckley 28-14 in a special Tuesday night tilt at WVU Tech’s Martin Field in Montgomery.

It’s been a down season for the Greyhounds, a perennial playoff team in the early 2000s.

One bright spot has been Jeff Stewart. The 5-8, 139-pound senior, who had 192 yards and two touchdowns in the win Tuesday night, has 809 yards and eight touchdowns for the 1-7 Hounds.

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