Beavers, Tigers meet for the 90th time in their rivalry series come Friday night
The Bluefield Beavers and The Princeton Tigers meet for the 90th time in their rivalry series come Friday night at Mitchell Stadium.The last time The Tigers came to Mitchell Stadium, which was 2 years ago, they beat The Beavers 32-21. Annually in recent years, the game has been close, intense, and great to watch, but last year seen The Beavers win by a big margin of 62-0 at Anne S. Hunnicutt Stadium and they went on to win The West Virginia High School Class AA Championship, while The Tigers ended up struggling the rest of the season going 1-9. Their only win coming to class AA team, The Oak Hill Red Devils 49-14. In 2015, seen The Princeton Tigers took a 21-0 lead at home, but they failed to maintain it as The Beavers scored 35 unanswered points to come back and win 35-21. In 2014 saw The Beavers won 40-21 at home, but the year before in 2013, seen The Tigers win at home in probably the best Bluefield/Princeton game ever played, 32-29 on a Beaver last second fumble on the goal line. In 2012, at Mitchell Stadium it was a shootout as The Beavers ended up winning 52-44. In 2011, seen The Tigers win 35-21 at home, so usually in recent years the game has went back and fourth. This season, The Beavers are coming in with a 38-14 win over their other rival, The Graham G-Men(VA.) who competes in class AA, while The Tigers are coming in with a 21-14 loss to The Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers who competes in class AAA. The Tigers could of easily won their opening game by 2-4 touchdowns, but plays called back, passes dropped, fumbles, and interceptions prevented that to happen. The Beavers are coming into Friday's match-up with one of the best and biggest lines in the state that averages 6'5", 281 pounds. The Beavers senior signal caller Chandler Cooper who is looking to have more of a passing game this season after being more of a game manager last season is coming off of a 124 yard performance through the air and 1 touchdown will have to compete against The Tigers junior signal caller Ranson Graham who is coming off of a 229 yard performance and 1 touchdown, but was picked off twice.
Graham completed 6 straight passes in The Tigers opening drive including a clutch 22 yard touchdown pass to true sophomore Ethan Parsons on 4th down. Graham also had 22 rushing yards on 2 attempts giving him 251 all purpose yards. The Beavers has lot's of weapons in Senior Juice Edwards, who had 114 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Senior Arnold Martin had 99 yards rushing and a touchdown, while junior J.J. Davis had 93 yards rushing and a touchdown. True sophomore Isaiah Johnson and senior Ronnell Blevins serve as top targets for Cooper. Kaulin Parris comes into the making all of his extra points and a 42 yard field goal. Nick Whittington of The Tigers has also made 2 of his extra points. The Tigers has some weapons as well with senior Chiran Cannady who had 84 yards receiving. Also, senior Cameron Shumate, senior Justin Akers, senior Jacob Holston, junior A.J. Jenkins, senior Tyler Smith, and senior Devin Vest.
The Tigers defense is led by hard hitting linebacker Aaron Edwards, who also serves as a blocking back. Parsons, Graham's favorite target with 114 yards receiving and 1 touchdown who also plays defensive back and punter will be out of action until September 14th at Parkersburg South with a bruised collarbone. The Tigers competed fairly well with The Beavers during the off-season during 7-on-7 match-ups winning one of them, but this won't be just 7-on-7. The Tigers will have to compete and be physical up front and let Graham sit in the pocket and throw if they want to have any chance of winning Friday night. The Tigers has done well with what they have on their lines. Either this game could be a shootout by The Tigers not being able to stop The Beavers running game and The Beavers not being able to stop The Tigers passing game or it could end like the game last season that The Tigers certainly does not want and are looking for revenge. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Mitchell Stadium.