MAN — With two games left to play in the 2021 high school football season, the Man Hillbillies are playing for pride.
Man (3-5), riding a three-game losing skid, including a pair of back-to-back blowout losses, is scheduled to host Tug Valley (3-4) on Friday in a clash of Class A teams.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm at Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field.
Man is coming off last week’s 41-14 loss at Class AA No. 3 Point Pleasant. A week before that, the Billies were routed 74-7 at Independence, another top five ranked Double-A squad.
Tug Valley beat Westside, 29-22 last week on the road.
Man is hoping to finish out the season strong with a pair of wins. The Hillbillies play at county rival Chapmanville next week in the Nov. 5 finale.
“We want to finish off strong and work out some of the mistakes that we’ve made in the last couple of games, try to get back to playing better football and try to get some wins,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “We played two of the top Double-A teams in the state the last two weeks. Both had a lot of talent and good skilled players. It was a tough situation for us but I thought our kids accepted the challenge in the Point Pleasant game. We didn’t so much against Independence. I thought we improved a lot last week against Point.”
The Panthers were slated to play at Clay County on Tuesday night. The Panthers are then set to travel to Man three days later on Friday night.
The Panthers beat Hurley, Va. (46-12) and rival Tolsia (41-0) earlier in the season. Tug Valley lost 41-6 on Oct. 15 at then Class A No. 4-ranked Mount View.
The Golden Knights held Tug Valley QB Elijah Fluty and the Panther offense to only 159 yards of total offense. Fluty ran for 78 yards on 20 carries and scored the lone touchdown and was 5 of 12 passing for 38 yards.
“They’ve won three games,” Arms said of the Panthers. “Our games with Tug are always competitive and close. In the last few years, they’ve beaten us more than we have beaten them. All of the games have been hard fought and tough. We have to give it the best that we have.”
Man did not play Tug Valley last season and are 3-7 all-time against the Panthers.
The two last played in 2019 with the Panthers winning 20-12. Man won the 2018 meeting, 30-8.
The Billies and Panthers have had some playoff history in recent years.
Tug Valley beat Man back-to-back years in the post-season, winning 16-12 in 2014 and 38-28 in 2015.
Friday’s game will also be Senior Night for Man and also the Hall of Fame Game which was postponed earlier in the season.
Man vs. Tug Valley Football Series
(Tug Valley leads 7-3):
2019: Tug Valley 20, Man 12
2018: Man 30, Tug Valley 8
2017: Tug Valley 27, Man 14
2016: Tug Valley 12, Man 6
2015: Tug Valley 38, Man 28 (Class A state playoffs at Man)
2015: Man 14, Tug Valley 12 (OT)
2014: Tug Valley 16, Man 12 (Class A state playoffs at Mingo Central)
2014: Tug Valley 26, Man 20
2013: Man 24, Tug Valley 14
2012: Tug Valley 30, Man 24