By JIM NELSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
When Princeton entertains St. Albans tonight at Hunnicutt Stadium, the Tigers will be facing an opponent with whom they share many of the same challenges and opportunities. Both clubs come into the game with 0-6 marks and both are making the transition to new coaches.
Steve Stoffel, Jr. is in his first year as head coach at St. Albans after a successful run as head coach at Herbert Hoover. “Princeton is a lot like we are,” he said. “Both programs are making the change to new coaches, and we’re both in a very tough (Mountain State Athletic Conference) league.”
Both teams have experienced some causes for optimism lately, as well. St. Albans extended South Charleston before losing 35-14 last week, and Princeton battled Graham wire-to-wire before falling, 22-16. “I thought we had several bright spots,” Tigers’ coach Randy Peek said. We got some production from the box formation and our special teams played better. The key for us is tacking. We were in a position to make some tackles, but we absorbed the hit rather than delivering the hit.”
The Red Dragons rely on a spread attack, with halfback Drew Kirby (who has rushed for more than 500 yards to date) keeping defenses honest by providing a running threat. “We like to throw around 23-28 times a game,” Stoffel said. St. Albans will move from the spread to a two-back set, using former lineman Michael Cain as a fullback as circumstances dictate.
“Princeton is a very athletic-looking team,” Stoffel continued. “They have speed and they’re dangerous. We’re a lot like Princeton in that we can’t do anything to change the past. We’re concentrating on going 4-0 for the rest of the year, beginning with this game.”
“A win would mean everything to us,” Peak noted. “Our kids are hanging in there and they’re competing every play. A win would be really important to our spirit and morale as we look at two pretty tough road games (at Spring Valley and at Cabell Midland) that are coming up.”
Friday’s game at Hunnicutt Stadium in Princeton begins at 7:30 p.m
., with radio coverage (STAR 95-FM) starting at 7:10 p.m.