Search This Blog

Monday, October 24, 2005

Manns vs. Culbertson as No. 1 Eagles play at Nitro

CHARLESTON — Nitro’s Josh Culbertson isn’t fazed about facing top-rated Woodrow Wilson. On Sunday, his first priority was a long nap.

He has the rest of the week to prepare for Class AAA’s top-rated team in a game that will help determine whether Woodrow Wilson (8-0) can secure a home berth throughout the playoffs. There’s also bragging rights at stake between two of the state’s best running backs.

Marcus Manns already has a state basketball title two years ago and has rejuvenated Woodrow Wilson, which hasn’t won a football title since 1977.

“I’ve heard a lot about him,” Culbertson said, still dusting off the cobwebs from his nap.

With the 200-yard games that Culbertson and Manns are capable of putting up, Culbertson isn’t about to turn this game into a duel.

“I’m really not going to think about that. We’re just focused on winning,” he said.

Culbertson knows all about dispelling distractions this season. A few weeks ago he set the state career rushing record held by Weir’s Quincy Wilson. And last week Nitro teammate Chris Fulmer set a state career receptions record.

“Now it’s time to win,” Culbertson said. “They’re number one. So it’s going to be fun.

“I don’t think we’re going to go in there wide-eyed and kind of scared or anything. I think we’re ready.”

No. 4 Nitro (7-1) has plenty of homework to do before facing Manns.

In the rain Friday night, Manns rushed for 274 yards and five touchdowns in a 34-7 win at Huntington.

Manns, who is taking Woodrow Wilson to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, has proven to be more than a great runner. Earlier this season he threw a touchdown pass, caught another and completed a two-point conversion pass against St. Albans.

He caught four passes, one for a TD, in a game against Parkersburg and threw a 5-yard TD toss against Capital.

He also has more than a half-dozen interceptions on defense.

But Manns could end up being the third-best player on the field statistically against Nitro, which has the 1-2 combination of Culbertson and Fulmer.

Culbertson, one of the top contenders for the Kennedy Award, given to the state’s top player, has 2,253 rushing yards this season. Against Ripley, he ran for 249 yards and three TDs.

That performance was overshadowed by Fulmer, who caught 10 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns to set a state record for career pass receptions.

Fulmer now has 300 career catches, surpassing the mark of 299 set by Nitro’s Chris Martin from 1995-98. Fulmer has 4,485 career receiving yards. Martin holds the state record of 4,940.

No comments:

Walrus Archive